International Railway Red Book

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About International Railway Red Book

Railway transport is one of the main modes of transport. At the same time in some countries, such as USA and Russia, it is a key for national economies, in others it is a key mode of transport for efficient work of major industries, in other countries it's a key for the securing of the mobility of people. The pace of world's economy, progress in science and technology, varying requirements of customers send new challenges for railway transport. Railway transport as any sophisticated technical complex has many technical and technological problems. To meet the challenges efficiently it is necessary to concentrate resources and efforts of railway researchers on key problems that limit its development. It is possible to eliminate these key problems only through the creation of a hierarchy of interconnected problems, the solution of which is very important for major participants of transportation process. By analogy with other lists of key problems, we have called this hierarchy and list of key technical and technological problems, that limit the development of railway transport, Red Book of railway transport.

Aim of the web-site

Aim of this web-site is the provision of a comfortable tool for joint work of railway researchers of different scientific institutions and even countries. The web-site works on wiki-principle and has all major opportunities of mediawiki-markup. Access to upload and edit description of problems is provided to all railway researchers without exclusion. To do so, it is necessary to write to the administrator of the web-site. When describing a challenge researchers must adhere to a set of rules that structure the list of challenges and form a hierarchy out of them.

Structure of the Red Book

Hierarchy of engineering and technological challenges of railway transport is a weighted acyclic graph, challenges are the tops of the graph, links between the challenges are the ribs. Interests of transportation process stakeholders are the roots of the graph. These interests must be met by solving engineering and technological problems. Main stakeholder of transportation process:

  • state - state railway lines are situated
  • infrastructure owner - legal entity and individual entrepreneur who have infrastructure as a property or in any other way and who provide services of its usage on the basis of corresponding licenses and agreement;
  • carrier - legal entity or individual entrepreneur, who according to the agreement on transportation by common railway transport contracted to deliver a passenger, cargo, luggage or cargo-luggage from point of departure to the point of destination, and hand over cargo, luggage and cargo-luggage to a person who is authorized to take it (recipient);
  • operator of railway rolling stock - a legal entity or individual entrepreneur, which have cars, containers on the property right or other right, involved on the basis of the contract with the carrier in the implementation of the transportation process using these cars, containers. 
  • shipper - a legal entity or individual entrepreneur, ordered and paid for shipping, and also usually carrying out its loading on the rolling stock;
  • consignee - the legal entity or individual entrepreneur, accepting the goods, and also usually, carrying out its discharge from the rolling stock.

Obviously the problems in solving of which these stakeholders of transport process are interested in may be similar, but also because of a conflict of interest they may be different and even contradictory.