In order to adequately find one of the main pillars for traffic safety, such as the braking system, Italcertifer Laboratories are equipped with a team of technicians and engineers adequately trained and matured through the experience acquired in the field, as well as the participation as experts in international working groups capable of carrying out in-line performance tests of complete vehicles (EMU/DMU) or single vehicles (wagons, bogies and work vehicles) in compliance with current regulations, in addition to bench tests on components. This is also possible thanks to the equipment and benches of excellence for the execution of the tests. The skills are recognized by the EN17025 Accredia and UIC accreditations.


Italcertifer Laboratories have the EN17025 accreditation for carrying out the braking performance verification tests according to the EU Commission Regulations and international reference standards such as TSI LOC & PAS, TSI Wagon, UIC 540, UIC 541-05, UIC 544, UNI EN 16834, and UNI EN 15595.

The tests are carried out on all types of railway vehicles:

  • Wagons;
  • Locomotives;
  • Towed coaches;
  • Convoys consisting of locomotives and towed coaches;
  • EMU/DMU;
  • Tools.
  • The tests are carried out both in static and in dynamic mode, with the aim of defining braking times, stopping distances, decelerations and percentage of braked mass. Braking performance is characterized by multiple factors, including vehicle load conditions, braking modes and wheel-rail adhesion conditions that the laboratory is able to create and monitor.
  • In order to determine the braking performance of the material under test, the quantities that are measured and acquired consist of speed, acceleration, air pressure in the various functional points of the brake system, braking force, instant of brake activation, temperature of the braking devices (whether they are discs or wheels).
  • The tests that are carried out are:

Static tests for the definition of braking times, braking efforts, correct functionality of the braking devices in the different braking modes and regimes and of the vehicle load conditions;

Dynamic tests for the determination of the stopping distances and percentage of the vehicle's braked mass;

Dynamic tests in conditions of degraded adhesion in accordance with the UIC 541-05 standard;

Launch tests to determine the braking performance of single elements that are towed, ie wagons and coaches.

Italcertifer Laboratories have an anti-wheel-slide bench for testing WSP (Wheel Slide Protection) systems located in Florence, at the Test Center. The purpose of the WSP systems is to modulate the braking force in conditions of low grip between the wheel and the rail to avoid the locking of the wheels. In fact, this would lead not only to an increase in the stopping distance of the railway vehicle, but also to the damage to the wheels (the so-called "flattening").

Italcertifer has one of only two test benches in the world accredited according to UIC 541-05 for testing WSP systems with the following characteristics:

  •  vmax / maximum speed = 500 [km/h] / 310.7 [mph];
  • up to 8 independent axles;
  • up to 8 brake cylinders.

The WSP bench belongs to Class 1, and this allows you to test the widest range of components for WSP systems:

  • WSP control unit;
  • Algorithm;
  • Air consumption;
  • Speed sensors;
  • Acquisition of the axis speed;
  • Solenoid valves;
  • The whole system in its entirety.

Italcertifer SpA has a UIC approved dynamometer for braking tests in Florence.

The bench allows checking the braking performance, according to what is indicated by the regulations in force, directly on the main braking components of railway vehicles: discs-pads, wheels-shoes; in terms of coefficient of friction, mechanical stability, etc.

The main parameters that can be measured in real time during the test are:

  • Speed;
  • Stopping space;
  • Mass/Inertia;
  • Forces involved: normal and tangential;
  • Temperatures.

By measuring the aforementioned parameters, the value of the friction coefficient that characterizes the disc / pad or shoe / wheel assembly is obtained.

The test bench is approved according to the UIC 548 standard and is the only one in Italy authorized to qualify the aforementioned products.

On the bench it is possible to perform certification tests in accordance with the following standards:

  • UIC541-3;
  • UIC541-4;
  • EN14535

with a maximum rotation speed of 1500 [rpm].

Thermographic and acoustic measurements are also possible with state-of-the-art instrumentation.