CENELEC standards, reference framework for railway systems


Today, rail projects are governed by CENELEC legal framework that aims to define and to establish the methodology of how to achieve the objectives of a rail system in terms of reliability, availability, maintainability and safety.

The so-called CENELEC EN 5012X standards, which are mandatory, are applicable both in urban rail systems -tram, subway- and in conventional rail systems -high speed, conventional train, goods-.

The 4 great references regarding CENELEC standards are:

  • CENELEC EN 50126
  • CENELEC EN 50129
  • CENELEC EN 50128
  • CENELEC EN 50159

They will jointly cover aspects related to system safety, taking into account hardware and software elements being used. The following figure illustrates the relationships between the different standards of the regulations:

What is CENELEC EN 50126 standard for?

CENELEC 50126 is responsible for describing the methods to be used to specify and demonstrate reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS) of a rail system.

What is CENELEC EN 50128 standard for?

CENELEC EN 50128 standard is responsible for describing the actions that must be taken to demonstrate safety of software -normally software being programmed in electronic devices of the railway equipment- and also for administration of the tools that are used as support for developing, programming and monitoring railway systems.

What is CENELEC EN 50129 standard for?

CENELEC EN 50129 standard is responsible for describing the structure of safety case and the means that must be applied to guarantee the hardware safety. Therefore, CENELEC EN 50129 standards are oriented more specifically towards the safety management of architectures and hardware systems.

What is CENELEC EN 50159 standard for?

These norms are complemented by a norm relative to aspects of transmission and digital communication between electronic equipment: CENELEC EN 50159, which covers safety in all types of communication networks -closed or open- between teams.

But being the most relevant, they are not the only ones...

It should be noted that, in addition to these standards related to the architecture of a device -hardware and software-, there are other standards regulating interaction of the device with the environment, such as CENELEC EN 50121. This device deals with Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) issues, both from the point of view of the radiation emitted from the rail system to the outside world, and also from the point of view of the environment towards the rail system -affecting the train and the fixed equipment-, immunity.

Leedeo Engineering, benchmark in the railway sector.

There are many customers who contact us because they are required or decided to start working under compliance with CENELEC standards. Leedeo has extensive experience in the use and compliance with CENELEC standards:

  • Customized training in compliance with CENELEC standards.
  • Accompanying activities associated with compliance with CENELEC standards in the framework of a project.
  • Turnkey outsourcing of RAMS activities of a project,
  • Resident RAMS Engineers. 

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