The Railway Institute has continuously operated in favour of railway transport research sector in Poland for 62 years (until 2009 as Railway Scientific and Technical Centre). As EC Notified Body No. 1467 it is authorised to evaluate compliance with essential interoperability requirements according to the Directive 2008/57/EC in the areas of: infrastructure, energy, control, rolling stock, maintenance and railway traffic. It cooperates with many international organisations as well as with domestic and foreign research institutions.
The Railway Institute is a research and development unit conducting scientific research, development works and evaluating compliance and granting certificates with regard to transport and public security. It also deals with fire safety in transport as well as with standards for products, processes and services.
The basis of the Institute's activity is initiating and conducting scientific research and R&D works oriented at developing and operating safe and sustainable rail transport. In addition it puts into the practice the results of the works. The activity of the Institute was recognised and highly evaluated by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. In the recent ranking of scientific institutions it was granted a high category “A”.
The Institute is composed of 4 research divisions, 4 laboratories, and a unique test track centre in Żmigród (one of eight such centres in the world) where, among others, crash tests are performed. Other units include Quality and Certification Centre and a Scientific, Technical and Standardisation Information Centre. All laboratories are accredited by the Polish Accreditation Centre. The R&D staff and laboratory equipment are enable to undertaking tasks in all the areas of railway, tramway and metro transport.
The unit also provides education and training. Since 1956 the Institute has issued the “Railway Issues” magazine under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. A publication in this magazine counts as academic record.