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This note looks at the statutory framework for rail safety that was introduced under the Railways Act 2005 and the regime which it replaced. It also provides information on EU rail safety policy, interoperability and the ERTMS train protection system.

Railway safety management has undergone two major overhauls in the past twenty years – one immediately following privatisation and a second in the mid-2000s when the industry was reorganised and safety responsibility was passed to the rail regulator. Many of the safety requirements on the rail network are mandated under EU law, particularly the Railway Safety Directive and the Interoperability Directive, and overseen by the European Railways Agency.


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