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Safety Cert Reissued

Safety Cert Reissued

Rhomberg Sersa Ireland - which is contracted by Irish Rail to carry out essential maintenance work - has been recertified to operate on the Irish network. 

Rhomberg Sersa Ireland has been recertified by the European Rail Agency (ERA) for another five years.  

Every five years a Railway Undertaking – which is all those operating a railway system – must undergo a rigorous recertification process.  

The examination of the Safety Management System (SMS) of Rhomberg Sersa Ireland began last October when we started working with the Commission for Rail Regulation (CRR) to review all our documentation for compliance with EU directive 2016/798.  

The SMS is one of the cornerstones of the safety regulatory framework that helps to ensure a high level of railway safety. In essence it outlines practices and processes, and each member of staff must be knowledgeable about each section which is relevant to them.  

Led by Rhomberg Sersa Ireland’s Aidan Langley, HSEQ and Compliance Manager, the documents were put through the One Stop Shop (OSS) system which is used by ERA Railway Undertaking (RU).  

Regardless of the size of the organisation, it must be able to demonstrate various competencies such as how to deal with a derailment, how to approve new stock etc. This means that small companies are held to the same standards as much larger companies such as Deutsche Bahn.  

The process to ensure compliance was made more complicated by the fact that the relevant European legislation had changed since Rhomberg Sersa Ireland first submitted the SMS in 2019 when the company took over the Operate and Maintain OTM contract on behalf of Iarnród Éireann - Irish Rail (IÉ). The new legislation places a greater emphasis on Human Factors and Change Management, something which had to be reflected in all processes and documents.  

Starting nine months ago, the team had a series of cycles back and forth with the CRR to review the documentation, answer questions, and amend the processes and documentation as required.  

Irish Rail’s RU and IM also helped, particular thanks to Peter Tuohy, Ishbel McGregor, Ken Byrne and Nora Balfe. 

Thanks also to everyone within the organisation who assisted in reviewing documents, clarifying processes and putting procedures in place where we could be clearer, and closing out historical CRR outcomes.  

The original cert was for four years and the updated cert was issued to Rhomberg Sersa Ireland at the end of June – in advance of the July deadline - which means the company can operate for the next five years until recertification is required once again.