The UIC's mission is to promote rail transport at world level and meet the challenges of mobility and sustainable development.
UIC's original principal task was to harmonise and improve conditions for railway constructions and operations.
The idea of creating an international organisation, bringing together the railway companies, was developed in the wake of the international conference of Portorosa, in Italy in 1921, followed by the international conference of Geneva on 3 May 1922. State representatives favoured the "creation of a permanent rail administration focusing on international traffic for the standardisation and improvement of conditions of railway construction and operations". The international conference founding UIC was held in Paris on 17 October 1922.
Initially the UIC had 51 members from 29 countries including Japan and China, which were soon joined by the railways from the former USSR, the Middle East and North Africa.
UIC has set up a database of projects relating to rail transport. The aims of the database respond to the main UIC objectives which are:
- to facilitate the sharing of best practices among members (benchmarking);
- to support members in their efforts to develop new business and new areas of activities;
- to propose new ways to improve technical and environmental performance;
- to promote interoperability, create new world standards for railways (including common standards with other transport modes);
- to develop centres of competence (High Speed, Safety, Security, e-Business, …).
Database search and access capabilities
The database has a free access and doesn't require a registration.
It's set in English language, but it gives also the option to be set in German and French language.
The database has multiple search criteria:
- by category (UIC Projects, UIC Activity, UIC Special Group, E.U. Project, Multilateral project and Other)
- by name
- by acronym
- By keyword (Environment, Freight, Infrastructure, Signalling, etc).
General remarks on individual database specialities
The publications listed are mostly available after a paying procedure by an order. They are published often in three languages and are a product of ETF - Edition Techniques Ferroviaires (Railway Technical Publications). The ETF is the publisher division of UIC.