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High speed rail system

Under the EC Treaty (Articles 154 and 155), the Community has the task of contributing to the establishment and development of trans-European networks in the area of transport. In order to achieve these objectives, the Community must take the necessary measures to ensure the interoperability of the networks, particularly in the field of technical standardisation. An initial measure was taken in the rail sector by the Council on 23 July 1996 when it adopted Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system.

In order to achieve the objectives of that directive, technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs) are drawn up by the European Association for Railway Interoperability (AEIF), which acts as the joint representative body defined in the directive, bringing together representatives of the infrastructure managers, railway companies and industry.

A number of tools and methodologies had to be developed in order to prepare the TSIs. Pending the adoption of TSIs, and in order to guide the technical choices made in the projects in progress in several Member States, the Commission adopted two instruments: Decision 2001/260/EC on the characteristics of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and Recommendation 2001/290/EC on the basic parameters of the trans-European high-speed rail system. A programme to develop the corresponding European standards was launched in 1998 and is regularly updated to reflect the work on TSIs.

The vast majority of Member States have notified national measures transposing the directive in national law as well as the independent bodies responsible for assessing the conformity and/or suitability for use of the interoperability constituents and for EC verification of subsystems.

The Commission has adopted in May 2002 the Technical Specifications for Interoperability for 6 subsystems (the texts of the TSIs have been published in the Official Journal L245 of 12 September 2002) and published in 2003 a Guide for the application of the High-Speed TSIs of Council Directive 96/48.

Related documents

Summaries of legislation

Interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system

Legislation

Decision 2008/284/EC of 6 March 2008 concerning a technical specification for interoperability relating to the ‘energy’ sub-system of the trans-European high-speed rail system

Decision 2008/232/EC of 21st February 2008 concerning a technical specification for interoperability relating to the ‘rolling stock’ sub-system of the trans-European high-speed rail system

Decision 2008/231/EC of 1st February 2008 concerning the technical specification of interoperability relating to the "operation" subsystem of the trans-European high-speed rail system

Decision 2008/217/EC of 20 December 2007 concerning a technical specification for interoperability relating to the ‘infrastructure’ sub-system of the trans-European high-speed rail system

Decision 2008/164/EC of 21 December 2007 concerning the technical specification of interoperability relating to “persons with reduced mobility“ in the trans-European conventional and high speed rail system

Decision 2008/163/EC of 20 December 2007 concerning the technical specification of interoperability relating to “safety in railway tunnels” in the trans-European conventional and high speed rail system

Decisions of 30 May 2002 concerning the technical specification for interoperability

Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996 on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system

TSIs for the trans-European high-speed rail system

Guide for the application of the High-Speed TSIs of Council Directive 96/48, 2003 pdf - 526 KB [526 KB] Deutsch (de) français (fr)

Notified bodies

Directive 96/48/EC for the trans-European high-speed rail system

Progress report

Progress report 2000 to 2005 on the implementation of the Interoperability Directives (96/48/EC for high speed rail and 2001/16/EC for conventional rail) [COM(2006)660]