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Date: Tuesday 10 September 2019, -, Location : Lille (FR), Contact : UIP Staff
TASK FORCE ON BRAKE BLOCKS IN WINTER CONDITIONS


Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/774 amending the NOI TSI with the aim of making it mandatory to existing freight wagons enters into force on 16th June 2019. Although the amended NOI TSI does not mandate explicitly the retrofitting of wagons with composite brake blocks, the replacement of cast-iron brake blocks with composite brake blocks is the most efficient way of retrofitting existing wagons in order to make them NOI TSI compliant.

Therefore, the amendment of the NOI TSI pays special attention to the safe performance of wagons equipped with composite brake blocks, particularly and specifically under Nordic winter conditions as set out in whereas (10): 'Given the concerns raised by some stakeholders related to the operations of wagons equipped with composite brake blocks in Nordic winter conditions, the Commission, assisted by the European Union Agency for Railways, should continue to analyse the issues and possible solutions. It should assess by June 2020 whether an amendment to this TSI is necessary, possibly in form of an exemption allowing the continued operation of limited numbers of wagons with cast iron brake blocks on quieter routes, to preserve cross border rail freight traffic to and from affected Nordic regions. According to the estimates of the Swedish authorities the number of wagons used in such a traffic does in total not exceed 17 500.'

The European Commission has tasked the Agency to assist the European Commission in the preparation of the report. This should be done by means of a task force chaired by the Agency with the relevant stakeholders. This task force should submit a report to the European Commission analysing the possible solutions as requested above.