Rail Skills Centre (SNCF – CER)

Tests and expert analyses of rails and infrastructure equipment. SAINT-OUEN


The Rail Skills Centre (CER) located in the inner suburbs of Paris at Saint-Ouen specialises in tests and expert analyses of rails and infrastructure equipment. The laboratory, which reports to the Engineering & Projects Division of SNCF Réseau, can boast major experience and unparalleled skills and has built up a tradition of conducting expert analyses in the rail sector since 1938, the date when the original “Rail Laboratory” was founded.


The Rail Skills Centre operates in three main fields: product qualification, expert appraisals and R&D.

Product qualification tests:

  • Type approval of fixed or mobile flash butt welding machines according to EN 14587-1, EN 14587-2;
  • Type approval of fixed welding machines for crossings according to EN 14587-3;
  • Type approval of aluminothermic welding procedures according to EN 14730-1;
  • Type approval of arc welding consumables according to EN 15594.
  • Type approval of track components (fishplates, cutting discs, etc.) in accordance with the reference documents in force.

Expert appraisals:

  • Rail, crossing and weld failure analyses.
  • Track component failure analyses: joints, fishplates, switch components, bolts, etc.
  • Expert appraisals on site and on the track.


  • Prototype development monitoring.
  • Assistance in developing NDT inspection methods.


  • Specialisation in rails
  • Ability to conduct in-situ analyses
  • Ultra-responsiveness


The laboratory is compliant with the requirements of the ISO 17025 standard.

Consult our catalogue
Railway Expertise and Testing