All aboard!! A new ISO standard will help keep trains on time

Whether it is due to the wrong type of leaf on the tracks, staff on strike or signal problems, train delays are, for many of us, a part of life (except if you live in Switzerland!). However, guidelines just published hope to change all that, by bringing a quality management approach to the rail sector.

ISO/TS 22163, Railway applications – Quality management system – Business management system requirements for rail organizations: ISO 9001:2015 and particular requirements for application in the rail sector, aims to help system integrators and equipment manufacturers in the rail industry make quality improvements through common best practices.

This technical specification is a sector-specific application of ISO 9001:2015, Quality management systems – Requirements, the world’s most widely used International Standard and the global benchmark for improving quality. It was developed in collaboration with the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE), building on their own industry standard that is used by a large number of companies worldwide.

ISO/TS 22163 defines quality management systems requirements for the rail sector that can be applied throughout the whole supply chain – including design and development, manufacturing and maintenance activities – emphasizing continual improvement and safety aspects.


Yuji Nishie, Chair of ISO/TC 269, the technical committee that developed ISO/TS 22163, said that widespread use of the technical specification will result in better rail services and a stronger industry.

“Organizations focused on quality inevitably deliver more effective and reliable products and services, through instilling a culture that aims to meet the expectations of its customers,” he said. “For the rail sector, the knock-on effect is enormous, with the potential to improve not only the reliability and safety of rail services, but driving a platform for greater innovation as well.”

ISO/TS 22163 was developed by technical committee ISO/TC 269, Railway applications, whose secretariat is held by DIN, ISO’s member for Germany.


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