A SERIES of measures to support the revitalisation of the railway sector’ was announced by European Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot on December 13.Insisting that ’we need to streamline and reduce the amount of rules that railway undertakings have to comply with before they are allowed to use the railway networks of the European Union’, he announced that the EC will bring forward a Communication on vehicle certification, proposals to recast the Railway Interoperability Directives, and modifications to the Regulation establishing the European Railway Agency and to the Railway Safety Directive.The Communication will amend several legal instruments to facilititate the cross-acceptance of locos and rolling stock, eliminating contradictions such as the requirement for locos in Italy to have CO? fire extinguishers not foam, whereas in Austria the reverse applies. Barrot is particularly critical that rolling stock for international services must undergo repeated approval procdedures, taking up to three years and racking up excessive costs.The Commission plans to merge the high speed and conventional TSIs into a single technical specification, recognising that having two separate Directives is un-necessary. ERA will be mandated to develop a reference document with information on all the national rules in the domain of placing into service of railway rolling stock.’n