New harmonised EU standards to support cross-border rail transport

New harmonised EU standards to support cross-border rail transport
© Deutsche Bahn AG / Manuela Much

The European Commission has published a package of revised technical standards to improve cross-border rail interoperability - the so-called 'Technical Specifications for Interoperability' (TSIs).

TSIs, which apply throughout the EU, make the EU rail sector more efficient by eliminating 25 different sets of national rules. Reducing complexity and parallel rules helps to improve affordability and lower the basic costs of rail operations. Ultimately, the sector will be better able to respond to the needs of long-distance, cross-border services and to offer a wider and more innovative range of rail services to citizens and transport customers.

The revised standards are also in line with TEN-T requirements and introduce a common framework of technical and operational conditions for ERTMS, the European Rail Traffic Management System, and combined transport, giving more flexibility to operators, for example in intermodal transport.

The revised requirements also reflect the latest technological developments and introduce rail innovations in a consistent way. They pave the way for automatic train operation via ERTMS and digitise technical and operational information for drivers and railway staff, such as common infrastructure routes and rule books, ensuring access to knowledge about the rail network.

The revised TSIs will enter into force 20 days after publication, i.e. on 28 September 2023.

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