Fourth Railway Package

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The fourth railway package is a set of changes to rail transport regulation in the European Union law.[1] It covers standards and authorisation for rolling stock; workforce skills; independent management of infrastructure; and the liberalisation of domestic passenger services in an attempt to reduce European rail subsidies.[2]

Background[edit]

The fourth railway package attempts to reform railways companies (whether private or public) that are able to raise prices if they dominate both tracks and the trains. Because of scepticism in most countries about the value of liberalisation, the package permits tracks and trains to be owned by a single holding company.[3][4] The "compliance verification clause" could allow regulators to place sanctions on parts of a vertically integrated rail business which place obstacles in the way of competitors trying to provide services on their network; this would improve competition.[5]

Responsibility for authorising rolling stock to use a network would be shifted away from network owners and towards the European Railway Agency. This is expected to be faster and cheaper.[6]

In 2015, the technical and political pillars of the package were accepted by EU transport ministers and currently the European Commission, Parliament and Council are negotiating to reach an agreement on the text of the regulations.[7][8] The technical pillar of the fourth railway package has been adopted by the European Commission and approved by the European Parliament in April 2016.[9]

Legislation[edit]

  • Regulation (EU) 2016/796 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the European Union Agency for Railways and repealing Regulation (EC) No 881/2004
  • Directive (EU) 2016/797 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the interoperability of the rail system within the European Union
  • Directive (EU) 2016/798 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on railway safety
  • Regulation (EU) 2016/2337 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2016 repealing Regulation (EEC) No 1192/69 of the Council on common rules for the normalisation of the accounts of railway undertakings
  • Regulation (EU) 2016/2338 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2016 amending Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 concerning the opening of the market for domestic passenger transport services by rail
  • Directive (EU) 2016/2370 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2016 amending Directive 2012/34/EU as regards the opening of the market for domestic passenger transport services by rail and the governance of the railway infrastructure

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Fourth Railway Package: lifting market entry barriers to improve passenger services". European Parliament News. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Compliance Verification Clause unlocks the Fourth Railway Package". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Does Europe want Germany to run all its railways?". Lloyd's Loading list. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Gdynia attacks north European gateways while EU fudges rail package". The Loadstar. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  5. ^ "EC unveils draft Fourth Railway Package". International Railway Journal. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  6. ^ "The Fourth Railway Package" (PDF). European Union. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Ministers agree on political pillar of Fourth Railway Package".
  8. ^ "TRAN Committee approves technical pillar of Fourth Railway Package".
  9. ^ Railway Gazette (28 April 2016). "European Parliament approves Fourth Railway Package technical pillar". Retrieved 7 September 2016.