WIT Press

Derivation Of Common Safety Targets For The European Railways


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WIT Press


J. Schütte, C. Cassir & A. Eckel


Revitalising the railways is a top priority of the European Union’s common transport policy. A declared objective is to aim towards the creation of an homogeneous European Railway that should help increase the share of railway traffic throughout Europe. At the moment the technical and operational fragmentation between the different Member States are seen as main obstacles for the competitiveness of railway transport, not only for cross-border operations, but also within Member states as it may hinder competition for the provision of railway services. Such considerations have led recently to the development of common solutions (i.e. ERTMS/ETCS for signalling) as well as to common technical specifications to allow interoperability (i.e. TSIs for highspeed and conventional railways). It is recognised that this drive towards interoperability also needs to be accompanied by some convergence in safety practices across Member States. This is meant on the one hand to maintain a high level of safety on the whole European railway network, and on the other hand to facilitate access to new entrants wishing to offer services in any country. The so-called Safety Directive has recently been adopted by the European Parliament and is intended to provide a common framework for achieving such a convergence. Among other provisions, the Safety Directive requires the gradual introduction of Common Safety Targets. These will have to eventually be proposed for adoption by the new European Railway Agency. Common Safety Targets is a sensitive issue, hence the need for a large consensus building currently ongoing. This paper shall present some aspects of the discussion that took place on this subject in the European Research project SAMRAIL. Emphasis is placed upon the various ways the Common Safety Targets could be defined and set. Keywords: European Transport policy, railway safety, safety targets, risk.


European Transport policy, railway safety, safety targets, risk.