UIC - UIRR: CACTUS Final Report October 2021 04/11/21

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UIC, the International Union of Railways, and UIRR, the International Union for road-rail combined transport, presented their Comparative Analysis of the Combined Transport Usages and Standards on 19 October


(Paris, 19 October) UIC and UIRR presented the results of their Comparative Analysis on Combined Transport Usages and Standards to an audience of over 100 participants in an online webinar. This is a landmark in the work commissioned by the European Union Agency for Railways to facilitate Combined Transport activities and to boost its integration with other modes of transport.

The relevance and importance of the study was highlighted during the webinar by Eric Lambert, chairman of the special Combined Transport Group of UIC: “Combined transport is already important for rail but has proven to be a market segment with great potential. Smoothly aligned operations are therefore of prime importance for the operators.”

Currently, Combined Transport operations are organised through different and not always aligned regulations and standards (TSIs, EN, IRS, ISO, etc.). They define the design/testing requirements for Intermodal Loading Units (ILUs) and set out the conditions for the compatibility of ILUs with the different transport modes and for their transhipment in terminals. As a comparative analysis, the CACTUS project develops recommendations to eliminate gaps, overlaps and contradictions.

As key recommendations, the study calls for the creation of a specific TSI on combined transport covering infrastructure, operation, traffic management and rolling stock subsystem aspects relevant for the interoperability of ILUs loaded on suitable wagons. Furthermore, the study proposes to include relevant combined transport operating methods as described in UICs IRSs, in the existing TSI on wagons (WAG TSI).

Finally, CACTUS proposes to revise the Directive 96/53/EC, as amended by EU Directive 2015/719, to define semi- trailers suitable for transport by rail as intermodal loading units. It is also about the revision of a number of ILU-related EN standards and the introduction of the new updated requirements of cross-referencing between standards. This should allow to eliminate overlaps, contradictions and deficiencies.

This significant effort by UIC and UIRR provides a groundwork for policy makers who are developing the long-awaited revised Combined Transport TSI. This was confirmed by Ralf-Charley Schultze, president of UIRR: “CACTUS is a thorough work executed by the two organisations, UIRR and UIC. We hope it will inspire ERA and DG Move to proceed with the TSI on combined transport. The recommendations as developed in this study should be reflected in the new initiatives taken by ERA and DG Move. Interoperability is on its way, what we need now is European harmonisation” .


You can download the Final Report, the excecutive summary and the Analysis below:


Documents correspondants
Cactus Final Report EN
CACTUS Executive Summary EN
CACTUS Analysis Appendix B Rev02 EN