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Trackside Approval decision on the Corridor Rhine-Alpine signed at InnoTrans 2022

Published: 21 September 2022 Updated: 25 November 2022

Today, Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director of the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA), signed the decision for the Trackside Approval for Corridor Rhine-Alpine, submitted by DB Netz AG, during a ceremony that took place at ERA Stand at Innotrans 2022, in the presence of representatives from DB Netz AG and the ERTMS Coordinator of the European Commission, Mr. Matthias Ruete.

Press release

The lesson learnt is that thanks to a well coordinated approach in one EU Members State,  the re-use of the same design in all other projects is promoted”, asserts ERA Executive Director Josef Doppelbauer. “This trackside approval by ERA represents an important milestone for ERTMS rollout in Germany, and in Europe”, Ruete added. “Full compatibility with the EU legislation is key here, especially as it is located along the Rhine-Alpine corridor, which is one of the economic arteries in Europe.”

ERA’s decision concerns the deployment of the ETCS (European Train Control System) Level 2 on a section of the Rhine Alpine Corridor, part of the TEN-T Core Network corridors. With the Darmstadt-Eberstadt Trackside Approval, ERA awards already the second positive decision for Germany, while having awarded three in total so far. Currently, ERA has 81 ongoing applications for Trackside Approval.

The Trackside Approval process introduced by the Fourth Railway Package (4RP), mandatory and active since 2019, represents an element of novelty for the rail sector, and a key technical aspect for creating a functional Single European Railway Area (SERA). As ERA’s Executive Director also highlighted during his intervention: “We are here to support the rail sector, to increase its interoperability. ERA staff works tirelessly to issue its decisions earlier than estimated, and with reduced costs.”

Background information

About ERTMS Trackside Approval (TA)

This application is related to the trackside approval as defined in the article 19 of the Interoperability Directive (EU 2016/797), part of the 4th Railway Package. The objective is an harmonised ERTMS trackside implementation in the EU. 

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.

About the EU Agency for Railways:

The European Union Agency for Railways was established in Valenciennes  in 2004, and has 188 employees representing more than 22 European Member States. 

ERA has been providing EU Member States and the European Commission with technical assistance in the development and implementation of the Single European Railway Area. This comprises enhancing technical interoperability and harmonising rules, promoting simplified access for customers, developing a common approach to safety and safety culture, advising on telematics applications and ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System), monitoring National Safety Authorities and Notified Bodies and facilitating the exchange of information between the railway actors in Europe. 

Since 16th June 2019 the EU Agency for Railways is mandated to issue single safety certificates and vehicle (type) authorisations valid in multiple European countries and to ensure an interoperable European Rail Traffic Management System.

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Trackside Approval decision on the Corridor Rhine-Alpine signed at #INNOTRANS 2022

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