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Streamlining Railway Harmonisation: Introducing the EU-Rail STIP

The Europe’s Rail (EU-Rail) Standardisation and TSI Input Plan (STIP) is a collection of all outputs from EU-Rail (Innovation and System Pillar) which contribute to the goal of harmonisation of the railway system. The harmonisation topics are categorised in technical domains and described by the foreseen harmonisation channel (TSI, EN standards, SP document), the time horizon as well as dependencies with existing regulations, standards, and R&I activities.  

The STIP will facilitate the transfer of Research and Innovation topics from EU-Rail to European regulation and standardisation organisation. Experiences from Shift2Rail, the predecessor of Europe’s Rail, showed that this transfer can be complex to manage and potentially a bottleneck, resulting in slow uptake and deployment of beneficial innovative solutions by the sector.


To overcome this bottleneck, the EU-Rail Standardisation and TSI Input Plan shall support a reliable and efficient transfer of the results of EU-Rail to the adequate harmonisation channel, by:

  • proving a structured and transparent outline of all outcomes expected from EU-Rail, with the proposed harmonisation channel and time planning;
  • setting up clearly defined processes in collaboration with the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) and the European Standardisation Organisation (ESO) for the delivery of harmonisation topics into their respective working processes. Based on these collaborative processes, STIP topics will go into the TSI revision process, according to the European Commission (EC) request to ERA for TSI revision, as well as into the European standardisation process, considering the EC request for standardisation.
  • introducing a new, EU-Rail internal harmonisation channel, named System Pillar document (as an industrial standard).

The work on the EU-Rail Standardisation and TSI Input Plan started in the Summer of last year with the collection of topics from the System Pillar and Innovation Pillar at Europe’s Rail. A first draft was sent to the sector end of 2023 for review. After a comprehensive revision process, considering the numerous comments made, a revised STIP draft was provided on 17 April 2024. Comments were requested until mid-May. Based on these comments and the alignment process with the European Commission request for TSI revision, the first official version of the STIP is currently under preparation and will be published beginning of July.

The revision process of the STIP included not only the consideration of the comments made by the sector but also the alignment of the scope and time planning for the topics of the EC request for the next TSI revisions. In the future, the STIP will be updated on a yearly basis in line with updates of the TSI revision request.

The revised STIP now includes 31 different categories in which the topics are categorised. The main strategic focus of the proposed harmonisation topics lies on CCS wayside harmonisation and operational harmonisation to promote a harmonised ETCS Level 2 system in Europe including innovative functionalities such as ATO, ASTP and FRMCS, and considering safety and cybersecurity.  Besides, innovations from the Innovation Pillar work for example alternative propulsion, energy management, and digital twin are included.

Each topic is described by a unique ID, a title, a short description, and, if available, more detailed information about the content, the related standards and TSIs, and dependencies with other topics.

The first version of the STIP has been approved in principle at the System Pillar Steering group on 29 May and will be released following the approval of the TSI revision request.

A close collaboration with ERA has been established to ensure the timely transfer of the STIP topics to the ERA CCM process.