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European Automatic Track Gauge Changeover Systems

Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Rail icon
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


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 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.

In addition to the technical requirements for gauge changeover systems, the results will 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


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Non-profit organisation
Institution Name
UIC - Union Internationale des Chemins de fer
Type of funding


The AGCS Reports B190 / RP1 to B190 / RP 5 have been approved on the content by the SET 06 - Running Gear in June 2014. They will be released from the beginning of 2015 by ETF.

The Task 1 of this project (B190 / RP1) collects documentation of existing automatic gauge changeover systems. To date, no single document provides a summarised description of all the automatic gauge changeover systems currently known to exist. This report provides a summary description of all the automatic gauge changeover systems currently known to exist and details of their key technical features and functions. Details are also given of the current status of development of individual systems and experience of their testing and operation, as well as information on maintenance of the system as a whole. The report describes systems from Europe and Japan for the gauges 1435/1520/1668/1000/1067 mm.

The Task 2 (B190 / RP 2) deals with a market study on the use of automatic gauge changeover systems in freight and passenger traffic. In order to determine potential users’ willingness to pay for shorter transport/transit times on routes with a gauge change, information was collected by means of surveys to assess the expected costs/benefits of using automatic gauge changeover systems (synergy), taking into account the significant elements for interoperability and intermodality on pan-European corridors.

The Task 3 (B 190 / RP 3) analyses the cost-effectiveness of an automatic gauge changeover system in consideration of expected traffic flows. The task 3 involved determining potential traffic volumes at system interfaces for freight and passenger trains, and conducting an assessment of economic feasibility for various types of traffic and freight or traffic volumes on the basis of the data thus collected. Various relevant factors such as market conditions, investments, tariffs, vehicles/facilities, etc. were taken into account for this purpose.

The Task 4 (B 190 / RP 4) relates to the description of a harmonised approval procedure for “Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems”. The report B 190 / RP 4 provides an analysis of existing approval and certification procedures for vehicles with automatic gauge changeover systems and fixed gauge changeover facilities. The authorities or entities in charge of approval and the documents to be submitted to these bodies are listed in the report. In addition, a proposal is made for a common approval procedure fo

Technical Implications

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.

It should also set new technical and operational standards for the interfaces between railways with track gauges of 1435mm, 1520mm and 1668mm.

There is a significant overlap with the work of an ERA Working Group (1520) launched in 2006, which includes representatives from 7 different EU member states. The 1520 WG is attempting to determine whether railways with a track gauge of 1520mm require a separate TSI or whether this system can be integrated into the TSIs that are currently being developed.

Other results


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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