European Railway Agency - ERA

Making the railway system work better for society

Applications for ERTMS trackside approval

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In order to ensure the harmonised implementation of ERTMS and interoperability at Union level, an ERTMS trackside approval is requested to check that the technical solutions envisaged are fully compliant with the relevant Technical Specifications for Interoperability and are therefore fully interoperable.

The ERTMS trackside approval is part of the application file for an authorisation for placing in service trackside control-command and signalling subsystems, involving the European Train Control System (ETCS) and/or the Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (GSM-R) equipment.

Who must apply for an ERTMS trackside approval?

The applicant means a natural or legal person that requests the Agency approval of the technical solutions envisaged. The applicant can be the same entity that later will request the authorisation for placing in service fixed installations. The applicant should submit its request for application before any call for tenders relating to ERTMS trackside equipment.

How do I make an application?

Applicants should read the Commission Recommendation on the harmonised implemented of ERTMS in the Union and the related application guide which provides information about the legislation, application process and what is required from the applicant.

All applications for an ERTMS trackside approval must be electronically submitted through the One-Stop Shop (OSS).

The Agency and the applicant then can engage in a dialogue (called ‘Initial Engagement’) where the applicant is expected to present the intended project and further details of the technical solutions envisaged that defines the scope of the request for approval. As a result of this dialogue, the applicant and the Agency can confirm the scope of the application and arrange an effective application.

The National Safety Authority or Authorities (NSAs) involved in the authorisation can collaborate in the initial engagement stage and provide an opinion on the proposal of arrangements with the applicant and can also provide an opinion in later stages of the approval process.

Also, in case of changes to the draft tender specifications or to the descriptions of the envisaged technical solutions that occurred after the positive decision of the Agency, the applicant is requested to make use of the OSS to inform the Agency and the NSA(s) involved.

Where can I find the decision about my application?

All decisions following an application for an ERTMS trackside approval can be found in the One-Stop Shop (OSS). The Applicant can only access information pertaining to its respective applications.

When does the ERTMS Trackside approval apply?

The ERTMS trackside approval applies to any call for tenders relating to ERTMS trackside equipment launched as of 16 June 2016.

Even though the ERTMS trackside approval is requested for the authorisation of trackside subsystems involving ERTMS, as mentioned in Directive (EU) 2016/797, transitional provisions are defined in Article 55 of this Directive. Due to these transitional provisions, and for the cases of any ERTMS trackside equipment which was not yet subject to an approval, the Agency must be informed before authorising the placing in service.