For a safe revision of the European Train Drivers’ Directive

5 Jul 2023

We need a safe revision of the European Train Drivers’ Directive (TDD) – this was the message from an event hosted on 5 July 2023 by Austrian S&D MEP Andreas Schieder in the European Parliament in collaboration with ETF and its train drivers.

In front of an audience of policy-makers, ETF General Secretary – Livia Spera, ETF Railways Policy Officer – Jedde Hollewijn, and two ETF-affiliated train drivers – Gerhard Tauchner of Vida and Hervé Pineaud of CGT-Cheminots – presented the facts.

The European Commission, in its efforts to induce a green transition in European transport, has put its focus on rail, with this initiative aimed at addressing the supposed cross-border blockages in rail transport by, amongst others, making changes to the language regime for rail operations across the EU. However, this is a false problem. The biggest issue in railways is not the language barrier but the lack of compatibility between rail systems and the missing border crossing infrastructure links.

Tauchner and Pineaud explained how any change to the communication system in the railways will have a serious impact on the safety for everyone working and travelling on the railways. They also underlined the need for an EU-wide method to monitor the working-, driving-, and rest- times of drivers and other mobile staff to ensure rest times are respected and drivers are not fatigued. Railway workers must be heard and listened to when considering these technical proposals, especially when rail safety is at risk. They do have hands-on experience in the sector.

ETF has been following the TDD revision from the very start, actively engaging with the European Commission and stakeholders, and ETF and the ETF Railways Section is committed to the goal of achieving safe and sustainable rail that provides high-quality jobs.