Upholding high safety levels on the Estonian railway network
7 April 2015 • Author(s): Heigo Saare, Head of the Railway Infrastructure Department, National Safety Authority (NSA) for Estonia
The Technical Regulatory Authority in Estonia is an agency working under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications with a broader objective to help implement national economic policies through the improvement of safety, organising sensible use of limited resources and increasing the reliability of products in the fields of manufacturing environments, industrial equipment, railways, and electronic communication. In the field of railways, the Technical Regulatory Authority acts as the National Safety Authority (NSA) for Estonia in-line with European Union legislation. The NSAs responsibilities have been divided between two departments: the Railway Transport Department and the Railway Infrastructure Department. Heigo Saare, Head of the Railway Infrastructure Department, provides further information and explains the key activities of the Authority.
The main goal of the NSA is to improve, through our main activities (supervision, safety authorisation, authorisation for placing into service), the safety level of the Estonian railway network. The Railway Transport Department mainly issues railway safety certificates, safety authorisations, railway vehicle authorisations and exercises state supervision to inspect compliance with the requirements set for the possessors of railway vehicles, dangerous goods, and railway traffic management.
The Railway Infrastructure Department mainly issues building permits and permits for the use of railway civil engineering works and grants written consent for the demolition of station sidings, depot sidings, platforms, and for the reconstruction of railway superstructure. We approve activities within a railway protection zone; approve of the detailed plans and design criteria which constitute the basis for building design documentation of railway civil engineering works, and exercise state supervision over performance of construction work on railways…