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Interoperability of the conventional rail system

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Integration and harmonisation of the technical standards applying to conventional rail systems enables people and goods to move around more easily, thus promoting the railways as a mode of transport in Europe.

ACT

Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2001 on the interoperability of the conventional rail system [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

This Directive concerns railway systems and deals with the following areas:

  • the essential requirements to be met by the system;
  • the technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs), which have to be adopted in accordance with the procedures laid down by the Directive;
  • all the other European specifications, including European standards from the European standards bodies: CEN, Cenelec and ETSI.

The full extent and complexity of the trans-European conventional rail network is taken into account. In terms of interoperability, the infrastructure, fixed equipment, logistics systems and rolling stock and the components thereof all play a critical role.

For operating purposes, the overall system is divided into subsystems:

  • infrastructure;
  • energy;
  • maintenance;
  • control and command and signalling;
  • rolling stock;
  • traffic operation and management;
  • telematic applications for passenger and freight services.

Since it was established in 2004, the European Railway Agency européenne has been responsible for drawing up and revising TSIs. The social partners and representatives of users are consulted.

The Directive stipulates that work on common standards should focus first on control and command and signalling, telematic applications for freight services, traffic operation and management (including staff qualifications), freight wagons and noise problems.

After it was revised in 2004, the scope of the Directive was extended to include the entire European conventional railway network in order to supplement the Directive on the high-speed network. It also establishes the conditions that must be met to achieve the interoperability of the trans-European railway network within the Community.

These conditions concern the design, construction, placing in service, upgrading, renewal, operation and maintenance of the parts of this system placed in service after the entry into force of the Directive, as well as the qualifications and health and safety conditions of the staff who contribute to its operation.

Background

This Directive was designed on the basis of the structure and content of the High-Speed Directive. It was amended and supplemented in 2004 in accordance with the Directive on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system. This new impetus is part of a strategy to revitalise rail transport in Europe and help combat the harmful effects caused by excessive use of road transport.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 2001/16/EC [adoption: codecision COD/1999/0252]20.4.200120.4.2003OJ L 110 of 20.4.2001

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 2004/50/EC30.4.200430.4.2006OJ L 164 of 30.4.2004
Directive 2007/32/EC2.6.20072.12.2007OJ L 141 of 2.6.2007

The successive amendments and corrigenda to Directive 2001/16/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version (pdf ) is for reference purposes only.

RELATED ACTS

Technical specifications for interoperability

Commission Decision 2006/920/EC of 11 August 2006 concerning the technical specification of interoperability relating to the subsystem Traffic Operation and Management of the trans-European conventional rail system (notified under document number C(2006) 3593) (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal L 359 of 18.12.2006].

Commission Decision 2006/861/EC of 28 July 2006 concerning the technical specification of interoperability relating to the subsystem rolling stock – freight wagons of the trans-European conventional rail system (notified under document number C(2006) 3345) Text with EEA relevance [Official Journal L 344 of 8.12.2006].

Commission Decision 2006/679/EC of 28 March 2006 concerning the technical specification for interoperability relating to the control-command and signalling subsystem of the trans-European conventional rail system (notified under document number C(2006) 964) (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal L 284 of 16.10.2006].

Commission Decision 2004/447/EC of 29 April 2004 modifying Annex A to Decision 2002/731/EC of 30 May 2002 and establishing the main characteristics of Class A system (ERTMS) of the control-command and signalling subsystem of the trans-European conventional rail system referred to in Directive 2001/16/EC [Official Journal L 155 of 30.4.2004].

Commission Decision 2004/446/EC of 29 April 2004 specifying the basic parameters of the Noise, Freight Wagons and Telematic applications for freight Technical Specifications for Interoperability referred to in Directive 2001/16/EC [Official Journal L 155 of 30.4.2004].

Harmonised standards

Commission communication in the framework of the implementation of the Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2001 on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal C 243 of 10.10.2006].
This communication contains the titles and references of harmonised standards under the Directive on the interoperability of the conventional rail system.

High speed

Council Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996 on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system [Official Journal L 235 of 17.9.1996].
Directive 96/48/EC introduced the principle of promoting the interoperability of the European railway network, and focused particularly on high-speed trains. Amended in 2004 by Directive 2004/50/EC, the aim of this Directive is to promote the interconnection and interoperability of national high-speed railway networks and to open up access to them. It calls on Member States to harmonise their high-speed rail systems in order to create an interoperable European network and promote the railways as a mode of transport in Europe.

For further information, see the web page of the Directorate-General for Energy and Transport relating to rail transport and interoperability.

 
Last updated: 15.02.2008
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