ALLRAIL Team attends the 20th Anniversary of ERA

As the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) celebrated its 20th anniversary, ALLRAIL’s team travelled to its home city of Valenciennes to reflect on the Agency’s achievements so far.

The EU Single Market is the catalyst of our common prosperity with railways having the potential to integrate society and boost businesses.

ERA plays a central role in harmonising a fragmented EU rail market, and now it should be given more responsibility and funding. 

Railways have a low market share, especially for cross-border journeys, although they could play a critical role in fostering a more connected Europe.

But there is the ERA – and it has already enabled initial steps to introduce a Single European Railway Area. 

For example, it issues vehicle authorisations since 2019, such as multi-country authorisation allowing operators to operate across internal EU borders.

Now, ERA should be given more responsibilities such as timetable data, capacity management, contingency measures (re-routing) and the sector’s vocational training.

Other EU transport agencies, such as those in the maritime and aviation sectors, receive 100% to 400% more budget and staff than the ERA, despite being much less sustainable. Looking to the future, it is only the EU Agency for Railways that will ensure One Europe, One Railway, and it needs the necessary resources to do so.