Railway UIC codes recognition

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Introduction of railway codes recognition

Coach numbers (wagon numbers) are key data for railway operations. This number enables a railway wagon to be positively identified and forms a common language between railway operators, infrastructure companies and the responsible state authorities.

The UIC codes

The International Union of Railways has agreed the following numbering systems, details of which are given in their leaflets: Leaflet 419-2, 428-1, 438-2, 920-1, 920-2, 920-10 and 920-14. These agreements have not yet achieved the status of a standard or norm.

The system of wagon numbering described below has been laid down by the International Union of Railways and is used in a similar way to that used for the locomotives and multiple units.

UIC coding of wagon numbers

The complete wagon number comprises 12 digits. The individual digits within the number have the following meaning:

  • First and second position: Interoperability code (on multiple units Type code)
  • Third and fourth position: Owner's code (since 2006: UIC country code)
  • Fifth to eight position: Type number
  • Ninth to eleventh position: Serial number
  • Twelfth position: Self-check digit

UIC Country codes

The coding of wagon numbers was changed in 2006. Previously these indicated the owner (almost exclusively these were state railways), from then on the number became a country code. The owner is indicated by a subsequent letter code.

For a vehicle registered in Germany by the AAE, which previously had its own code as one of the few private railways, the code became, for example, "68 AAE" "80 D-AAE"

Recognition of UIC codes

UIC code recognition is a technology which is able to recognize UIC codes from an image or video signal, and give it back in a computer editable format for further processing.

The CARMEN UIC code recognition software is an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) based technology, which means intelligent image processing. It has two essential technological issues:
- the quality of the recognition software with it's applied recognition algorithm
- the quality of the image acquisition technology (the camera and the illumination)

The key factor is the quality of the recognition software. The sophistication of the recognition software, the intelligence and quality of the applied recognition algorithms, the mathematical knowledge and the years of experience behind determines the capabilities of the recognition software.

The better the algorithms are, the highest the quality of the recognition software is:
- the highest recognition accuracy it has,
- the fastest processing speed it has,
- the widest range of picture quality it can handle,
- the most tolerant against distortions of input data it is.

CARMEN UIC code recognition software and hardware

ARH Inc. developed a special recognition software which is capable of recognizing UIC codes of transport units. The CARMEN UIC code recognition software offers great flexibility for manufacturers and integrators of various recognition systems.

OCR reading of UIC wagon numbers

It provides the highest technological performance amongst today's plate readers. It can be integrated into practically any vehicle identification system which needs automatic transport unit recognition.

The CARMEN UIC code recognition Software Development Kit (SDK) makes integration of optical plate recognition easy, fast and cost effective. And the resulted image processing system will have the highest performance.