Studies and Reports

UIP study on rail and road safety for accidents caused by technical failures

A comparative study from a competition perspective of mileage-related accidents caused by technical failure in vehicles/rolling stock and resulting in personal injury


The present study performs a comparison between the two modes of transport in terms of the number of persons killed as a result of accidents caused by technical failures in vehicles or rolling stock. For the years 2006 to 2010, the average value for rail freight, expressed in terms of tonne-kilometres, is 0.018. This means that in the EU 273 in the years 2006 to 2010, on average 0.018 persons per billion tonne-kilometres (tkm) died as a result of rail freight accidents that had been caused by technical failures in rolling stock. In other words, in the rail freight sector during this period, one person died as a result of a technical failure in rolling stock every 55.5 billion tkm. It is worth noting that during the period covered by this study – i.e. 2006 to 2010– there was only one fatal accident (Viareggio in 2009 with 32 fatalities). Otherwise the calculations would have produced an indicator of zero for rail freight.

By comparison, the figure for corresponding fatalities per billion tonne-kilometres in road freight for the period 2006 to 2010 lies between 0.032 (lower assumption of 1%) and 0.162 (upper assumption of 5%), making it approx. 2 to 9 times as high as for rail freight. Once again, we can express this indicator another way by saying that in road freight one person died as a result of a technical failure in vehicles every 6.2 billion tkm to 31.2 billion tkm.

These indicators show that safety levels in rail freight, measured in terms of accidents caused by a technical failure in rolling stock, are currently very high. The fact that rail freight performs favourably compared with road freight should by no means serve to justify abandoning efforts designed to achieve continual improvements in the safety levels for rail freight. Rail accidents caused by technical failures in rolling stock should be ruled out as far as possible. A question does arise; however, as to how much technical, organisational and financial effort can and should be invested in further improving the already very high level of safety. The higher the cost of additional measures to enhance safety, the more pressing it becomes to answer this question.

Joint Implementation guide for Keepers-ECM declaration

Guidelines for the Keeper's "ECM Declaration" - Implementation Guide written by UIC, ERFA and UIP

The purpose of this document is to promote Keeper’s ECM Declaration Guidelines.

It should be understood as a joint recommendation from the publishing Associations to their mem-bers and all other parties involved enabling them to follow the outlined provisions.

This document however, does not bear any legal responsibility and it does not replace the relevant information from the original sources, namely the respective national and international legal provi-sions in force.

This document is addressed to all

  • Freight Wagon Keepers domiciled in the European Union or OTIF States for wagons belonging to them and operated in or through EU Member States and/or OTIF States;
  • Railway Undertakings operating freight trains in or through EU Member States or OTIF States;
  • Entities in Charge of Maintenance of freight wagons

It must be clearly stated that all provisions made in this document shall be intermediate only. Accessible, operational and properly updated NVRs in all EU Member States and COTIF States are the target system (see for example Directive 2008/57/EC Article 33).

Challenge 2050 - The Rail Sector Vision

Rail is vital to thewell-being of Europe’s society and the strength of its economy. To maintain and develop this role in the future, the sector needs to meet enormous challenges. There is a need to protect the social, economic and environmental fabric. The railway community has developed Challenge 2050, a vision that identifies these challenges and makes a commitment to addressing them.

Challenge 2050 is the European rail sector’s shared perception of where the rail system could be by 2050. The document first gives a brief overview of the rail sector and then sets out the sector’s shared vision. It also identifies themany goals that are complementary to the vision and support a rail system that is responsive to the needs of Europe’s citizens.

The supporting paper describes many of the important drivers that were either the foundation or the catalyst for the changes necessary to arrive at our vision and goals for the rail system. Whilst the main Challenge 2050 document has been written as if the reader is in 2050 and looks back at the route taken, this paper builds from today and outlines some of the sector’s key drivers.

The paper follows an iterative process that demonstrates how we aligned the vision to the goals and then developed this vision to achieve successful delivery.