Skip to main content

New rules to facilitate financing and acquisition of railway rolling stock

New rules to facilitate financing and acquisition of railway rolling stock

Modern trains

UNECE’s Inland Transport Committee (ITC) today adopted the Model Rules on the Permanent Identification of Railway Rolling Stock, which will facilitate the financing and acquisition of railway rolling stock leading to a reduced cost for those wishing to invest in the railways.  

As the 60th legal instrument under ITC’s purview, the Model Rules will provide certainty to financial institutions that assets that they have invested in are registered correctly and identifiable through specific markings.  

Issued under the auspices of the Working Party on Rail Transport, the Model Rules implement a key requirement of the Luxembourg Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment by setting the framework in which rolling stock can be permanently marked for financing purposes. 

The rules lay down the methods and responsibilities for affixing the Unique Rail Vehicle Identification System (URVIS) identifier to an item of railway rolling stock as envisaged by the Luxembourg Protocol.  

The URVIS identifier and its marking on railway rolling stock are additional to, and do not affect, the existing numbering systems applied in accordance with applicable legislation on admission or operation of railway rolling stock and do not replace the existing registry or information systems used in States or groups of States for the operation of railway rolling stock.  

The new Model Rules will encourage more investment in trains and thus a further shift towards the transport of goods and passengers by railway, as opposed to the more polluting modes of transport. This will in turn provide more impetus to efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the transport sector and help to work towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

All United Nations member States can apply the Model Rules upon the entry into force of the Luxembourg Protocol. 

Note to editors 

UNECE’s Working Party on Rail Transport is an intergovernmental body which provides a pan-European forum for exchange of technical, legal and policy information and best practices in international rail transport. It aims is to promote rail transport in UNECE member countries and to ensure its economic efficiency and environmental sustainability.  

The Working Party brings together rail transport experts from UNECE governments, the European Commission, intergovernmental organizations (OSJD, OTIF) and projects (e.g. TER), non-governmental organizations (CIT, CER, UIC, etc.), the rail industry, as well as invited researchers. Learn more 

The Group of Experts on Permanent Identification of Railway Rolling Stock was created as a team of specialists tasked to develop a system to fix a unique identifier on railway rolling stock, including conventional rail equipment, as well as light rail, trams, cable cars and people movers at airports. 

The Group responded to the need arising from the Luxembourg Rail Protocol, which provides a global system to uniquely identify railway rolling stock with identification numbers issued by an international registry. This system is known as the Unique Rail Vehicle Identification System (URVIS).  

With the adoption of the Model Rules, this group will be replaced by a Revisions Committee, under the auspices of UNECE, tasked with the regular updating of the Model Rules to account for the latest industry developments. Learn more


United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 12 34

Email: [email protected]

Reproduction is permitted provided that the source is acknowledged.