European Railway Agency - ERA

Making the railway system work better for society

Train Drivers

Safe and interoperable rail traffic on the European rail network depends on competent staff to fulfil operational tasks in a safe and reliable manner.

ERA supports the European Commission to develop common minimum requirements and procedures concerning vocational education, competence assessment and staff certification.

Former Directive 2007/59/EC introduced an EU certification scheme for train drivers including the issuance of European train driver licences by the national safety authorities and harmonised, complementary certificates by the employer.

The EU certification scheme for train drivers is based on:

All train drivers should hold a European licence from October 2018 onwards. Since 2014, the IMI (Internal-Market-Information-System), a secured web-based information exchange tool managed by DG Internal Market, is used for the exchange of licence information between authorities, in order to fulfil the requirements of the Train Driver Directive.

Requirements for staff other than train drivers carrying out safety-critical tasks, e.g. other train crew members, are defined in the Operation and Traffic Management Technical Specification for Interoperability (OPE TSI).