The enlargement of the EU in May 2004 has made the railway sector one of the most important Public Transportation systems in the world in terms of expansion size.
The industry comprises:
Public and private rail transport operators (passenger and freight)
Manufacturers and maintainers
Service providers (e.g. consultants, financers, etc.)
Public authorities (National and European)
There are over 50 major manufacturers, infrastructure owners, and operators in the sector and actively working with CEN and CENELEC. The industry provides employment to over 150.000 people.
The EU aims to achieve free and unrestricted transfer of goods, services and passengers across national frontiers within Europe. To help achieve this, the EU has adopted two Directives concerning the Interoperability of the High-Speed and of the Conventional rail system. The implementation of these directives is aided by standards developed by CEN, CENELEC and ETSI.
CEN/TC 256 and CENELEC/TC 9X are responsible for the development of European Standards respectively for all mechanical products/services and for electro technical applications related to the Rail Transport Industry of the European Union.
News and events
No major news to report at this stage.
Technical Bodies and activities
See the diagram below showing the coverage of technical activities:
A sector forum is a platform aiming at facilitating the exchange of information between the different stakeholders, coordinating and identifying the standardization needs in a specific field of the ESOs work.
The CEN - CENELEC Management Centre coordinates, in collaboration with the Sector Forum Rail and four CEN Consultants:
interaction with technical directives (such as Directive 2008/57/EC Interoperability of the trans-European rail system), and ERA (European Railway Agency) in charge of drafting the Technical Specifications of Interoperability and standardization;
development of the programme of work in support of the above mentioned directives but also for the support of the Public Procurement excluded sector directives;
relation with international and European associations active in this sector;
future possible standardization development (such as Urban Rail (Mass Transit));
interaction between Technical Committees with related work and the CEN or CENELEC Technical Boards;
relations with other sectors.
Read more on the Sector Forum Rail.
European Legislation and Mandates
European standards are developed in the context of European legislation and sometimes come in direct support to particular Directives or Regulations.
- 2008/57/EC on Interoperability of the Rail System
- 2008/49/EC on Safety on the Community's railways
Access further details on the subject of Interoperability
Harmonised European Standards
Check the latest lists of European Standards referenced in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) in support to 2008/57/EC.
Useful links and documents
Standards are drafted in collaboration with a series of European Professional Organisations: see who are the other organisations involved in 'Railway Applications' activities