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The new platforms
Copyright: bmvit

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Copyright: bmvit / Kerstin Zimmermann

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Railway is coming
Copyright: bmvit

Why do we need interoperability?

Europe has many national railway systems that have evolved each in their own way over the years. Their technical standards are different, and this is an obstacle to cross-border rail traffic. With international trains it is thus usually the case that the engine has to be changed at the frontier station. In especially difficult cases passengers must change trains or goods must be reloaded. Expensive national licensing systems make it hard to use multi-vehicle systems which can run on more than one railway network. There is also a need to harmonise infrastructure because, for example, of differences in platform heights or command and signalling systems.

What does interoperability mean?

Interoperability means making the trans-European rail network able to handle traffic safely and uninterruptedly. This ability derives from the whole body of technical and operational rules and regulations which have to be in place in order for the basic requirements of the interoperability directives to be met.

Aim of interoperability

  • to establish a minimum level of technical harmonisation of the various national railway systems, ensuring seamless movement of rail traffic throughout the Community;
  • to facilitate, improve and develop cross-border rail transport services within the European Union (EU) and with non-EU countries;
  • gradually to complete the single market for the construction and efficient functioning of the trans-European rail system.

Rules and committee work

National Implementation Plan for ERTMS in Austria

Location: http://www.bmvit.gv.at/en/verkehr/railway/interop/index.html
Date: 18.12.2017