Studies and Reports

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.

UIP report on Economic Impact of new rules and regulations

Final report of the UIP Working Group on “Economic Impact of New Rules and Regulations”


The UIP Management Committee decided in November 2010 to establish a Working  Group (WG) dealing with the economic impact of new rules and regulations on the rail freight sector, especially with regard to wagon related issues.

The WG objectives were to concentrate on the identification and the assessment of new rules and regulations on a European level as well as on national levels, if the latter likely to have an impact on the economics for wagons being operated (cross-border) in different countries throughout the EU- and OTIF-Member States.

KWC study on transaction costs of different incentive models for retrofitting

Study to Determine the Transaction Costs of Different Incentive Models for Retrofitting the Freight Wagon Fleet with Composite Brake Blocks

The noise of rail traffic has received increasing attention from railways, industry, politics, associations and the people affected. While in the past most investment was put into noise protection measures on infrastructure and buildings (e.g. noise protection walls), new studies show that investment in noise protection on rolling stock is more efficient from a cost-benefit point of view. The main cause of rail freight traffic noise is cast iron brake blocks which roughen up the wheels. This leads to unevenness in the treads of the wheelsets and as a result to increased noise when running. With new types of composite brake blocks there are technical solutions available which can produce a significant reduction in the noise level of the wagon fleet.

At present different promotional programmes and incentive models are being discussed on the European and national state levels which aim to provide for a quick and comprehensive retrofitting of the complete wagon fleet. The range of models standing in the public domain extends from direct funding for retrofitting programmes through bonus models that depend on the distance wagons run to noise differentiated track access charge systems.

Based on their experience with the programme applied in Switzerland most sector players favour a direct grant for the retrofitting paid by the respective member state. Contrary, the European Commission thinks that a noise differentiated track access charge is the most suitable model as was clear from the 'Recast to the first railway package of the European Union', pub-lished in autumn 2010. In this document the possibility of noise differentiated track access charge was expressly mentioned. Representatives of the railway industry in Germany proposed an alternative concept at the beginning of 2010: A mileage related bonus for converted freight wagons paid directly to the wagon keepers.

To determine the transaction cost associated with these incentive models in case they where placed in operation the Verbands Deutscher Verkehrsunter-nehmen e.V. (VDV), [Association of German Transport Companies] the Vereinigung der Privatgüterwagen-Interessenten (VPI Hamburg), [Union of Private Freight Wagon Companies], Ahaus-Alstätter Eisenbahn Cargo AG (AAE), DB Netz AG, DB Schenker Rail GmbH, the European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) and the International Union of Railways (UIC) have commissioned this study.


Full report: