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)




Where to find the document

Available language(s)

Cluster: IOD & RSD Directives

New Safety Directive

Directive (EU) 2016/798 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on railway safety (recast)


All languages

“Old” Safety Directive

Directive 2004/49/EC on safety on the Community’s railways (Railway Safety Directive)

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1405504560784&uri=CELEX:02004L0049-20091218 v

All languages

New Interoperability Directive

Directive (EU) 2016/797 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the interoperability of the rail system within the European Union


All languages

“Old” Interoperability Directive

Directive 2008/57/EC on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community (repealing Directives 96/48/EC and 2001/16/EC from 19 July 2010);


All languages

Cluster: ERA Regulation

Regulation (EU) 2016/796 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the European Union Agency for Railways and repealing Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 


All languages

Cluster: TSIs

TSIs in force

(+ Application Guides)


All languages

Mandate for the TSI revision


All languages

Cluster: Vehicle Authorisation

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/545 of 4 April 2018 establishing practical arrangements for the railway vehicle authorisation and railway vehicle type authorisation


All languages

Guidelines for the practical arrangements for the vehicle authorisation process (new)



Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/250 of 12 February 2019 on the templates for ‘EC’ declarations and certificates for railway interoperability constituents and subsystems, on the model of declaration of conformity to an authorised railway vehicle type and on the ‘EC’ verification procedures for subsystems


All languages

Cluster: Safety Certification

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) establishing practical arrangements for issuing single safety certificates to railway undertakings 


All languages

Application Guide



Cluster Safety Authorisation

Draft Commission Recommendation on practical arrangements for issuing safety authorisations to infrastructure managers

(Final document not yet available)

Work in progress 


Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) …/... establishing common safety methods on safety management system requirements


All languages

Application Guide



Cluster: ERTMS

Draft Commission Recommendation of 18 July 2018 on guidance for the harmonised implementation of the European Rail Traffic Management System in the Union


All languages

Cluster: Board(s) of Appeal

Commission Implementing Regulation laying down the rules of procedure of the Board(s) of Appeal of the European Union Agency for Railways


All languages

Cluster: Fees and Charges

Commission Implementing Regulation on the fees and charges payable to the European Union Agency for railways and their conditions of payment


All languages

Cluster: EVR

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING ACT on the specification for the European Vehicle Register referred to in Article 47 of Directive (EU) 2016/797 and repealing Decision 2007/756/EC



All languages

Cluster: Revision of ECM Regulation

Revision of Regulation 445/2011 and scope extension

(Final document not yet available)

To be voted by RISC in January 2019



EU Legal Acts - Overviewegal Act

Legal Act



A "regulation" is a binding legislative act. It must be applied in its entirety across the EU. No transposition


A "directive" is a legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU countries must achieve. However, it is up to the individual countries to devise their own laws on how to reach these goals. Transposition necessary


A "decision" is binding on those to whom it is addressed (e.g. an EU country or an individual company) and is directly applicable. 


A "recommendation" is not binding but allows the institutions to make their views known and to suggest a line of action without imposing any legal obligation on those to whom it is addressed.

Implementing  Act

Before the Commission can adopt an implementing act, it must usually consult a committee in which every EU country is represented. The committee enables EU countries to oversee the Commission's work as it adopts an implementing act – a procedure referred to in EU jargon as ‘comitology’.

Delegated Act

The Commission prepares and adopts delegated acts after consulting expert groups, composed of representatives from each EU country, which meet on a regular or occasional basis.