Safety and Interoperability Pillar of the Fourth Railway Package

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Dear European Parliament,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

Records of consultations with, and/or submissions from, stakeholders which may have informed the Safety and Interoperability Pillar of the Fourth Railway Package.

These communications may have passed between the European Railway Agency and the Stakeholders in question, but if any record or summary of these are in the possession of the Parliament I would appreciate if they could be passed to me.

I can narrow the scope of my request if required.

Yours faithfully,

Ronan Glynn

Registre, European Parliament


Dear Mr Glynn,

We acknowledge receipt of your request for documents. You will receive a reply within 15 working days.

Kind regards.


European Parliament
European Parliamentary Research Service
Directorate for the Library
Public Register webpage

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Registre, European Parliament

14 Attachments

OUR REF: A(2014)5994


Dear Mr Glynn,


Following your request concerning submissions from stakeholders in the
context of the Fourth Railway Package, we would like to inform you that
the European Parliament is not in possession of the communications between
the European Railway Agency and stakeholders.


We can provide you with the submissions to the Parliament in the context
of a hearing on the subject organized on 7 may 2013 with different

(scroll down to the event on 7 May 2013). Programme and submissions  in
attachment to this email.


For an overview of the different stages in the decision making, please
consult the  procedure file:



General information  on the 4th Railway Package: focus on Interoperability

On 30th January 2013 the European Commission adopted [3]the 4th railway
package, made up of six legislative proposals aiming at enhancing the
quality and efficiency of rail services and introducing more choice in
railway services in Europe. Among the proposed measures, the [4]Proposal
for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the
interoperability of the rail system within the European Union (COM
2013/015) introduces a number of changes to the current legislation in
order to achieve a real technical harmonisation  in the European railway
sector. At present, Member States still maintain different operational
rules and requirements which significantly add to the transport
infrastructure barriers and bottlenecks.

The current technical standards and approvals system for trains and
rolling stock, in fact, is fragmented between the [5]European Railway
Agency (ERA) and national authorities, thus creating excessive
administrative costs and market access barriers, especially for new
entrants and rail vehicle manufacturers. ERA estimates that there are
currently over 11000 such rules in the EU. Once fully implemented,
[6]interoperability will guarantee that built and certified trains and
rolling stock have the technical and requirements to run everywhere in
Europe, thus enabling the realisation of a single railway market.
Interoperability is realised through the production of [7]Technical
Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs), that is of specifications by
which each subsystem or part of subsystem is covered in order to meet the
essential requirements and to ensure the interoperability of the
trans-European high speed and conventional rail systems. The development
process for TSIs is currently managed by ERA in cooperation with the
railway representative organisations and national safety authorities, as
well as with the European standardisation bodies and notified bodies.

Dedicated pages European Commission :





- [10]Council reaches position on rail interoperability / Agence Europe,
11 June 2013

- [11]Progress with railway interoperability in the European Union /
European Railway Agency, 2011, 79 p. This report analyses the overall
progress with rail interoperability in the EU Member States and Norway
covering data for 2009, and, where information was available, for 2010 and
the beginning of 2011.

- Railway safety and interoperability, Library of the European Parliament,
2010, 6 p. (in attachement)
This briefing focuses on railway safety performance and its
interoperability. Existing rail safety rules and practices as well as the
quality of their implementation are examined.

- [12]Impact of Interoperability on the global railway network, UIC, 2008,
11 p.
This paperwork underlines the economic impact that railway
interoperability has on rail business both from passenger and freight
transport perspective.



- [13]Initial appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment
European Commission proposals for a Regulation on the EU Agency for
Railways, a Directive on the interoperability of the rail system, and a
Directive on railway safety / European Parliament Impact Assessment Unit,

- [14]Competition and the railroads: A European perspective / Knieps,G;
Institut für Verkehrswissenschaft und Regionalpolitik, 2012, 27 p.
This discussion paper focuses on the impact that interoperability
requirements might have on the implementation of the open market for rail

- [15]Interoperability of the train systems. Scandinavian-Adriatic
Corridor for Growth and Innovation / SCANDRIA, 2012, 114 p.
This study report focuses on the implementation of train systems
interoperability along the SCANDRIA corridor Berlin-Brandenburg to

- [16]Assessing the Variation in Rail Interoperability in 11 European
Countries, and Barriers to its Improvement / Walker, W.E; Baarse, G;
European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, 2009, issue 1,
pp. 4-30
This article summarises the research carried out within REORIENT, a Sixth
Framework project for the European Commission. The study reports a
considerable variation in interoperability status across the countries on
practically all of the requirements.

- [17]Rail Interoperability & Safety / KEMA; RTC, 2007, 182 p.
This report commissioned by the European Commission aims at analysing the
transposition of legislation and progress in the field of rail
interoperability and safety.   In their conclusions, the authors emphasise
the importance of the following points: need to strengthen the management
of train/track interfaces including operations; corridor implementation
strategy and financial instruments; future development of EU railway
legislation; culture and knowledge transfer.


Stakeholders views

European Commission
[18]Report on the progress made towards achieving interoperability of the
rail system (COM/2013/032)

European Economic and Social Committee
[19]Opinion on the Fourth railway package, July 2012

European Council
[20]The Council agreed on a general approach to a recast of the 2008
Directive on the interoperability of the EU rail system. While the
Commission proposed a centralised authorisation procedure, the general
approach agreed provides for a dual system of authorisations with a clear
separation of tasks and responsibilities between the ERA and national
safety authorities


Railway industry

Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE):

International Union of Wagon Keepers (UIP); European Rail Freight
Association (ERFA); International Union for Road-Rail combined transport
(UIRR); International Union of Railways (UIC)

With a [22]joint press release (December 2013), railway industry
organisations confirm their strong support for the Technical Pillar of the
Fourth Railway Package and stress the importance and urgency for reaching
a sound agreement at the European Parliament as soon as possible.
Furthermore, the railway sector calls upon the European institutions to
adopt the Technical Pillar of the Fourth Railway Package before the
European elections of May 2014.


Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER)

[23]The Fourth Railway Package’s Technical Pillar on the buckled track to
full interoperability in Europe (June 2013)



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