EC Interoperability Verifications (Directives 96/48/EC and 2001/16/EC) for subsystems and components
The European Commission launched the challenge of setting an "integrated European railway area" through the creation of the interoperability of the railway sector, which can be achieved by implementing technical construction and management standards which are the same throughout Europe.
An initial measure was taken with the adoption of Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system, followed by Directive 2001/16/EC regarding the conventional rail system. Directive 2004/50/EC, finally, amended both interoperability directives in order to harmonize their structures and contents.
In order to achieve the objectives of these directives, the whole railway system has been split up into several subsystems, to which these technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs) apply:
- Control-Command and Signalling
- Rolling Stock
Another subsystem has been defined for the conventional railway system:
- Telematic applications for passenger and freight services.
The vast majority of Member States have transposed the directives into national law, notifying the independent bodies responsible for assessing the conformity and/or suitability for use of the interoperability constituents and for EC verification of subsystems.
RINA acts as Notified Body for both Directives (high-speed and conventional railway systems) for all the subsystems. Thanks to its expertise in the railway sector, RINA is able to perform all the tasks required in order to handle the complete certification process.
Depending on the TSI adopted, several modules are used to obtain interoperability certification; these modules define the technical activities to be performed, which can include design verification, on-site inspections and quality audits.
It is to be noted that RINA experts managed the interoperability certification process for the Energy, Infrastructures and Command-Control and Signalling subsystems of the Italian high-speed network (Rome-Naples and Turin-Novara lines).
Moreover, within the TEN (Trans European Network) framework, RINA has been awarded the contract for EC Certification of all the subsystems (Energy, Infrastructures, Operation and Command-Control and Signalling) of the Brenner Basis tunnel, a 56 km railway tunnel which represents the central leg of the Transeuropean High-Speed Corridor Munich-Verona-Rome.
Besides these high-speed line projects, RINA is also responsible for the interoperability verification of railway components, such as the overhead contact line, rails, wheels and GSM-R devices. The GSM-R technology enables the quick and safe exchange of information between the track and the train, applying the standard of data transmission on which the future system of high-speed European signalling (ERTMS) is based, for trains which will travel at over 300 km/h.