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Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems


Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems

Background & policy context: 

A UIC study carried out in 2001 reviewed the possibility of developing a common infrastructure for different gauge changeover systems (TALGO, DB/RAFIL Typ V and PKP/SUV). Technical and economic aspects were also to be taken into account. The results showed that two systems (DB/RAFIL and PKP/SUW) are technically compatible but the three systems that existed at the time (and their associated equipment) were not completely compatible. A common infrastructure seemed feasible but would require modifications to the variable gauge wheel sets and the gauge change devices of the existing systems. This study was unable to put forward a simple, cost-effective solution for a common infrastructure for gauge changeover systems.

The purpose of this project is to define the requirements for a gauge changeover system while taking into account existing solutions (CAF Brava, DB-Rafil, SUW 2000, and Talgo) with an emphasis on technical, economic and logistical aspects as well as the benefits for operators and railways. The project is important for development in passenger and freight transport and facilitates interoperability by offering technical solutions to help overcome technical barriers between rail networks with different track gauges.


The aim of the “Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems” project is to establish requirements for gauge changeover systems, while taking into account the most up-to-date technology and the importance of interoperability, in order to guarantee optimum use in specific parts of Europe. These requirements shall serve towards developing a joint solution for the three existing track gauges (Spanish broad gauge, Russian broad gauge and UIC standard gauge) which is viable for both passenger and freight transport. To this end, cooperation between UIC and OSJD is essential.

Institution Type:
Institution Name: 
UIC - Union Internationale des Chemins de fer
Type of funding:
Key Results: 

The project results consist of technical requirements for gauge changeover systems that act as a basis for the development of compatible systems which fulfil the requirements of the different transport types.

In addition to the technical requirements for gauge changeover systems, the results include cost-effectiveness reports (based on a cost-benefit analysis), which take into consideration the volume of traffic, the type of transport and the operational processes at system interfaces, as well as factoring in market interests and synergy effects.


The AGCS Reports B190 / RP1 to B190 / RP 5

Contact Name: 
Gianfranco Cau & Roberto Tieri
Contact Email: 
16 rue Jean Rey
Contact country: