The 4th Railway Package (RP) is meant to achieve the following objectives:

  • Achieve cost reductions
  • Remove administrative and technical barriers
  • Increase competitiveness
  • Accelerate the processes of vehicle authorisation and safety certification
  • Harmonise the implementation of ERTMS

The EC quantifies the benefits of the 4th RP on its website :

  • Over €40bn of financial benefits for citizens and companies by 2035 (combined with structural reforms);
  • Provision of up to about €16bn additional passenger-km;
  • 20% reduction in the time to market for new RUs;
  • 20% reduction in the cost and duration for the authorisation of rolling stock;
  • Total savings for companies of €500 million until 2025.

⇒ It is too early to state if and when these benefits will be realised. According to the EU, costs for the sector will increase in the first 5 years after the reforms are implemented and then drop considerably afterwards. Therefore, the rail sector has every interest in being closely involved with the implementation to make sure that the cost increase is limited and that the estimated benefits will materialise!