Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

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ERAIL registers railway accidents in any EU country© EU, 2012

Launch of the European Railway Accident Information Links system (ERAIL)


The JRC has developed and operates the ERAIL (Railway Accident Information Links) database for the European Railway Agency (ERA). As of September 2012 ERAIL registers railway accidents in any EU country, as requested by EU legislation.

The Railway Safety Directive 2004/49/EC requires the EU-27 national safety authorities to report on accidents and safety performance to the European Railway Agency (ERA), using common safety indicators. The Directive also requires national investigation bodies to notify the Agency of any investigations opened for railway accidents having occurred on their territory and to submit the full investigation report to ERA when the investigation is closed. These reports and data are now submitted via the ERAIL system. Aggregated European data are made available via the ERAIL website, which is accessible to the general public.

The ERAIL system is an electronic database which gathers information about railway accidents and their investigations. The database allows for the storage, exchange and analysis of data, the shared use of which will contribute to the improvement of railway safety.

The monitoring of safety performance of European railways is one of the key tasks of the ERA, located in Valenciennes, France. By continuously monitoring and analysing safety performance, ERAIL supports the ultimate objective of maintaining and improving safety in the EU.

The ERAIL system is built on top of the Common Framework of the European Coordination Centre for Accidents and Incidents Reporting Systems (ECCAIRS), a software platform developed by the JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) and deployed for aviation and maritime authorities and investigation bodies in the EU and in the aviation sector world-wide. From now on, the European aviation, maritime and railway sectors are sharing the same JRC software platform for the collection, exchange and analysis of safety data.