The Organization for Cooperation between Railways (OSJD) was founded on June 28, 1956 and is headquartered in Warsaw, Poland.
Participation in the work of OSJD is of fundamental importance to Russian Railways. The system of agreements and contracts that have been developed and operate within the OSJD constitutes the basis for the comprehensive development of rail communications across Eurasia and the cooperation of railway companies in the OSJD member countries in almost all its aspects: freight and passenger communications, the rules for the use of wagons and carriages, questions relating to finances and settlements, tariffs, coding and informatics international transport corridors etc.
The OSJD currently consists of 28 member countries in Europe and Asia.
OSJD acts as the leading railway organization in Europe and Asia with regard to the creation of a unified legal framework.
Basic documents regulating the relationship between Russian Railways and railway companies that use the 1520 mm gauge standard (including companies in China, Iran, Mongolia, etc.) in terms of the international rail transport of passengers and freight have been developed and are constantly updated exclusively within the framework of OSJD:
- A harmonized legal base consisting of the Agreement on International Passenger Traffic (AIPT) and the Agreement on International Goods Transport by Rail (SMGS).
These include the Agreement on the Use of Freight Wagons in International Traffic and the Agreement on the Use of Passenger Carriages in International Traffic, as well as other agreements developed under the auspices of the OSJD;
- multilateral rules on settlements (Agreement and Rules For Settlements in International Passenger and Freight Railway Communications as adopted within the framework of OSJD);
- multilateral tariff regulations (MTT, ETT, MPT railway tariffs, which have been established on the basis of OSJD agreements);
- a single information space created and constantly developed within the OSJD (model agreements on electronic data interchange for international freight transportation and standard technologies for the information support regarding freight shipments using the SMGS when exchanging electronic data);
- uniform requirements for infrastructure and rolling stock carried out by OSJD member states (rolling stock dimensions, track and artificial structures, signalling, centralization and blocking, communications, power supply and electric traction, rolling stock and its elements etc.);
- a multilateral format for coordinating the volume of international freight shipments, measures for their implementation and the harmonization of timetables in international passenger traffic (which can be used to plan revenues based on the implementation by Russian Railways of international passenger and freight traffic).
OSJD members are federal executive authorities which are responsible for railway transport in their own countries or on railways authorized by them.
The OSJD's highest governing body is the Session of the OSJD Ministerial Council. An additional governing body exists at the railway level (the railway companies), namely the Conference of Managing Directors (CMD) of the OSJD Railways.
In accordance with Directive No. 13 of the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation dated March 1, 2005, Russian Railways is entrusted with the authority of a member of the Conference of Managing Directors, which allows it to play an active role in the creation of a new regulatory framework. The CMD member from Russia is the President of Russian Railways.
The OSJD's executive body is the Committee, which fulfils the functions of a depository for agreements and contracts concluded within the OSJD. The Committee is headed by the Chairman of the Committee, who is currently Mr. Tadeusz Szozda, the Polish representative.
OSJD activities are carried out within the framework of five commissions which are responsible for:
- transport policy and development strategy;
- transport law;
- freight transportation;
- passenger transportation;
- infrastructure and rolling stock.
There OSJD also has permanent working groups on:
- coding and informatics;
- financial and settlement issues.
At present, Russian Railways’ experts play an active role in the activities of all the OSJD’s working and governing bodies. Russian Railways is the leading railway company for most projects developed by the OSJD’s working and governing bodies.
For more information on the OSJD, see https://osjd.org