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.

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


There are several open issues which have been outlined in the previous chapter already. The main concerns / issues are:

  • insufficient budget allocation for ERA which may have an impact on the quality and quantity of all authorisations, approvals and certificates to be used by the ERA;
  • impact of the budget allocation on the future ERA fees and charges related to the above;
  • the cooperation of the ERA with the NSAs in these processes (time, double work, competence, redundancies, re-assessments, etc.);
  • the timely and smooth delivery of various generic processes and IT tools by the ERA;
  • the new tools developed by the ERA (i.e. common occurrence reporting tool, etc.);
  • the impact of the ERA on national rules;
  • the cooperation agreements of the ERA with non-EU Member States.