In 2020, the International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport (named International Union of Combined Road-Rail Transport Companies until 2014), in short UIRR SC, celebrates its 50th anniversary. The exclusive mission of the Union is the promotion, by every possible means, of CT, mainly the combination between the road and rail modes. Today the UIRR consists of 41 member companies in 17 European countries. Over 50% of rail freight tonne-kilometres can be attributed to Combined Transport by today.



Creation of the UIRR



The UIRR is founded on 23 October 1970 in Munich. The choice of time and place was because the second international transport exhibition took place there that year. (The first of such major meeting events for specialists in the transport field was held in 1965).

The first member companies were ASG (S), Hucketrans (A), Hupac (CH), Kombiverkehr (D), Novatrans (F), Trailstar (NL) and TRW (B). The members organised rail transport using swap bodies and semi-trailers: at that time national traffic represented around 230,000 shipments, and there were only 17,000 international shipments.



First international rolling road link

This Combined Transport technique, involving the transportation of complete trucks by rail, is introduced between the cities of Cologne and Verona.



Development of the first pocket-wagon

In association with the railway undertakings, the German, French and Swiss representatives of the UIRR Technical Commission developed the pocket wagon, which will make possible the rapid vertical transhipment of semi-trailers and hence the easy routing of this kind of road units by means of CT.



Directive 75/130 of the European Commission on the promotion of combined road-rail transport.



The first rolling road wagons

Hupac and Kombiverkehr introduce 240 wagons with a length of 19 m for the rolling road (payload of 38 t and later of 40 t). That same year, traffic reaches no less than 500,000 shipments.



First General Terms and Conditions

First General Terms and Conditions setting out uniform regulations on the responsibilities in international Combined Transport between the CT operators of the UIRR and their clients.



Progressive end to horizontal transhipment



First articulated wagons (35 units)


Opening of the UIRR link office in Brussels.
One million consignments achieved!



Change of the Association

The UIRR becomes a co-operative under Belgian law with its head office in Brussels, allowing it to offer more services to its member companies.

International traffic exceeds national traffic for the first time.



Launch by the European Commission of the PACT programme (Pilot Actions for Combined Transport)

The UIRR participates as from the start by means of a study and by the effective creation of a multimodal corridor between the North of Europe and Italy and Greece.



First shuttle train on the Busto Arsizio - Cologne route



The UIRR adopts new Articles of Association.

The UIRR opens to all CT operators. The status of associated member is created.

The “CESAR” project is launched.

Supported by the European Commission, CESAR aims to create a standardised interface between the various operators and their clients.



Revision of the General Terms and Conditions: the UIRR operators take on more responsibilities in their relations with clients.


30th anniversary of the UIRR

A more exhaustive record of the UIRR’s key dates appears in Annex 10 of the book entitled “L’UIRR a 30 ans” (“The UIRR is 30 years old”).

The milestone of two million consignments per annum is achieved.



MARCO POLO Programme

Launch by the European Commission of the Marco Polo Programme aimed at taking goods off the road and putting them onto more environment-friendly modes of transport. The UIRR actively supported the launch of this programme and participated in several projects.



Creation of the CESAR Information Services

The CIS company is created by the CT operators Cemat (I), Hupac (CH), Kombiverkehr (D), Novatrans (F) and the UIRR, of which they are members. CESAR provides a logistical tracking service and works for the benefit of the clients of combined transport.



Coming into effect of the Marco Polo II Programme