The European Parliament today adopted new EU legislation setting out rules governing the rail sector in Europe. The 'technical pillar' of 4th Railway Package, sets out rules governing the rail sector in Europe, notably as regards safety, interoperability and the strengthening of the European Railway Agency. Commenting on the new rules, Green MEP Michael Cramer, chair of the EU Parliament's transport committee and draftsman/rapporteur for the new railway safety rules, said:
"This new system of harmonised rules for the rail sector in Europe will save time and money for rail passengers and operators.
"From now on there will be a single framework for train authorisation and safety certification, replacing the patchwork of 26 national systems that operated hitherto. The new regulatory framework will dramatically reduce the over 11,000 European and national rules for technical security currently faced by the sector. With trains worth up to €1.2 billion currently immobilised because they are awaiting authorisation, this new streamlined authorisation system cannot get up and running soon enough.
"Rail travel is already the safest transport mode but these new rules will make the sector even safer. Improved cross-border cooperation, the sharing of safety-relevant information and use of the world's leading rail traffic management system (ERTMS) will ensure this. The reinforced European Railway Agency will help oversee this new system and ensure a smooth roll-out."