4th Railway Package - Guide


Since 1991, the European railway sector has constantly been reformed by the European Union. The 4th Railway Package, which was adopted in 2016 is by far the largest and most complex legal initiative introduced so far. The 4th Railway Package consists of a political and a technical pillar which introduce substantial reforms for all stakeholders concerned. 

The Guide below (drop-down menu) illustrates in four different chapters the reforms in the field of vehicle authorisation, safety certification and ERTMS trackside approval as well as the new role of the European Union Agency for Railways as ‘frequently asked questions’. Given the fact that the implementation of the 4th Railway Package is an ongoing process, the Guide will be updated on a regular basis, in line with the progress of the reforms being made on EU level.

Christian Rausch
Chairman of the Group of Representative Bodies (GRB)

  • The NSAs will issue safety certifications for single country applications (single Member State only) if selected by the applicant;
  • The concrete role of the NSAs in the safety certification procedure consists in checking the application as regards their respective national part; For this system to work, the ERA must have concluded a cooperation contract with each NSA; 
  • NSAs will keep the supervision role, which consists in overseeing the continued compliance with all legal obligations by Rus and IMs to use a SMS (safety management system), line with the CSM developed by the ERA;
  • NSAs will have to exchange information and coordinate their supervision activities for international RU operations with the Agency;
  • NSAs will also have to exchange information with the ERA as regards their supervision activities
  • NSAs will also have to report to the ERA within the scope of the new mandate of the ERA to monitor and audit them (as well as other bodies, such as ECMs, NoBos, etc.). The final audit conditions to be applied by ERA to NSAs are still under discussion.