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EuroSpec: harmonisation initiative from European Railway Operators 10 years old

EuroSpec: harmonisation initiative from European Railway Operators is 10 years old

On Wednesday March 10, 2021, EuroSpec celebrated its 10th anniversary by means of a virtual plenary session. The success of EuroSpec is on the one hand its efficient and accessible structure, but also the valuable knowledge sharing, the networking available, the learning and the pleasant way of working together between railway professionals.

The railway operators DB, NS, ÖBB,  SBB, SNCF and the Rail Delivery Group from the UK joined forces 10 years ago to create an initiative to harmonize the specifications for buying trains. Their objectives were that:

  • the rail product must be more attractive for a lower price.
  • the delivery times for new trains must be reduced.
  • the implementation of innovations must be faster and simpler
  • the rail product should become more attractive in line with the expectations from our customers.
  • there would be less variation in requirements and a more streamlined specification for train builders to follow.

This was achieved by removing redundant requirements and harmonising others, into documents called ‘EuroSpecs’.

This initiative has already delivered an amount of valuable specifications. As Dr. Kai Bruggemann​, CEO​ ÖBB Technical Services, stated in his speech during the plenary session: “EuroSpec has already triggered some innovations and technical disciplines, like toilets, or published standards for seats comfort that have never been produced before or have also written the first standardisation documents on moveable steps.”  21 technical topics have already been addressed by this initiative. By being open to discuss with rolling stock manufacturers and (sub)suppliers to clarify and improve the specifications, EuroSpec’s objectives can be achieved.

EuroSpec is increasingly focusing on future developments such as digitisation, automation and sustainability. For example, the working group Alternative Energy is working on specifications for battery and hydrogen fuel cell powered rail vehicles. The first EuroSpec on Traction battery technology is expected later this year.

With the closing words of Ralf Marxen (DB): “Only through good cooperation can we contribute to a future Railway System which will fulfil the objectives of society and customers in passenger and freight traffic.” EuroSpec is ready for a new decade of cooperation. More information can be found on