4th Railway Package - Technical Pillar


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. 

This Guide 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.

Prof Andy Doherty
Chairman of the Group of Representative Bodies (GRB)

  • The Safety Directive foresees that the ERA will charge for its services, like for vehicle authorisations and approvals for ERTMS track-side equipment. These so-called “fees and charges” are currently under discussion between the EC DG MOVE, EC DG Budget, the ERA as well as the Member States (NSAs). It is worth noting that the ERA intends to become partially self-funding;
  • A first assessment conducted by an external consultant for the EC in 2016 into the fees and charges of NSAs for safety certifications revealed substantial varieties which prevented a benchmark to be established.

⇒ Applicants will have to get prepared for a new procedure with so far undefined costs (time, experts, ERA, etc.).