Legislation National & European
Legislation National & European
The older Irish laws concerning railways include the Acts cited in schedules 1 and 2 of the Railway Safety Act 2005. These laws may be found at the Irish Statute Book website. The principal Acts governing railway safety were the Regulation of Railways Acts 1842, 1868, 1871 and 1889, the Railway Returns Act 1878 and the Railway Employment Act 1900. The other Railway and Transport Acts of the 19th and 20th century mainly concerned commercial and property management.
The Railway Safety Commission now the Commission for Railway Regulation was established on 1st January 2006 under the provisions of the Railway Safety Act (RSA) 2005.
The Railway Safety Act 2005 fundamentally changed the way that railway safety was managed and regulated. It required railway organisations to submit their own safety management system for certification by the CRR, which in turn supervised the application of the SMS.
Under the Railway Safety Act 2005 the CRR has three principal functions, (a) to foster and encourage railway safety, (b) to enforce this Act and any other legislation relating to railway safety, and (c) to investigate and report on railway incidents. These functions relate to both the heavy and light rail.
The responsibilities that the CRR has under national and European legislation relate to three specific areas, heavy rail, light rail, and cableways. Heavy rail refers to the Iarnród Éireann Infrastructure Manager network and the Railway Undertakings that operate on it. Heavy rail is regulated both through the 2005 Act and EU legislation. Light rail refers to the LUAS rail system in Dublin and is regulated through the 2005 Act, and cableways are regulated through EU legislation.
Heavy and Light Rail.
The Railway Safety Act No 31 of 2005 (as amended) established the Railway Safety Commission (now the CRR). The Act gave three principal functions, as indicated above, to the CRR relating to heavy rail, light rail and metros and the powers to fulfil these functions.
In relation to the enforcement of the Act for heavy rail, it should be noted that the issuing of safety certificates and authorisation to place in service fixed installations and vehicles is now covered by European legislation (see below). For light rail the CRR assesses the safety management systems and issues safety certificates required for operation. In addition, the assessment of and acceptance of new works and rolling stock is also undertaken under the 2005 Act.
National Safety Authority.
SI 476 EU (Railway Safety) Regulations 2020 gives effect to Council Directive (EU) 2016/798 (Railway Safety Directive) and under this the CRR is established as the national safety authority in the State. This is for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the Directive and these Regulations, including safety management certification and authorisation, maintenance of vehicles, supervision, and enforcement.
SI 477 EU (Interoperability of the Rail System) Regulations 2020 gives effect to Council Directive (EU) 2016/797 (Interoperability Directive) and under this the CRR is established as the national safety authority competent for the railway system in the State for the purposes of the Directive and these Regulations including correct implementation of Technical Specification for Interoperability (TSI), placing on the market interoperability constituents and mobile subsystems, authorisation for placing in service fixed installations, upkeep of the national vehicle register and enforcement.
Certification Body for Entities in Charge of Maintenance (ECM).
SI 476 2020 gives effect to Council Directive (EU) 2016/798 (Railway Safety Directive) and under this the CRR is established as the ECM certification body. Certification is carried out in line with Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/779 which lays down detailed provisions on a system of certification of ECM’s.
SI 249 EU (Regulation of Railways) Regulations 2015 (as amended by SI 398 2020) gives effect to Council Directive EU 2012/34 as amended by EU 2016/2370 on a single European railway area, established the CRR as the regulatory body for the purpose of appeals or complaints relating to infrastructure capacity, access charges, the network statement and monitoring competition.
Independent Monitoring Body.
SI 249 2015 (as amended by SI 398 2020) gives effect to Council Directive EU 2012/34 as amended by EU 2016/2370 established the CRR as the Independent Monitoring Body for the purpose of monitoring the contractual agreement between Iarnród Éireann Infrastructure Manager and the Minister as the competent authority, including monitoring the performance of the Infrastructure manager, arbitrate in the event of dispute, approval of the performance monitoring system, report to the Minister on its monitoring of performance.
SI 249 2015 (as amended by SI 398 2020) gives effect to Council Directive EU 2012/34 as amended by EU 2016/2370 established the CRR as the licencing authority for the purpose of assessment of licence applications and the issuing of licences to railway undertaking.
SI 399 EU (Train Driver Certification) Regulations 2010 gives effect to Council Directive 2007/59/EC on the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community established the CRR as the competent authority for the purpose of assessment of licence applications and the issuing of licences to train drivers, and the recognition of training and examination centres.
SI 651 EC (Transport of Dangerous Goods By Rail) Regulations 2010 (as amended) gives effect to Council Directive 2008/68/EC (as amended) on the inland transport of dangerous goods established the CRR as the competent authority for the purposes of ensuring compliance with Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID).
Recognition of DeBos
SI 477 2020 gives effect to Council Directive (EU) 2016/797 (Interoperability Directive) and under this the CRR is since October 2020 established as the organisation responsible for the recognition of DeBos in the State.
SI 543 EU (Cableway Installations) Regulations 2020 gives effect to Regulation (EU) 2016/424 on cableway installations and established the CRR as the body in the State for authorising construction and entry into service of cableway installations or their modification.
Market Surveillance Authority.
SI 543 of 2020 gives effect to Regulation (EU) 2016/424 of the European Parliament and established the CRR as the market surveillance authority for cableway subsystems and components.