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A B C project UIC study on facilitation of border-crossings along railway Corridors by Jerzy Wisniewski Director of the East-West Division, UIC Developing Euro-Asian Transport Linkages, 11 March 2004, Almaty, Kazakhstan «Shaping the Railway of the 21st Century» 1

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A B C project

UIC study on facilitation of border-crossings

along railway Corridors

by Jerzy Wisniewski

Director of the East-West Division, UIC

Developing Euro-Asian Transport Linkages,

11 March 2004, Almaty, Kazakhstan

«Shaping the Railway of the 21st Century»


east west task force uic
East-West Task Force, UIC
  • to assist the integration of the pan- European railway transport system
  • to promote the operational and technical solutions that overcome the economics-political impacts on the CEEC rail sector during the last decade
  • to cooperate with the different organizations/ bodies - communicate externally the ultimate needs for railway developments within CEEC
  • to follow the specific studies on behalf of its members

«Shaping the Railway of the 21st Century»


transport corridors
Pan-European Corridors


Euro-Asian Corridors



Transport Corridors

«Shaping the Railway of the 21st Century»



Action Border Crossing - projectof the EWTF

Efficient working methods

The methodology was defined and adjusted/developed in the light of feedback from various experts consulted, then, the various types of systems and their idiosyncrasies were considered and the underlying principles filtered out. The latter may be applied for future investigations.

Each border crossing point (located and selected on Pan-European Corridors) is investigated in three steps:

+ fact-finding, involving some field study

+ analysis and optimization of processes and framing of proposals

+ discussion on measures and compilation of report

Border crossing and interoperability

Interoperability is one of the main priorities of international rail and transport policy. New regulations are expected. Border crossing problems are closely related to interface problems and therefore also to interoperability. Improvements in productivity often follow after systems are standardized across borders. This will lead to industry developing an interest in providing new products which can be deployed across borders.

«Shaping the Railway of the 21st Century»


action border crossings hub to hub analysis
Action Border CrossingsHub-to-hub analysis
  • All handover and receipt processes are to dovetail in time with trains being put together and taken apart at the stations where trains are formed.
  • In principle, trains should only be submitted to border and customs formalities when absolutely necessary. Any formalities still deemed indispensable and non-negotiable after an initial assessment should all be carried out in the same place as railway operations as far as possible. This is usually in the hub stations. For this reason, every effort is made to shift formalities away from the borders back to the operating hubs.
  • The construction of an efficient bilateral customs management system, including shifting borders to the hinterland and using international telematics systems, is to be supported. Even if it is not immediately apparent, national authorities usually make considerable savings in the process.
abc recommendations passenger traffic
ABC - recommendations PASSENGER TRAFFIC
  • Efforts must be directed towards systematic use of vehicles with gauge-adjustable bogies.
  • Inspections must be carried out on board trains in between stops.
  • Trust must be placed in train crews to submit official documents to customs and police agents in order to avoid disturbing passengers during the night.

«Shaping the Railway of the 21st Century»


abc recommendations freight traffic
ABC recommendations FREIGHT TRAFFIC
  • Efforts must be focussed on setting up jointly operated stations to deal with traffic in both directions, i.e. incoming and outgoing traffic, with inspections being made by State agents jointly.
  • There should be only one transhipment centre per type of goods, either on one side of the border or on the other.
  • Marshalling yards upline must sort wagons more finely in order to form wagon groups headed for each transhipment centre.
  • After transhipment, wagons which have not been sorted must be sent to marshalling yards downline.
  • These two latter points are highly important for avoiding extremely time-consuming transit through marshalling yards (between 1/2 day and 1 day).
  • The system of gauge-adjustable axle wagons must be developed for freight traffic able to withstand the additional cost.
  • Data transmission must be harmonised on both sides of borders.
  • Interface between SMGS/CIM is strongly recommended

«Shaping the Railway of the 21st Century»


abc sensitive border points
ABC sensitive border points
  • Brest – Terespol BC (managing railway) – PKP S.A.
  • Czop – Cierna nad Tisou UZ (managing railway) – ZSSK/ZSR S.A.
  • Mockawa – Trakiszki LG (managing railway) – PKP S.A.
  • DOSTYK – Alashankou KZH (managing railway) – KZD
  • Soukhebaatar – Nauchki MTZ (managing railway) – RZD
  • Zabaikalsk – Manzhourija RZD (managing railway) – KZD
  • Vicsany – Vadoul-Siret CFR (managing railway) – UZ
  • Medyka – Mostiska PKP S.A. (managing railway) – UZ
  • Kristeshti/Jijiia – Ungeny CFR (managing railway) – CFM
  • Zamyn-Uud – Erlian MTZ (managing railway) – KZD
  • Dandoun – Sinydjou KZD (managing railway) – ZC
  • Braniewo – Mamonowo PKP S.A. (managing railway) – RZD
  • Zahon – Czop (Batevo – Epereshke) MAV S.A. (managing railway) – UZ

UIC/OSJD joint group ’s objectives

- to study border crossings with transhipment between European standard gauge track and broad gauge track and between broad gauge track and Asia

- to set up bilateral groups of railway experts for this purpose from the two countries concerned by the border point considered

- to remit the bilateral groups to assess time lost at borders

- to have the bilateral groups propose an action plan

- to instruct the bilateral groups to implement the action proposed

- to monitor implementation of the action taken

- to assist the bilateral groups in involving the State bodies concerned by the action undertaken, particularly at inter-sector meetings organised by the OSJD.



Total of all border handing times for freight traffic at a border crossing

in minutes (maximum values)






abc results
ABC results
  • Cut-off train- stops time at several border points
  • Setting and monitoring of the bilateral groups works at place
  • Support of the EC,ECMT,ECE UN,OSJD
  • ABC recommendations are accepted by any bilateral groups and used at place so it is proposed to follow the UIC study on the broaden scale.