The EU/OTIF Railway Vehicle Classification System

Formerly, referred to as the UIC/ERA's European Vehicle Number (EVN) and Vehicle Keeper Marking (VKM) classification system, to provide a unique international railway vehicle identifier. The EU/OTIF organisation serves to provide a unified railway law and standards to connect Europe, Asia, and Africa international rail transport.

an amended version of the Wikipedia page UIC EVN classification image

The above classification system structure comprises a numeric EVN , e.g. "91 81 1044 246-7" and an alpha VKM (e.g. "A-OBB").

How Railway Modellers can use this Motive Power identifier tool

This Web interface can generate a VKM identifier for motive power only (e.g. diesel, electric, steam locos, DMUs and EMUs). To start, let's create a VKM for an Austrian OBB electric loco numbered 1044 246, as show above. Ignore the '-7' after the 246 for now; it is a check-digit and this tool will show how the check digit is calculated.

1. First, use list boxes a to c, to select the vehicle Interoperability (Tractive) Mode (a), Country (b), and Keeper (Operator) (c). You will see them populated in the corresponding VKM List box Input fields, a, b, f & g.

2. Next, select the Country's Power Type from (d), e.g. for an Austrian electric, select 'Austrian: Electric Loco = 1' from the 'Power Type' list box.

NB: This VKM Motive Power Identifier tool covers the principle railway countries only. If the list boxes do not show the relevant data item, you should refer to the EU/OTIF Vehicle Keeper Marking register (VKM) Web site, to obtain the required data - for your manual input.

3. Now, enter the locomotive class (1044) and the serial no. (246) in the Input fields (d) & (e). NB: for any 4-digit class (e.g. 1044), put the 1st digit in field (c). The vehicle serial no. (e) field should be 3 digits. If you have a loco with less than 3, e.g. 74, add a leading zero (074).

4. Finally, click the 'Generate VKM ID' button; it will create the full VKM alpa/numeric identifier (including check-digit).  The last (white) panel simply displays the VKM check-digit algorithm.

EU/OTIF VKM Data Identifiers

 VKM List box Input Fields






31 March 2023: Process description updated.

Note: The programmer "cannot accept liability" for incorrectly formed numbers.


VKM Check-digit Algorithm Process