“In the approval process for a new type of train, incredible amounts of regulations, rules, and requirements come together at European and national level, all of which have to be taken into account,” explains DEKRA expert van Hengstum. In this context, even the approval application to the responsible authority represents an enormous challenge for most vehicle manufacturers – after all, the responsibility for the preparation, organization, and completeness of an application always lies with the applicant, according to EU law. This poses the question for Alstom whether the new train meets the requirements of European and national safety regulations, with all its subsystems such as power and train control-command, as well as components such as bogies and pantographs.
This is precisely where the experts at DEKRA Rail come into play. After all, the testing and certification of rail vehicles is a central expertise in their extensive portfolio. As a so-called notified body (NoBo), DEKRA also has the recognition of the European Union as a neutral and independent organization authorized to certify on the basis of the Technical Requirements (TSI). At national level, DEKRA has accreditation as a designated body (DeBo) in both the Netherlands and Belgium, where the focus lies on compliance with national technical regulations.
DEKRA plays a key role in the approval process on behalf of Alstom
DEKRA plays a key role in the approval process for the ICNG on behalf of Alstom. The railroad experts from Utrecht are responsible as a designated body (DeBo) for the national conformity tests in the Netherlands. However, by far the most time-consuming part is performed by the staff of the testing and inspection department. In fact, at the beginning of its life cycle, the ICNG is a blank slate for outsiders. In order for the prescribed conformity tests to take place at all, they need data, or more precisely: Huge amounts of data, which DEKRA Rail must identify in measurement and test runs.