Railway sector operators

RAILWAY OPERATING ENVIRONMENT IN FINLAND: the phases of the market access

Ministry of Transport and Communications

The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible for the functioning of Finnish transport and communications networks, transport infrastructure and network markets. The Ministry is also responsible for EU matters in its administrative branch, guiding and governing transport policy and the use of networks, and transport-related environmental and energy matters.

Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom

In accordance with EU law, Traficom is the national safety agency in the Finnish railway system. In this role, it is responsible for issuing safety certificates to railway operators and safety authorisations to infrastructure managers. Traficom also acts as the licensing authority for placing in service new railway infrastructure and vehicles, issues train driving licences and approves, for example, the operating licences of railway undertakings, conformity assessment bodies, education and training institutions as well as railway doctors and psychologists. Traficom oversees the railway system and actively participates in its development and the related regulation in Finland and in the EU. Traficom also has certain duties concerning urban rail transport.

Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA) is responsible for the state-owned railway network and operations on that network, and participates in the development of the transport system. FTIA acts as the infrastructure manager of the state-owned railway network in accordance with a safety authorisation granted by Traficom and its safety management system. It cooperates with the railway operators operating on the railway network and infrastructure managers of private sidings connected to the state-owned railway network. As an infrastructure manager, FTIA is responsible for the use, maintenance and development of the railway network and for the allocation of rail capacity, for example. Capacity allocation is described in more detail in FTIA’s Finnish Railway Network Statement.

Traffic Management Finland Group

Traffic Management Finland Group (TMFG) provides and develops traffic control and management services and responsibly ensures safe and smooth traffic. TMFG’s tasks include traffic control and safety on the state-owned railway network, securing and licensing track work, and managing network and traffic anomalies. TMFG’s traffic control and management duties overlap with the duties of the infrastructure manager of the state-owned railway network. Therefore, TMFG performs traffic control in the railway system in accordance with the FTIA’s safety management system and in close cooperation with the Agency.

Rail Regulatory Body

The Finnish Rail Regulatory Body monitors, oversees and promotes the functioning, fairness and non-discriminatory nature of the rail market.

A rail regulatory body has been established in each EU country to ensure well-functioning markets and the fair and non-discriminatory treatment of operators in the sector. The Finnish Rail Regulatory Body is an appellate and supervisory body that is independent of railway operators, infrastructure managers and operators of service facilities and settles matters based on complaints or at its own initiative.

European Union Agency for Railways

The European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) is a decentralised EU agency located in France. Its task is to promote the interoperability and safety of European railway systems. ERA also works in close cooperation with the EU and the national safety authorities of EU countries to, for example, prepare EU legislation and further improve the functioning of the railway system.  In 2019, ERA is given new duties and competences as the EU’s 4th Railway Package enters into force. As a result, ERA will also become a licensing authority issuing safety certificates to railway operators and authorisations for the placing on the market of railway vehicles and vehicle types.