The European Commission’s Transport Council has reached a ‘general approach agreement’ on plans to simplify the safety approval process across the continent.
MEPs are discussing plans to create a Single European Rail Area to repair a fragmented system which currently requires operators and manufacturers to gain certification in individual countries across Europe.
Under the proposed system, operators and train builders would only need a single EU safety certificate – a move that the European Union hopes will open up opportunities for more cross-border train services and reduce the amount of time it takes for new trains to come to the market.
Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: “I am pleased to see that we have made good progress on this aspect of the rail package, under the Lithuanian presidency.
“It’s a crucial piece of the puzzle for better and more competitive railways in Europe. We will continue to do our best to make rapid progress on the other parts of the package as well.”