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It sets out the requirements and procedures for the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the EU railway system.
When implementing the directive, EU countries may exclude train drivers who operate exclusively on:
metros, trams and other light rail systems;
networks separate from the rest of the rail system which are intended only for local, urban and suburban passenger and freight services;
privately owned railway infrastructure;
sections of railway track temporarily closed to normal traffic.
Certification of drivers
Drivers must have the necessary fitness and qualifications. They must also hold the following documents:
a licence confirming that a driver meets minimum requirements for medical and psychological fitness, basic education and general professional skills;
a harmonised complementary certificate indicating the infrastructure (railways) and rolling stock (types of train) for which the driver is authorised.
Obtaining a licence and a certificate
Applicants must meet the following requirements:
be at least 20 years old, although EU countries may issue licences limited to their own territory to drivers from the age of 18;
have received basic training and satisfy the medical requirements laid down in the Directive;
provide evidence of physical fitness by passing a medical examination conducted by a medical doctor recognised by the competent authority;
demonstrate psychological fitness by passing an examination conducted by a psychologist recognised by the competent authority;
provide evidence of their professional and, if applicable, linguistic abilities.
The competent authority must issue the licence within 1 month of receiving the necessary documents. The licence is valid for 10 years.
The complementary certificates are issued by the employers of train drivers, i.e. railway undertakings or infrastructure managers.
What is the role of national competent authorities?
The authority appointed by an EU country to issue the train driver’s licence has a number of tasks including:
issuing and updating licences, providing replacements and suspending and withdrawing licences if necessary;
ensuring periodic examinations and checks;
ensuring the publication and updating of a register of accredited or recognised persons and bodies (medical doctors, trainers, examiners, etc.);
keeping and updating a register of licences which have been issued, modified, suspended, cancelled or declared lost or destroyed, or which have expired;
supervising the process of certifying drivers and carrying out the necessary checks on board trains travelling within the EU.
Railway companies must:
keep a register of all harmonised complementary certificates issued, expiring, modified, suspended, cancelled or declared lost or destroyed;
set up a system to monitor their drivers and take immediate action if a driver’s fitness for the job is called into question.
By 29 October 2018, all drivers must hold licences and certificates that comply with this directive.
Amendments to Directive 2007/59/EC
The directive has been amended on several occasions:
by Directive 2014/82/EU which includes minor changes to the requirements for issuing a licence and a certificate in order to ensure uniform application across all EU countries;
by Directive (EU) 2016/882 and by Regulation (EU) 2019/554 which amend Annex VI to the directive concerning language requirements for train drivers;
Regulation (EU) 2020/698 which lays down specific and temporary measures in view of the COVID-19 pandemic concerning the renewal or extension of certain certificates, licences and authorisations and the postponement of certain periodic checks and periodic training in certain areas of transport legislation. The regulation extends the time limits laid down in Directive 2007/59/EC by 6 months.
FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?
It has applied since 4 December 2007 and had to become law in the EU countries by 3 December 2009.
Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community (OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, pp. 51-78)
Successive amendments to Directive 2007/59/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Regulation (EU) 2020/698 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 2020 laying down specific and temporary measures in view of the COVID-19 outbreak concerning the renewal or extension of certain certificates, licences and authorisations and the postponement of certain periodic checks and periodic training in certain areas of transport legislation (OJ L 165, 27.5.2020, pp. 10-24)
Commission Implementing Decision 2014/89/EU of 14 February 2014 on a pilot project to implement the administrative cooperation obligations set out in Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council by means of the Internal Market Information System (OJ L 45, 15.2.2014, pp. 36-39)
Commission Decision 2011/765/EU of 22 November 2011 on criteria for the recognition of training centres involved in the training of train drivers, on criteria for the recognition of examiners of train drivers and on criteria for the organisation of examinations in accordance with Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 314, 29.11.2011, pp. 36-40)
Commission Recommendation 2011/766/EU of 22 November 2011 on the procedure for recognition of training centres and of examiners of train drivers in accordance with Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 314, 29.11.2011, pp. 41-46)
Commission Regulation (EU) No 36/2010 of 3 December 2009 on Community models for train driving licences, complementary certificates, certified copies of complementary certificates and application forms for train driving licences, under Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and the Council (OJ L 13, 19.1.2010, pp. 1-27)
Commission Decision 2010/17/EC of 29 October 2009 on the adoption of basic parameters for registers of train driving licences and complementary certificates provided for under Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 8, 13.1.2010, pp. 17-31)
last update 22.07.2020
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