Website: Interoperability and safety

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Publication Date 2016
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The creation of an integrated European railway area also calls for improved 'interoperability' – or technical compatibility - of infrastructure, rolling stock, signalling and other rail systems, as well as less complex procedures for approving rolling stock for use across the European rail network.

Over the years national rail networks have developed different technical specifications for infrastructure. Different gauge widths, electrification standards and safety and signalling systems all make it more difficult and more costly to run a train from one country to another. Specific EU legislation exists to promote interoperability and overcome such differences.

The European Railway Agency plays a central role in promoting interoperability and harmonising technical standards, a process in which cooperation between EU Member States and rail stakeholders is essential.

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