The EPSF issues authorisations within its area of responsibility in the context of division of roles between the European Union Agency for Railways and the national safety authorities as set out in EU directives.  

These authorisations concern all stakeholders in the rail sector, in particular railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, training organisations and vehicle authorisation applicants.

The common principle is that such authorisations are based on safety demonstration documentation produced by the applicant. The applicant demonstrates how it will undertake to achieve compliance with safety regulations and ensure coverage of the particular railway safety risks associated with the activities and/or equipment and installations covered by the application.

Within the French national rail system, the EPSF issues:

  • type authorisations and authorisations for placing vehicles on the market: enabling circulation of vehicles (locomotives, wagons, EMUs, machinery used for infrastructure maintenance) 
  • single safety certificates for railway undertakings: acknowledging their ability to operate rail transport services (passenger and freight) on all or part of the French national rail system
  • authorisations for the placing in service of fixed installations for new and operational lines: enabling commissioning of new lines and implementation of new technological systems
  • safety authorisations for infrastructure managers: acknowledging their ability to manage risks associated with design, development, maintenance and operation of infrastructure used for public transport
  • approvals for training providers and bodies responsible for driver examination and assessment.

In addition to these roles, the EPSF provides registration of rail vehicles and is the holder of this register. It can certify entities responsible for rolling stock maintenance. It also issues European train driving licences.

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