Railway Administration // The Luxembourg Government



The European policy regarding transportation on land is part of the European agenda ever since the treaty of Rome, which founded the European Economic Community in 1957, was signed. In the 1960s, several directives, with no significant impact on the railway policy, which remained under the sole responsibilities of the national states, were adopted.

A common transportation policy became relevant at a much later stage with the programming of the single market in 1986. Although, merely the public road, air and sea transportation sectors were initially affected by this policy. These three sectors were already exempted from their obligations of public service.

In the course of time, the Commission witnessed a significant decrease of the amount of market share of railway transportation when compared to the 1970s. In the freight sector, railway transportation saw a loss of market share from 20 % in 1970 to 10,8 % in 2008. A similar, although less consequential, decrease from 10,4 % in 1970 to 6,3 % in 2008, occured in the sector of passengers transportation. This decline was perceived as problematic by the Commission, for two reasons:

  • The transportation by train constitutes by far the most ecological means of transportation,
  • this sector may promote growth and competition.

In order to establish a single European railway area, the European Union has adopted several directives to counteract this adverse trend.

The interconnexion, the access  to national networks needed improvement and their interoperability needed to be favored by harmonising technical norms and rules of technical utilisation by all means necessary with intent to increase competition within the railway sector.

To regulate and supervise interoperability and safety  of the railway sector in a liberalised market, it was deemed necessary to establish a European Railway Agency along with several national safety authorities for each European Member State. Thus, in 2009, the law of July 22nd 2009, the railway safety, was adopted which lead to the foundation of the Administration des chemins de fer in Luxembourg during the same year.

Ever since its foundatioun, the Administration des chemins de fer saw its sphere of responsibilities increased. Its field of activity encompasses 3 main sectors, such as :

  • the authority, responsible for the safety operations and the interoperability of railway systems ;
  • the independant entity responsible for allocation of railway infrastructure capacities and the tariffication for the use of railway infrastructure ;
  • the authority, responsible for the safety of tramway operations.