On track for a single licensing system for train drivers

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



(2004), "On track for a single licensing system for train drivers", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 36 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/ict.2004.03736eab.002



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

On track for a single licensing system for train drivers

On track for a single licensing system for train drivers

The European Commission has proposed a European licensing system for train drivers, as part of a package of measures designed to open up the market for international passenger services on 1 January 2010.

The plan is for a “general” licence, to be recognized throughout the European Union, for all drivers who fulfill criteria concerning age, state of health, professional experience and language skills. “Specific” licences, in contrast, would be issued by individual railway companies, and would be for drivers of specific kinds of locomotive or using specific routes. Drivers would be tested every 3 years until the age of 60, then annually.

The measures would be introduced progressively. From 2008 to 2020 they would apply only to train drivers on international routes. These make up only 10,000 of the 200,000 train drivers in the 25-member EU. The European Rail Agency would report on this first stage of the plan. Then, between 2010 and 2015, the measure would be extended to all train drivers in the EU.

European rail unions have generally backed the plan.

Loyola de Palacio, European commissioner for transport, said the package was designed to promote a modern, dynamic and competitive railway system and to combat the loss of market share by railways in Europe.

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