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Technical specifications for interoperability  
Technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs) mean the specifications by which each subsystem or part of subsystem is covered in order to meet the essential requirements and to ensure the interoperability of the European Community's high speed and conventional rail systems.

Work on the technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs) is one of the basic tasks of the Agency. The Agency performs revision of the existing TSIs, keeps them up to date, and drafts the new TSIs when necessary.

In its activities, the Agency co-operates with the railway representative organisations and national safety authorities, as well as with the European standardisation bodies and notified bodies.


 Subjects related to TSIs


The first set of technical specifications for interoperability, prepared by the European Association for Railway Interoperability (AEIF), was adopted in 2002 for the trans-European high speed rail system. These TSIs related to infrastructure, energy, rolling stock, control-command and signalling, maintenance and operation are in force since 1 December 2002. Since then, the TSIs for the high speed system have been already revised. Read more...

The Framework Mandate to the European Railway Agency, in Section 2.3.1, states that: ‘With respect to the time schedule of drafting or revising each TSI, the Agency shall regularly submit and publish on its website a general revision of the Implementation Guide published by the Commission in 2004 and intended to help the stakeholders in the application of the TSIs. The chapter related to the applicable standards in the Implementation Guide shall be updated and published at least annually’.

The application guide provides information on the application of Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs), helping also to clarify certain concepts and procedures referred to in Directive 2008/57/EC on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community.  Read more...

The today’s geographical scope of the TSIs is the TEN-T plus the vehicles likely to travel on it.

The Framework Mandate to the Agency states that ’the Agency shall analyse the feasibility of extending the geographical scope of the TSIs (...), and provide a work programme aiming at the development of new TSIs and/or review of TSIs already adopted with a view to covering the lines and rolling stock not yet covered (...)’

The mandate also made a provision for merging the TSIs related to HS and CR rail systems into single TSI for each subsystem. The Agency has sent to the Commission the recommendation on the revised TSIs related to locomotives and passenger rolling stock, energy, infrastructure and people with reduced mobility in December 2012.

These four TSIs have been positively voted by the Railway Interoperability and Safety Committee (RISC) in October 2013 and January 2014. The adoption of the revised TSIs is expected in late 2014 or beginning of 2015.

Following the Mandate of 13 February 2007 the Agency performed an analysis of the relationship between the 1435 mm and the 1520/1524 mm railway systems as far as technical and operational aspects are concerned, together with a strategic evaluation on the possibility of future convergence between the two systems (keeping apart the gauge differences). In this context the pertinence as well as technical and economic feasibility of a separate specific TSI valid for the 1520/1524 mm railway system was evaluated.
The conclusions of this analysis were reflected in the Recommendation to the Commission on 1520/1524 system.
Following this Recommendation, the Agency included the 1520/1524 mm rail systems in the TSIs along with the 1435 mm and other track gauges. Read more...
For each TSI, a list of applicable standards and other documents relevant to the design and conformity assessment of subsystems and interoperability constituents is provided.
According to the Interoperability Directive 2008/57/EC Article 5.8, the Agency may publish technical documents to which TSIs are referring to.

Published technical opinions have been analysed by the Commission services with the involvement of the Rail Interoperability and Safety Committee and it is recommended that the technical opinions are used pending the review of the TSI.

There could be the case that after its adoption, a TSI could have one or more deficiencies in its text.
There are several grade of importance of deficiencies inTSI, as stated by the Directive 2008/57/EC article 7.
Updated list of deficiencies is provided regularly to RISC meetings.
This communication form [link] can be used for any communication about or to inform ERA about a deficiency in TSIs.

 Transversal TSIs







  • Andrzej Harassek
    +33 (0) 32 70 96 500
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  • Hubert Lavogiez
    +33 (0) 32 70 96 500
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  • Felice Ferrari
    +33 327096 593
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