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Romania, France and Greece sign Cooperation Accord with European Railway Agency

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Romania, through AFER, France and Greece, through national security authorities, signed in Bucharest the Cooperation Accord with European Railway Agency (ERA), according to the Directive on railway security and the ERA Regulation, two of the legislative initiatives of the Technical Pillar of Railway Package 4.

“As of June 16, the deadline when all EU member states must sign Cooperation Accords, ERA will be the single railway authority in Europe, in charge of issuing licenses for introducing railway vehicles in the market, issuing security certificates for railway enterprises in EU and of approving ERTMS equipment,” said Dragos Titea, secretary of state in the Transport Ministry, at the international railway conference on the liberalization of European Railways.

In his opinion, the 4th railway package is the most ambitious legislative instrument so far, its main purpose being to revitalize the railway sector and to make it more competitive compared to other means of transport by creating a single European railway space.

Titea pointed to the fact that the European railway space is rather fragmented at present, and different member states use various safety standards and technical systems. For instance, cross border railway transport services must obtain a safety license from several national authorities and have to cope with different signaling systems as well.

He showed there should be compatibility between infrastructure characteristics and those of vehicles, as well as an efficient interconnection of information and communication systems of infrastructure managers and those of railway enterprises.

“Performance levels, safety, service quality and costs depend on such compatibility and interconnection, the same thing being valid for the interoperability of the EU railway system,” he added.

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