The European Commission has published on September 8, 2023, a package of the revised TSIs (Technical Specifications for Interoperability) to improve rail interoperability across borders. The new harmonised EU standards will enter into force on 28 September 2023.
By 28 March 2024, each Member State shall notify to the European Commission and the European Union Agency for Railways any national rules made redundant by the entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2023/1693, together with a timetable for their withdrawal if not yet done.
“By 28 June 2024, railway undertakings and infrastructure managers shall change their safety management system as defined in Article 9 of Directive (EU) 2016/798 in accordance with the requirements of this Regulation. Such changes, if limited to those strictly necessary to apply this Regulation, as amended, shall not be considered to be substantial changes to the safety regulatory framework within the meaning of Article 10(15) of Directive (EU) 2016/798,” the TSI package says.
The TSIs applied across the EU make the EU rail sector more efficient because they eliminate 25 different sets of national rules that still force trains to stop at borders, when driving from one EU country to another. Reducing complexity and parallel rules helps to improve affordability and lower the basic cost of rail operations.
The revised TSIs modernise and harmonise current technical standards for rail, and also align with TEN-T requirements and introduce a common framework for technical and operating conditions for ERTMS, the European Rail Traffic Management System, and combined transport, granting more flexibility for operators including in the intermodal transport.
The revised requirements also reflect recent technological developments, introducing rail innovation in a consistent manner. They pave the way for automatic train operations over ERTMS and digitalise technical and operating information for train drivers and rail staff, such as common infrastructure route and rule books for example, ensuring access to rail network knowledge.
The revised TSIs is a key milestone along the path to making smooth cross-border train journeys across the EU a reality, but also clears the way for new innovative technologies. Due to the revised standards the rail sector will respond better to the needs of long distance, cross-border services, and be able to a wider, more innovative range of rail services to citizens and transport clients.