VUZ Slovakia will be able to certify rolling stock maintenance systems as an ECM body, surpassing its parent company.
The Railway Research Institute (VUZ), best known as the Cerhenice test track operator, is continuing its efforts to become fully operational abroad. The Slovak subsidiary VUZ Slovakia, established last year, has been accredited, allowing it to expand its services to include designated body, or DeBo activities. It will now issue certificates of conformity for products intended exclusively for use in Slovakia according to a national standard.
VUZ Slovakia will also be able to certify rolling stock maintenance systems as an ECM (Entity in Charge of Maintenance) body. The compulsory maintenance systems certification, which until now only applied to freight cars, has been extended by the fourth railway package to all railway vehicles including locomotives, complete units, passenger cars, and special vehicles. The ECM certificate obligation now applies to virtually all passenger carriers as they generally also operate as ECMs.
With this competence, VUZ Slovakia surpasses the parent Railway Research Institute In the Czech Republic only the Rail Authority may issue ECM certificates. However, VUZ Slovakia can offer the certification service to Czech customers.
VUZ is a notified body (NoBo) for all railway subsystems for the European Union. It can thus issue a certificate of conformity after examining whether railway products comply with the European TSI interoperability standards. VUZ Slovakia primarily provides NoBo services to Slovak clients, but can now expand its business to include DeBo (i.e. national level conformity assessment).
VUZ customers are manufacturers of rolling stock and components for railway systems and rail transport, railway infrastructure owners, railway and rail transport operators and state institutions. The company presents itself as a European leader in railway testing and certification in rail transport. The expansion to Slovakia is said to be only the first step in taking the business abroad but no plans have been revealed yet.
VUZ is clearly the most successful company in the Czech Railways group. The company’s revenue rose by 23% year-on-year to CZK 692.3 million last year, while pre-tax profit rose from CZK 259 million to CZK 346 million. It was the highest profit in the company’s 50-year history.
Edited and translated by Lucie Trávníčková.