European policy - dossiers

Activity: 4th Railway Package

11 May 2016 Hits:16767

Entry into force of the 4th Railway Package's technical Pillar and the changes it entails   The 4th Railway Package is a set of six legislative texts designed to complete the single market for Rail services (Single European Railway Area). Its overarching goal is to revitalise the rail sector and make it more competitive vis-à-vis other modes of transport. It comprises two 'pillars' which have been negotiated largely in parallel. The Technical Pillar was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in April 2016 and addresses interoperability, safety authorisation, ERTMS track-side certification but also the reduction of national rules and the increased...

Entry into force of the 4th Railway Package's technical Pillar and the changes it entails

The 4th Railway Package is a set of six legislative texts designed to complete the single market for Rail services (Single European Railway Area). Its overarching goal is to revitalise the rail sector and make it more competitive vis-à-vis other modes of transport. It comprises two 'pillars' which have been negotiated largely in parallel.

The Technical Pillar was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in April 2016 and addresses interoperability, safety authorisation, ERTMS track-side certification but also the reduction of national rules and the increased role of the EU Agency for Railways (ERA) to deliver authorisations and certifications.

Legal Acts adopted

  Document Where to find 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)
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
  Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/776 of 16 May 2019 as regards the alignment with Directive (EU) 2016/797 of the European Parliament and of the Council and the implementation of specific objectives set out in Commission Delegated Decision (EU) 2017/1474 (TSI WAG) -   consolidated version, March 2019 All languages
  Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/774 of 16 May 2019 amending Regulation (EU) No 1304/2014 as regards application of the technical specification for interoperability relating to the subsystem ‘rolling stock — noise’ to the existing freight wagons (TSI NOI) - consolidated version, July 2019
All languages
  Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/773 of 16 May 2019 on the technical specification for interoperability relating to the operation and traffic management subsystem of the rail system within the European Union and repealing Decision 2012/757/EU (OPE TSI) - published on 27th May 2019
All languages
  Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/777 of 16 May 2019 on the common specifications for the register of railway infrastructure and repealing Implementing Decision 2014/880/EU (RINF) - published on 27th May 2019 All languages
  Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/775 of 16 May 2019 amending Regulation (EU) No 454/2011 as regards Change Control Management (TAP TSI CCM) - published on 27th May 2019 All languages

  Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/778 of 16 May 2019 amending Regulation (EU) No 1305/2014 as regards Change Control Management (TAF TSI CCM) - published on 27th May 2019 All languages
  Commission Regulation (EU) No 1302/2014 of 18 November 2014 concerning a technical specification for interoperability relating to the ‘rolling stock — locomotives and passenger rolling stock’ subsystem of the rail system in the European Union (Loc & Pas TSI) - consolidated version, March 2020 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) All languages
  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
  Commission Recommendation on practical arrangements for issuing safety authorisations to infrastructure managers English
  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
  Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/779 of 16 May 2019 laying down detailed provisions on a system of certification of entities in charge of maintenance of vehicles and repealing Commission Regulation (EU) No 445/2011 - published on 27th May 2019
All languages
Cluster: ERATV
  Commission Implementing Decision of 4 October 2011 on the European register of authorised types of railway vehicles (notified under document C(2011) 6974) - consolidated version, July 2019 All languages


Significance to UIP and our Members 

Of all the changes brought along with the 4th Railway Package, the main focus for UIP and its members lies on the substantial reforms introduced by Interoperability Directive (EU) 2016/797 and the new European vehicle authorisation (VA) procedure. On the 16th June 2019, the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) has started to issue vehicle authorisations and safety certificates. All applications go through an IT Portal, the so called One-Stop-Shop (OSS), acting as a single-entry point for all stakeholders. The summer of 2018 marked the start of the second phase of implementation for ERA and aimed mainly at finetuning the processes, procedures and instruments as well as the internal organisation and competencies of the Agency.

Unfortunately only 9 MS plus Switzerland and Norway have transposed the directives by the 16th of June 2019, while the other 17 MS will do it by 2020. As a result, different legal regimes apply in the different MS which in turn will impact the recognition of authorisations issued after the 16th June 2019 for freight wagons to be used in several MS (GE/CW). Consequently, for all the projects requiring a new/updated vehicle authorisation falling within the transition period between June 2019 and June 2020, UIP recommends to use the OSS and submit applications to the Agency (ERA) to avoid legal difficulties and uncertainties – an opinion which was later confirmed by the Agency.

UIP, together with GRB partners, maintains an open dialogue with the Agency to develop common proposals and recommendations on how to improve the implementation of the 4th RP. In addition, UIP will continue to inform keepers and ECMs about any relevant lines-to-take (LTT) in order to cope with the new processes and the enhanced role of the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA). You will find the LTT published by ERA in the list of EU Documents of interest.

UIP Documents

2nd UIP Report – ERA Learning case tank wagon
1st UIP Report – ERA Learning case tank wagon

EU Documents of interest

ERA LTT - Clarification about transitory measure for the uploading of EC Certificates and ISV information to ERADIS – July 2019
ERA LTT - Clarification about responsibilities for populating ERADIS – June 2019
ERA LTT - Clarification about points 18.4 and 18.5 of Annex I of Regulation 2018‐545.pdf – May 2019
ERA FAQ - 4th Railway Package
ERA Vehicle Authorisation Process Application Guide_Examples – September 2018
ERA Vehicle Authorisation Process Application Guide_Guidelines – September 2018




Economic Evaluation and Rail statistics need reliable data

Rail traffic volumes: In 2016, EU freight traffic volumes reached 419 billion tonne kilometres out of 2.5 trillion of land transport overall.
European transport policies require impact assessments or regular monitoring of implementation and performance.  For this there is a strong need for data on rail transport, including infrastructure, rolling stock, freight services, and rail freight performance.  At European level, DG MOVE, EUROSTAT and ERA started activities on synergies and streamlining of data in order to avoid gaps, duplication, inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Data is usually provided voluntarily or mandatorily by Member States (Regulatory Bodies, NSAs, or National Statistical Bodies) or the Sector Associations and individual railway actors. The biggest challenge is to find a common understanding on the type of data that is required and an agreement on the type data that can actually be provided.

On 18thApril 2018, Regulation (EU) 2018/643 on rail transport statistics was adopted, repealing Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 with a view to further facilitating the production of harmonised data and official statistics at European level. To this end, dedicated cooperation agreements on statistical activities will be established between the Commission's services and relevant entities, including at international level. The Regulation requires Member States to report statistics on rail transport (e.g. type of transport, number of passengers, number of trains transporting goods, tonnes of goods) on their national territory which they will in turn receive from railway undertakings operating in their country. In addition, the Regulation delegates the power to adapt the existing or additional technical definitions to the European Commission. It further confers implementing powers on the Commission as regards the specification of the information to be supplied for the reports on the quality and comparability of the results. EUROSTAT is responsible for the dissemination of those results. 

EUROSTAT Working Group on Rail Transport Statistics

EUROSTAT is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide statistical information to the institutions of the European Union (EU) and to promote the harmonisation of statistical methods across its member states and candidates for accession as well as EFTA countries. The Eurostat working group brings together Member State Representatives, their National Statistical Authorities, as well asrepresentatives of the Rail Sector, DG MOVE and ERA. Statistical data on Rail freight transport are publicly available and updated yearly (see Railway freight transport statistics for the actual main statistical findings).

Rail Market Monitoring Scheme (RMMS) Working Group

On 7th July 2015 the European Commission adopted an Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1100 on the reporting obligations of the Member States in the framework of rail market monitoring. This falls part of Art. 15 of the recast of the 1st Railway Package. The scope of data that is collected includes:

Since then, the RMMS Report is published every two years to give an overview on the market developments and trends in passenger and freight rail transport. The RMMS report data is collected from the different Member States and sometimes combined with other sources (EUROSTAT, UIC, ITF...). The results may be used for impact assessments towards the development of new policies at European level. The 6th RMMS Reportwas published in February 2019 and the following conclusions were drawn:
  • Rail markets are gradually opening up and safety levels remain high. The industry is progressivelybecoming more performance-based, innovative and responsive to customer needs.However, freight volumes remain volatile and led to a loss of modal share in comparison with road transport in 2016. One of the main reasons is that the international nature of rail freight services makes them sensitive to interoperability barriers and cross-border coordination issues. The definitions used in EU rail legislation and beyond (PRIME, RMMS, UIC, IRG, …) are available in the EUROSTAT Glossary for more precise definitions used at international level. Information relevant to the safety and interoperability of the railways in the Member States (contact details of national authorities, safety certificates of RUs, ECM certificates, ETC.) is available on ERADIS.

Along with the RMMS, DG MOVE has set-up the high-level platform PRIME, which developed a comprehensive framework of infrastructure related Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), on topics such as ERTMS, Safety or Punctuality. As established by the 4th Railway Package, it acts as the European Network of Infrastructure Managers to:
  • Develop Union rail infrastructure
  • Support the timely and efficient implementation of the single European railway area
  • Exchange best practices
  • Monitor and benchmark performance and contribute to the market monitoring
  • Tackle cross-border bottlenecks
  • Discuss application of charging systems and the allocation of capacity on more than one network

ERA Railway Indicators

In the ERA Working Group, UIP works together with National Safety Authorises and other Associations of the rail Sector to developed and define Railway Indicators, to be used to monitor and assess the implementation and practices by ERA and the Sector in the following four strategic areas/activities:
  • Harmonised Safety Framework (incl. questions relevant to ECM)
  • Removal of Technical Barriers (related to Vehicle Authorisation)
  • Single EU Train Control and Communication System (related to ERTMS)
  • Simplified Access to Customers (related to TAF, Registers, Data Exchange)

Significance to UIP and our Members

As a key player in the railway system, UIP wants to assure that transport policy is built on accurate, reliable and conclusive data that truly represents the sector, its assets, its performance, and its technical, operational and business needs. UIP takes part in three main working groups: Rail Market Monitoring Scheme RMMS Working Group (DGMOVE), EUROSTAT Working Group on Rail Transport Statistics, Economic Evaluation Working Party at the European Railway Agency. In addition, the UIC publishes yearly statistics tables on railway traffic, network lengths, number of vehicles covering not only the European but also the entire railway market (

In order to support policy-makers in shaping the future of transport policies, UIP is planning to collect aggregated fleet data via its national associations. This should allow to increase credibility and awareness about the business cases for independent Wagon Keepers and avoid distortions and amalgams in data analysis.

Research & Innovation should respond to the needs of the customers

In order to achieve a Single European Area, the rail sector has to be more innovative and open-minded towards solutions that support not only technology improvement, but also innovative approaches to operations, maintenance and logistic services. This requires both a short-term and a long-term vision, strategic planning and delivery in order to address existing challenges and barriers in our daily business. Therefore, research activities at EU level are to support:

  • Ambitious goals to achieve interoperability and maintain safety levels around Europe
  • Stronger role of the railways as a more active mode in a multimodal transport
  • Increasing demand for the rail sector to perform better and achieve a more competitive and efficient transport for passengers and freight.

The vision of the rail sector for the needs of the future railway systemis set out in the document RAIL 2050 VISION published by the European Rail Research Advisory Council (ERRAC), of which UIP is a member. It setsthe ambition that the R&I framework program must address. Research Activities for the rail freight sector are supported by the current Horizon 2020 EU framework Programme and Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking. Within Horizon 2020, the Rail related activities are supported under Specific Programme “Smart, Green and Intelligent Transport”.

(Source: UIP) 

The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking


The Shift2Rail (S2R) Joint Undertaking (JU) is a private-public Partnership founded in 2014 in order to manage the entire budget for rail R&I under Horizon 2020. It brings together EU and Sector funding to support innovative technology solutions to increase the efficiency and performance of rail transport and complete the development of the Single European railway Area (SERA). Through the S2R Master Plan and annual work plans,the JU is contributing to the realisation of the ERRAC 2050 Vision and the European Commission 2011 White Paper on Transport, for examplebyaiming to reduce the infrastructure and rolling stock lifecycle costs by 50%. The S2R founding members are the European Union plus eight representatives of the rail industry: Alstom, Ansaldo STS, Bombardier, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), Siemens and Thales, Network Rail and Trafikverket. To allow for a full representation of the sector (including RUs, other rail actors, SMEs, and research organisations), 19 associate members have also been elected.

UIP is a member of the S2R User Requirements / Implementation and Deployment working group (URID-WG) of IP5 whose role is to provide guidelines, present its needs and define requirements for innovation in freight transport and rail freight vehicles. The Shift2Rail JU manages the entire budget of at least €920 million for the period 2014-2020 for rail only research. Under the co-financing structure, the EU’s commitment amounts to a maximum of €450 million, while the rail sector Members contribution is around €470 million. With that in mind, there are two types of calls:

The S2R is organised around five key “Innovation Programmes” (IP) where  IP 5 has a specific focus on freight services and freight rolling stock design. IP 5 aims at developing a new generation of high capacity trains which are cost-efficient and improve technologies for sustainable and attractive European rail freight by looking at wagon design, brake and telematics, autonomous rail freight systems and new freight propulsion concepts. Up to now, the following promising projects have already been co-financed:
  • ARCC- conducts rail freight automation research activities (Duration: from 01/09/2016 to 31/08/2019)
  • DYNAFREIGHT- looks into innovative technical solutions for improved trains dynamics and operation of longer freight trains through the development of the next freight propulsion concepts (Duration: from 01/11/2016 to 30/06/2018)
  • FR8HUB – make rail freight more sustainable and attractive, by increasing operation reliability by 10%, by reducing life cycle costs by 10% and by reducing noise by 5% through the deployment of Condition Based Maintenance and Intelligent video gate technologies (Duration: from 01/09/2017 to 31/08/2020)
  • FR8RAIL – aimed at a 10 % reduction in the cost of freight transport measured by tonnes per Km, through Condition Based and Predictive Maintenance, Telematics & Electrification (Duration: from 01/09/2016 to 31/08/2019)
  • INNOWAG- provides research on monitoring and predictive maintenance solutions on lightweight wagons, complementary to FR8Rail project (Duration: from 01/11/2016 to 30/04/2019

The latest call for proposals, which was open from January till April 2018, committed to financing projects open to members worth EUR 155.3m. It covered the following topics:

  • Technology demonstrators for competitive intelligent rail freight
  • Radio communication and simulation of train dynamics for Distributed Power Systems within long trains
  • Advanced Signalling, Automation and Communication System

The 9th Framework Programme for 2021-27 – Horizon Europe

The Commission’s proposal envisages an increased budget of €97.6 bn, compared to €80 bn under Horizon 2020. Under the Pillar ‘Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness’, which has a budget of EUR 52.7bn, Mobility is grouped together with climate and energy in Cluster 4 whose budget is set at EUR 15bn. UIP has advocated for EUR 19.1bn in the latest feedback round to the proposal as the proposed budget would not represent an increase compared to the combined budget dedicated to these three areas under Horizon 2020. Especially when considering the transport sector’s contribution to Europe’s economic priorities, as well as the investment intensiveness of the rail sector, the overall budget increase of 27% for Horizon Europe should also be reflected in the budget share of Cluster 4. Furthermore, UIP underlined the need for clearly earmarking the funds for rail and other transport modes to ensure funding continuity. The proposal is currently being discussed by the European legislators, the European Parliament and Council.

While the overall financial framework of Horizon Europe for 2021‐27 remains to be decided, the draft legislation outlines 12 possible areas in which institutionalised European Partnerships could be set up. The Commission in cooperation with the Member States has identified ‘Transforming Europe’s rail system’ as a candidate for such a partnership. The proposed partnership will build on the results achieved by the Shift to Rail (S2R) Joint Undertaking (JU) under Horizon 2020, and will focus on a limited number of priorities designed to address emerging challenges, such as:

  • Automation, digitalisation and decarbonisation
  • The need to increase the attractiveness of rail freight by increasing the cost-efficiency and reliability of EU rail services
  • Integration into digital multimodal mobility and logistics chains

Significance to UIP and our members

It is important for our members to be in the know on the latest innovation that shapes the future of the railways and freight transport. As investors in rolling stock, the Keepers are best positioned to provide guidelines, and define requirements when it comes to smart and innovative wagons. As a representative body UIP acts as a coordinator and facilitator for its members to become involved and participate in projects related to noise, optimisation of rolling stock, and rail freight performance in general. UIP is a member of the European Rail Research Council (ERRAC), the European Technology Platform for Rail where strategies on research and development are defined by the railway sector.  UIP is also a member of the Users Group of Innovation Programme 5 (IP5) of Shift2Rail, whose role is to provide recommendations, present its needs and define requirements for innovation in freight transport and rail freight vehicles.

UIP welcomes that rail was included in the list of potential institutionalised European Partnerships as it is a crucial R&I area for the successful delivery on Union priorities jobs and growth, the Digital Single Market, the Energy Union and climate action. With rail standing out as the most carbon-conscious transport mode, the Modal shift to rail is an opportunity to reduce the impact of mobility on the environment and human health. Therefore, it is important that the 9th Framework Programme continues to fund rail research projects fostering the rail sectors competitiveness through new innovative solutions.

We believe that the strength of the S2R JU lies in its ability to overcome market fragmentation by bundling the expertise of major rail stakeholders, partners and research institutions, as well as its ability to ensure sufficient financial resources as a public-private partnership and improve the direct leverage of investments.This is why UIP appreciates the efforts of fostering a new generation of European Partnerships to ensure synergies between R&I and the Connecting Europe Facility which shall continue to support the roll-out and deployment of innovative technologies in the rail sector. In addition, we would like to draw special attention to the following projects which will help the rail freight sector to deliver on the White Paper objectives:

  • Intelligent wagon and predictive maintenance with a focus on cargo condition monitoring, wagon design, predictive maintenance
  • Freight Automation on lines and in yards with a focus on automated guided vehicles, automation of disposition processes in marshalling yards
  • Development of functional requirements for sustainable and attractive rail freight with a focus on KPIs for freight, wagon specifications for condition-based maintenance and real time yard management
  • Market deployment of innovative solutions like digital automatic couplers

Consequently, to enable the advancement and market uptake of the results of Shift2Rail on these projects, we express towards the EU legislators that it is of tantamount importance that a Shift2Rail follow-up programme is established in the form of a Joint Undertaking. Doing so will also ensure coherence with the scope and depth of the rail research programme as described in the ERRAC 2050 vision paper. Another important point UIP voices is that the admission process to this Shift2Rail follow-up Joint Undertaking should be simplified and structured in such a way as to make it easier for small- and medium-sized companies, as well as consortia thereof to join.