Directive 1991/440 - Development of the EC's railways

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Current status

This directive was in effect from September 13, 1991 until June 16, 2015 and should have been implemented in national regulation on December 30, 1992 at the latest.


Key information

official title

Council Directive 91/440/EEC of 29 July 1991 on the development of the Community's railways
Legal instrument Directive
Number legal act Directive 1991/440
Original proposal COM(1989)564
CELEX number i 31991L0440


Key dates

Document 29-07-1991
Publication in Official Journal 24-08-1991; Special edition in Croatian: Chapter 07 Volume 004,Special edition in Lithuanian: Chapter 07 Volume 001,Special edition in Hungarian: Chapter 07 Volume 001,Special edition in Swedish: Chapter 07 Volume 004,Special edition in Bulgarian: Chapter 07 Volume 002,Special edition in Maltese: Chapter 07 Volume 001,Special edition in Polish: Chapter 07 Volume 001,Special edition in Finnish: Chapter 07 Volume 004,Special edition in Slovak: Chapter 07 Volume 001,Special edition in Latvian: Chapter 07 Volume 001,Special edition in Romanian: Chapter 07 Volume 002,Special edition in Czech: Chapter 07 Volume 001,Special edition in Slovenian: Chapter 07 Volume 001,Special edition in Estonian: Chapter 07 Volume 001,OJ L 237, 24.8.1991
Effect 13-09-1991; Entry into force Date notif.
End of validity 16-06-2015; Repealed by 32012L0034
Transposition 30-12-1992; See Art 15
01-07-1995; Austria See 194NN19/02
Notification 13-09-1991


Legislative text

Avis juridique important




Council Directive 91/440/EEC of 29 July 1991 on the development of the Community's railways

Official Journal L 237 , 24/08/1991 P. 0025 - 0028

Finnish special edition: Chapter 7 Volume 4 P. 0045

Swedish special edition: Chapter 7 Volume 4 P. 0045

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE of 29 July 1991 on the development of the Community's railways (91/440/EEC)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the Europaen Economic Community, and in particular Article 75 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1),

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament(2),

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee(3),

Whereas greater integration of the Community transport sector is an essential element of the internal market, and whereas the railways are a vital part of the Community transport sector;

Whereas the efficiency of the railway system should be improved, in order to integrate it into a competitive market, whilst taking account of the special features of the railways;

Whereas, in order to render railway transport efficient and competitive as compared with other modes of transport, Member States must guarantee that railway undertakings are afforded a status of independent operators behaving in a commercial manner and adapting to market needs;

Whereas the future development and efficient operation of the railway system may be made easier if a distinction is made between the provision of transport services and the operation of infrastructure; whereas given this situation, it is necessary for these two activities to be separately managed and have separate accounts;

Whereas, in order to boost competition in railway service management in terms of improved comfort and the services provided to users, it is appropriate for Member States to retain general responsibility for the development of the appropriate railway infrastructure;

Whereas, in the absence of common rules on allocation of infrastructure costs, Member States shall, after consulting the infrastructure management, lay down rules providing for the payment by railway undertakings and their groupings for the use of railway infrastructure; whereas such payments must comply with the principle of non-discrimination between railway undertakings;

Whereas Member States should ensure in particular that existing publically owned or controlled railway transport undertakings are given a sound financial structure, whilst taking care that any financial rearrangement as may be necessary shall be made in accordance with the relevant rules laid down in the Treaty;

Whereas, in order to facilitate transport between Member States, railway undertakings should be free to form groupings with railway undertakings established in other Member States;

Whereas, such international groupings should be granted rights of access and transit in the Member States of establishment of their constituent undertakings, as well as transit rights in other Member States as required for the international service concerned;

Whereas, with a view to encouraging combined transport, it is appropriate that access to the railway infrastructure of the other Member States should be granted to railway undertakings engaged in the international combined transport of goods;

Whereas it is necessary to establish an advisory committee to monitor and assist the Commission with the implementation of this Directive;

Whereas, as a result, Council Directive 75/327/EEC of 20 May 1975 on the improvement of the situation of railway undertakings and the harmonization of rules governing financial relations between such undertakings and States(4) should be repealed,


SECTION I Objective and scope

Article 1

The aim of this Directive is to facilitate the adoption of the Community railways to the needs of the Single Market and to increase their efficiency;

-by ensuring the...


This text has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Original proposal



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