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 main changes in 2016/797 are summarised below:


  • the Agency will issue vehicle authorisations and approve ERTMS trackside tender approvals;
  • more details can be found in the chapter on the ERA Regulation.


  • the cases for possible non-application of TSIs is reduced;
  • TSIs should indicate when the upgrade and renewal of infrastructure and vehicles requires a new authorisation;
  • the EC published a delegated act defining the Agency’s mandate and objectives for the forthcoming TSI revisions starting in September 2017.


  • the role of RUs and IMs in the technical route compatibility processes via the register of infrastructure (‘RINF’) is re-defined.