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Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

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Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

This directive aims at accelerating the integration of the European Union (EU) rail network through increased technical harmonisation, guaranteeing a high level of safety.

ACT

Directive 2008/57/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community (Text with EEA relevance).

SUMMARY

This directive establishes the conditions to be fulfilled to achieve interoperability within the EU rail system at the design, construction, placing into service, upgrading, renewal, operation and maintenance stages. Its provisions comply with Directive 2004/45/EC on railway safety and the health and safety of workers.

The gradual implementation of interoperability of the rail system is pursued through the harmonisation of technical standards. Thus this directive covers:

  • essential requirements with regard to safety, reliability, human health, environmental protection, technical compatibility and operation of the system (Annex III);
  • the technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs) adopted for each subsystem or part of subsystem pursuant to this directive;
  • the corresponding European specifications.

The railway network is broken down into subsystems of a structural nature (energy, control-command and signalling, rolling stock) or functional (operation and traffic management, maintenance and telematics applications). European Union (EU) countries may request that the Commission grant derogations and the Commission may decide to exclude certain measures from the scope of the directive for specific cases and for a set period .

TSI projects shall be prepared by the European railway agency which will examine the subsystems in consultation with associations and the social partners. Next, the projects shall be submitted to the European Commission which will modify and adopt them, having regard to the right of scrutiny of the Parliament.

Interoperability constituents shall be subject to European specifications (such as European standards). They shall be subject to the procedure for EC declaration of conformity or suitability for use.

Authorisations for placing in service of vehicles shall be granted by the national safety authorities responsible for each network.

Context

This Directive is a recast of Directive 2001/16/EC applicable to the conventional rail system and Directive 96/48/EC on the trans-European high-speed rail system.

The pursuit of technical harmonisation aims at developing transport services in the EU and with third countries. It facilitates the integration of the market in equipment and services for the construction, renewal and operation of the rail system.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2008/57/EC

19.7.2008

19.7.2010

OJ L 191 of 18.7.2008

Subsequent amendments and corrections to Directive 2008/57/EC have been incorporated into the basic text.This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EU) No 321/2013 of 13 March 2013 concerning the technical specification for interoperability relating to the subsystem rolling stock - freight wagons of the rail system in the European Union and repealing Decision 2006/861/EC. [Official Journal L 104 of 12.4.2013].

Commission Regulation (EU) No 201/2011 of 1 March 2011 on the model of declaration of conformity to an authorised type of railway vehicle [Official Journal L 57 of 2.3.2011].

Commission Decision 2009/107/EC of 23 January 2009 amending Decisions 2006/861/EC and 2006/920/EC concerning technical specifications of interoperability relating to subsystems of the trans-European conventional rail system [notified under number C(2009) 38] (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal L 45 of 14.2.2009].

Last updated: 16.01.2014

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