EUROPE: Meeting in Paris on April 16, the President of Germany's Federal Railway Office Armin Keppel signed an agreement with his counterpart Jean-Paul Troadec from France's Railway Safety Authority endorsing cross-acceptance of railway vehicles between the two countries. The move follows discussions between their transport ministers in March.

Cross-acceptance is seen as an important stepping stone en route to full European interoperability, reducing the time and cost needed to get locomotives and rolling stock certified for operation in different countries. The EBA-EPSF agreement is based on guidelines set out by the European Commission in its review of the interoperability provisions in the Railway Safety Directive (RG 1.08 p5). The accord initially covers regional multiple-units and high speed trains, but is expected to be expanded soon to include diesel and electric locomotives.

  • The European Railway Agency formally established its own Cross-Acceptance Unit on April 1, to support the drive for mutual recognition of rolling stock. The unit is headed by Richard Lockett, who was previously Research & Strategy Adviser.