What is ERAIL? 

The ERAIL (European Rail Accident Information Links) database ensures that the information relevant to the safety of the railways in the Member States of the European Union and a number of third countries (at the moment Norway and Switzerland) are accessible and transparent to all interested parties and stakeholders in the railway.

In the Railway Safety Directive 2004/49/EC and the Agency Regulation 881/2004/EC and later amendments, the Agency was given the task of collecting and providing public access to Railway Safety Information. 

The recast of the Railway Safety Directive in 2016 – EU/2016/798 allied to a revised Agency Regulation also in 2016 – EU/2016/796 continued the requirements set out in the original Railway Safety Directive.  The recast Railway Safety Directive and revised Agency Directive entered into force in 2016.  However, the transposition of the recast directive on Railway Safety will only be completed in 2019 or 2020.

Accident investigations

The ERAIL database provides:

Notifications of railway accident investigations and publication of safety recommendations, and

The investigation reports sent to the Agency in accordance with Article 24 (article 25 – Recast Directive) of the Railway Safety Directive;

Articles 19-25 (20 – 26 in the recast) of the Safety Directive outline the requirements for the investigation and reporting of accidents and incidents on the railway. Member States are required to notify ERA of accident investigations and to submit copies of the accident investigation report when complete. The responsibility for this activity lies with an Independent Investigation body within each of the Member States. The reports received are published by ERA within the ERAIL database.

Some investigation bodies investigate and chose to report to ERA a much wider range of incidents and accidents than those required by the Safety Directive with a view to sharing lessons learned from accidents at a European level. The Agency encourages such reporting.

The Investigation reports are not primarily intended for statistical analysis and use.  They provide information on the causal factors in accidents and on the recommendations issued to the National Safety Authorities.  However, with the increasing number of reports held within the database it is now possible to conduct some statistical analyses on the Investigation Reports.

Common approaches to the investigation and reporting of accidents are facilitated through the Network of National Investigation Bodies. Information on the activities of this Network can be found on other web pages of the Agency’s website.

 Common Safety Indicators

The ERAIL database also provides:

Common Safety Indicators (CSI) for the Countries entering such data, and

A biennial report on safety performance, based on CSIs, national reports on safety and accidents and other relevant information relating to safety.  Following the re-organisation of the Agency in 2018 the Safety Performance Report will be superseded by the Biennial Report on Railway Safety and Interoperability in the EU.  In the intervening years due to the ease of electronic publication a Safety

The Safety Directive 2004/49/EC introduced common safety indicators (CSIs), which are to be collected by the national safety authorities and delivered to the Agency. The CSIs data have been collected since 2006 and are available in this database.

In 2010 the Directive 2009/149/EC introduced an updated set of CSIs and made it mandatory for Member States to apply common definitions to safety indicators.

The recast of the Railway Safety Directive – EU/2016/798 continues the requirements for collection of CSIs.

Version 5.1 - 22/07/2015