ERFA / Strategy / Working groups

Working groups

Delivering technical competence

ERFA regularly provides input and technical expertise to the regulatory process via working groups established by the European Railway Agency and/or the European Commission.

ERFA actively participates in the following working groups:

FFG – Freight Focus Group, ERA The Freight Focus Group was established in 2013 as a working party and is chaired by ERA (Safety Unit). The participants are representatives from the sector associations (ERFA, CER, UIP, UIRR etc.) and National Safety Authorities.

The main objectives are:
  • to provide a platform for the various stakeholders to discuss and commonly agree on vehicle related safety and maintenance issues aiming in particular to avoid that actions are taken on national level as they have the potential to hamper cross-border freight traffic
  • issuing requirements for the development of standards and other voluntary industry measures on maintenance of railway vehicles
  • supporting the Agency for preparing the revision of the ECM regulation 445/2011 and subsequent accreditation schemes.
CoCB - Cooperation of Certification Bodies, ERA The ERA working group “Cooperation of Certification Bodies was established in September 2012 and is chaired by ERA (Safety Unit). It shall serve as a forum for Certification Bodies, NSAs and sector associations (e.g. ERFA) and covers issues related to the ECM certification for vehicles.

The main objectives are:
  • issuing clarifications and recommendations on the certification procedures for ECM
  • analysing and answering to any doubts or problems that may arise during application of the certification scheme
  • maintaining a transparent legal framework for accreditation as a tool to develop trust and confidence in conformity assessment and mutual recognition in the corresponding results.

In 2014 a dedicated task force on “a common framework for assessing the capability of certified ECMs to manage their contractors” (e.g. ECM providing sub functions) was established.
RVRR - Rationalisation of Vehicle Related Registers, ERA One result of the “Study on Coherence and Consistency of Registers” which was supported by various stakeholders and published in 2012 by ERA showed that there is a need for rationalisation of the various vehicle related registers in order to improve efficiency and remove duplication of data.

The main objective of the 2013 established working group, chaired by ERA, is to draft an Agency Recommendation consolidating the various registers in a single system and giving consideration to the problems reported by the stakeholders and recorded in the 2012 Study.
Taskforce on Single Safety Certificate, RISC The development and implementation of the Single Safety Certificate (SSC) for railway undertakings has been a long term objective according to the principles identified in the Railway safety directive 2004/49/EC. Since several workstreams of ERA Safety Unit are linked to the achievement of the SSC, a programme management approach is needed to ensure the right momentum.

A Task Force shall drive the programme towards its successful delivery: it will be provided with the information collected from the various related projects of the Agency and contribute to monitoring the efficiency of the overall programme. Member States, NSAs, the sector (e.g. ERFA) and railway undertakings shall be represented.
SERAC Expert Group on Noise, DG Move The Working Group was established in 2011 and the main objective is to develop harmonized noise differentiated track access charges to be implemented on a voluntary basis by those Member States who believe that such schemes help to mitigate noise emitting from rail freight wagons in short and mid-term. The Group is chaired by DG MOVE and attended by representatives from Member States and Switzerland (e.g. Ministries of Transport), NGOs and sector representatives (e.g. ERFA, CER, UIP).

Latest News


ERFA Strategy Day 2017

On the occasion of the ERFA Strategy Day Workshop, an internal meeting of private rail freight companies in Europe, the unfriendly business environment for rail freight and the weak state of the industry were heavily discussed.

The presentation of Joakim Landholm, CEO of Hector Rail, highlighted concerns related to the dominance of incumbents, in terms of distorting prices and limiting the customer-orientation as well as the lack of crucial and complete data in the sector. Geert Pauwels, CEO of Lineas stressed the failure of rail to make any significant gains from modal shift until now and the importance of a shift towards rail freight as crucial and urgent for sustainable logistics in Europe.

During the day the key role of national governments and infrastructure managers in supporting rail’s competitiveness  was underlined. The German Master Plan should be developed as best practice in other European countries with a focus on international services.

The European Commission was also present at the meeting to outline on how they could support the reduction of the access charges in the rail sector and to present the Eurovignette directive as an instrument to level the playing field between rail and road. 



Adoption of the new European Union rule to improve rail infrastructure works

The European Rail Freight Association strongly welcomes the adoption of new EU rules to improve the coordination of infrastructure works.

It is a positive step forward for rail’s competitiveness.

Improved rail performance is essential to make rail more customer-friendly and to encourage a shift of goods from road to rail.

ERFA urges infrastructure managers to ensure the success of the new framework for organising infrastructure works!



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