Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 63 (p51-p53)

Special Feature
Hosting ISO/TC 269 Second Plenary Meeting in Japan

Hiroshi Tanaka


Established in 2012, the International Organization for Standardization/Technical Committee (ISO/TC) 269 handles standardization of products and services related to railways. Japan is the current chair and Germany is the secretariat. The First Plenary Meeting was held in Berlin in 2012, adopting resolutions on the committee name, scope of work, and three ad hoc groups for preparing new work item proposals. The date for the Second Plenary Meeting in Tokyo was set as November 2013 and this article reports the results of that meeting.

ISO/TC 269 Outline and Role of Railway International Standards Center

Previously, railways ISO standards have been developed individually under the guidance of TC 17 (steel) for rails, wheels and other such hardware, and TC 43 (acoustics) for noise-related issues. Consequently, ISO/TC 269 was established to focus development on railway-related standards in one committee. As a fledgling group, this TC is still considering its strategic plan, organization configuration, and ideas on administration. However, it has already started developing generic and individual standards, such as a standard for on-board heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
The Railway International Standards Center (RISC), which is part of the Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI), works to unify deliberations on standards for railways in Japan. RISC was assigned this task by the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee (JISC), and is the domestic body of ISO/TC 269, ISO/TC 17/SC 15 which handles rails, fasteners, wheels and wheelsets, and International Electrotechnical Commission/Technical Committee (IEC/TC) 9 which handles electrical equipment and systems for railways. Japan is a P-member of ISO/TC 269 and IEC/TC 9, participating actively in discussion on all standards, while also contributing to efforts on international standardization in railways by holding the current chair. Consequently, Japan hosted the IEC/TC 9 Plenary Meeting in Fukuoka in November 2011 to meet the needs for an international conference.

Photo: Plenary Meeting participants
Photo: Opening Greeting by RTRI Director Norimichi Kumagai
Table 1: Plenary Meeting and Technical Visit Schedule
Summary of ISO/TC 269 Second Plenary Meeting

The ISO/TC 269 Second Plenary Meeting was held from 20 to 22 November at the Nomura Conference Plaza in Shinjuku, Tokyo. There were 36 participants, comprising the chair, secretary, representatives from eight countries, and three related bodies. The schedule is shown in Table 1.
Norimichi Kumagai, the Director of RTRI.Japan’s TC 269 discussion body.gave the opening greeting and this was followed by short speeches from the chair and secretariat, self-introductions by participants, confirmation of proceedings, and then the start of discussions.
The main discussions are summarized below.
. Each representative’s comments on the draft strategic business plan were discussed and a final draft approved.
. Methods for proceeding with efficient development of generic standards were discussed; a resolution for development of two Technical Reports for ‘guidelines for stakeholders and their needs and interests related to rail projects’ and ‘basic conditions and their classifications’ was adopted as a first step.
. The composition of parts and methods for proceeding with the standard on-rail on-board heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems was discussed, with a resolution for production of a New Work Item Proposal (NWIP) for each part (‘terms and definitions’ to be undertaken first as Part 1) and clarification of distinction in requirements for comfort and safety were adopted.
. A method for proceeding with a calculation standard for brake performance was discussed with adoption of a resolution for revisions to NWIP (to be implemented when the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) provides the relevant European standard).
. Japan made a presentation on why development of standards for the Operation and Services (O&S) field is necessary. France also made presentations on why it would be appropriate to establish three subcommittees (SCs) in the fields of infrastructure, rolling stock and O&S. After various discussions, there was a general consensus that at least three SCs should be established within future activities. It was agreed to establish a new ad hoc group to consider organizational structure.
. IEC/TC 9 and CEN/TC 256 reported on activities. ISO/TC 268/SC 1 explained its casework: ‘Sustainable development in communities.Smart community infrastructures’, and it was agreed to establish a liaison with this SC.
Last, the records of resolutions were approved and the chair closed the meeting.

Photo: Technical visit to Tokyo General Rolling Stock Center
First Level Heading Visit
Holding this international meeting in Tokyo provided an ideal opportunity to introduce Japanese railways to railway representatives from other countries. Consequently, JR East assisted with a technical visit to the Technical Training Center for Signal and Communication Technology and Track Maintenance at the Omiya Branch Office.
The ISO/TC 269 Second Plenary Meeting hosted by Japan came to a successful conclusion with various results, such as specifying standardization work and establishing new ad hoc groups and agreeing that France will host the third meeting in December 2014. With this in mind, Japan pledges to do its best to promote development of international standards for railways. I would like to express my deep gratitude to everyone who kindly cooperated in staging the meeting.

Hiroshi Tanaka
Mr Tanaka is a Director of the International Standards Center at the Railway Technical Research Institute. He has held several prominent positions such as Senior Technical Adviser at the International Railway Union (Paris) prior to assuming his current position in 2010.