Independent Regulator's Group - Rail (IRG-Rail)

In 2010, together with the Regulatory Bodies from the UK, the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland, the Bundesnetzagentur started an initiative for increased cooperation between independent Regulatory Bodies in the rail sector. The long-term objective is to promote the exchange of experience and specialist knowledge and the development of best practices, thus harmonising the European single market through consistent application of the Community's regulatory framework. Based on this initiative, the Independent Regulators’ Group – Rail (IRG-Rail) was founded in 2011, which today consists of independent Regulatory Bodies of 31 European countries.

Further information

Rail Regulatory Working Group / European Network Rail Regulatory Bodies

The Rail Regulatory Working Group is a special platform of the EU's rail Regulatory Bodies. In this working group, representatives of the European rail Regulatory Bodies and representatives of the European Commission participate in regular meetings to discuss cross-border issues of rail regulation. With the recast of the EU regulatory framework for the rail sector, the Working Group was formalized and codified, so the cooperation of EU regulators takes place in regular meetings of a network which also the European Commission is a member of. In the beginning of 2013 the inaugural meeting of the new network "European Network Rail Regulatory Bodies" (ENRRB) took place.

Improving the quality of rail freight transport

One of the relevant tools for the development of international rail freight transport is Regulation No. 913/2010 "concerning a European rail network for competitive freight". Freight corridors are designated railway routes between two or more EU countries connecting terminals along a main route. Nine (initially six, three more since November 2015) European freight corridors are to create a European rail network for a competitive rail freight transport. This includes the offer of pre-constructed routes. In each corridor, there is a "Corridor One-Stop-Shop" (C-OSS), which is responsible for assigning the train paths.

Infrastructure managers have been obliged by the aforementioned EU Regulation to cooperate more closely than before, to offer cross-border routes and to simplify the ordering process for the path sections. Initial experience in practice has raised a number of issues which are to be addressed and solved within the framework of new initiatives. In view of the great importance of non-discriminatory access to service facilities for the railway market, the European Commission plans to adopt an Implementing Act in 2017.

Technical standards

The "Technical Specifications for Interoperability for Telematics Applications for Freight" (TAF TSI) are rules for the implementation of a technical standard for an EU-wide exchange of commercial and operational data in the railway sector. By TAF TSI applications a smooth transition between the infrastructures of different countries should be possible in the future, so that the competitiveness of rail freight transport is further improved. Because of this importance for competition, the Bundesnetzagentur is involved in the professional bodies responsible for the development of TAF TSI in order to ensure a transparent and non-discriminatory application of this specification right from the beginning.