Establishing a new safety culture for European railways
Libor Lochman (Executive Director) and Enno Wiebe (Technical Director) of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) write that further concentration and common understanding is required to agree on a single and comprehensive model for a rail safety culture in Europe, but explain that to achieve this will be difficult, yet necessary, to contribute to a Single European Railway Area.
At the end of the 1980s, political pressure emerged to revive rail and create a harmonised and connected European railway system that would fully allow free movement of passenger and freight trains across national borders. The very first ‘Railway Directive’ (91/440/EC) from 1991 opened access to railway networks to companies other than those that own the railway infrastructure. Then, from 2001, four successive railway packages were gradually put in place, opening the market for all types of rail services and imposing European interoperability and safety in order to push integration further.