Railway Organizations

Many international and regional organizations contribute to the global development of railway law and regulations. Some of them are listed below:


International Union of Railways (UIC) – UIC is an organization of railways (and related/associated businesses or services) with members from all continents. It aims to promote rail transport at the global level and to meet the challenges of mobility and sustainable development. For its work on the regional level UIC is divided into six regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Latin America and North America).


Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa

  • Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) – CER represents railway undertakings, infrastructure companies and vehicle leasing companies from the European Union (EU), the Western Balkan countries, Turkey, Norway and Switzerland. CER represents the interest of its members to policy-makers and transport stakeholders. It aims to contribute to a regulatory environment that enhances business opportunities for the European railways.
  • Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) – OTIF is an intergovernmental organization with member states from Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. It aims to promote, improve and facilitate international traffic by rail. One main objective is to contribute to the removal of legal and technical obstacles for cross-border traffic in the railway sector.
  • Organization for Co-Operation between Railways (OSJD) – OSJD is an intergovernmental organization with members mainly from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Main objectives are to promote international freight and passenger traffic in the Eurasian region and improve transcontinental railway routes.
  • RailNetEurope (RNE) - RNE is an association of infrastructure managers across the EU. It aims to promote and facilitate international passenger and freight rail transport on the European rail infrastructure. It provides various tools to simplify, harmonize and optimize international rail transport. The members of RNE have set up a network of “One-Stop Shops” in each country that provide advice on international passenger and freight rail services and accept cross-border train-path applications.
  • South-East Europe Transport Observatory (SEETO) - SEETO is a regional transport organization that was established in 2004 by a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of the Core Regional Transport Network by the Governments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and the European Commission. One important aim with regard to railways is the cooperation on the development of a railway network in the region.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Asociación Latino Americana de Ferrocarriles (ALAF) – Alaf is a regional association of railways in Latin America and the Caribbean. It aims to promote safe, efficient and economical rail transport in the region. Main tasks are the development of technical cooperation among the countries in the region including the harmonization of technical standards, the development of public transport and the facilitation of rail infrastructure projects.

North America

  • Association of American Railroads (AAR) - AAR is a regional railway organization representing the major freight railways in North America (Canada, Mexico and the United States) as well as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). It aims to promote a safe, efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable freight transportation system.

South Asia and Pacific

  • Australasian Railway Association (ARA) – ARA represents all infrastructure managers and railway operators and the wider rail supply industry in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. ARA’s objective is to create a beneficial regulatory environment for the Australasian rail industry. Key tasks include the development of rail policy and programs regarding passenger and freight transport, environmental and technological standards and programs aimed at improving the productivity, capacity and overall safety of the rail industry in Australasia.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Southern African Railways Organization (SARA) – SARA is a regional association of railways and some of their associates (such as customers, suppliers and other interest organizations) in Southern Africa. One of the main purposes of the organization is to promote common business interests of railways in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) by establishing an efficient, safe, regionally integrated, seamless and predictable railway transport system in the region.

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Updated: October 10, 2021