Second Railway Package

The Second Railway Package is a group of European Union legislation which promote common standards and open access, working towards an integrated European railway area.[1]

International trains at Brussels Midi station: ICE 3 and Thalys.


For much of the 20th century, rail transport in Europe was dominated by national monopolies; these effectively excluded competitors from their networks. Starting in 1991, the EU developed legislation to open railways up to competition, which would help them regain modal share from road and air transport.[2]


Directive 2004/49/ECEdit

2004/49/EC is the Railway Safety Directive; it has since been amended by Directive 2008/110/EC. It harmonised safety principles, including procedures for granting safety approval to railway operators and infrastructure owners.[3][4]

Directive 2004/50/ECEdit

Directive 2004/50/EC harmonised interoperability requirements, particularly for high-speed rail. It amended Directives 96/48 and 2001/16; it has since been updated by 2008/57/EC.[3][5]

Directive 2004/51/ECEdit

Directive 2004/51/EC allowed open access for freight services, nationally and internationally, starting in January 2007[3][6]

Regulation (EC) 881/2004Edit

Regulation 881/2004 created the European Railway Agency, to coordinate safety and interoperability efforts.[3][7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Transport: Second railway package of 2004 - European commission". 28 July 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Railway Mergers and Railway Alliances: Competition Issues" (PDF). 23 September 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2010.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d "European Union legislation". ORR. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Licensing of railway undertakings". 28 May 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  5. ^ "DIRECTIVE 2004/50/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL". Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  6. ^ "DIRECTIVE 2004/51/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL". Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  7. ^ "REGULATION (EC) No 881/2004 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 29 April 2004 establishing a European railway agency". Retrieved 7 October 2010.

External linksEdit