IEC/TC 9, Electrical equipment and systems for railways, is responsible for the international standardization of the electrical equipment and systems used in railways.

These include rolling stock, fixed installations, management systems for railway operation, and their interfaces and ecological environment. IEC/TC 9 standards not only cover railway networks but also metropolitan transport networks, including metros, tramways, trolley buses and fully automated transport systems as well as magnetic levitated transport systems. These standards relate to systems, components and software and they will deal with electrical, electronic and mechanical aspects, the latter being limited to items depending on electrical factors. These standards deal with electromechanical and electronic aspects of power components as well as with electronic hardware and software components. A major feature of the railway field is its specificity: even if some work items are similar to those covered in other industrial fields the relevant answers have to take into account the strain of coherence of the railway system as well as the interface specification need.

ISO/TC 269 also was recently created to develop standards for products and services specifically related to the rail industry, including construction, operation and maintenance of parts and equipment, methods and technology, interfaces between infrastructure and vehicles and rail specific environmental aspects. This excludes those electrotechnical and electronic products and services for railways which are within the scope of IEC/TC 9.

Who is involved?

With the safety of passengers and the environment being of paramount importance, stringent regulations are required worldwide. A close relationship is maintained with the International Union of Railways (UIC) and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP). Through this cooperation, various worldwide solutions have been prepared to satisfy design needs and regulatory requirements. Examples include the safety of signalling or control-command systems, EMC, protective provisions for traction circuits, RAMS principles and methods, the design of automatic guided transportation systems and, more generally, generic concepts ensuring safety for every urban system.

How is regulatory cooperation in this field achieved?

These developments are closely and actively followed by the industry and its designers in the main regions involved in the development of railways, i.e. Europe, North America and the Far East.  Specifications and standards needs identified worldwide allow for technical cooperation, railway system coherence and interoperability. The future priorities of IEC/TC 9 in particular emphasize the growing importance of urban transport and identify a need for standardization in order to avoid reinventing a costly new solution for each new metro system around the world.

Examples by sector Overview
Energy management
To continually improve energy performance and sustain it over time.
Environmental management
To address problems related to climate change, for example.
Food products
To ensure that food is safe for consumption.
Laboratory medicine
To offer an important alternative to prescriptive regulations.
Medical devices
Standards play an important role in allowing the rapid introduction of new medical device technology.
Radio services
IEC/CISPR is responsible for the protection of radio services.
IEC/TC 9 is responsible for the electrical equipment and systems used in railways.
Road vehicles
Work to harmonize worldwide regulations for road vehicles.
Ships and marine technology
Defining standards and requirements that affect safety, security and the environment.
Transport of dangerous goods
How regulatory needs can lead to revisions and improvements in ISO standards.