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What is functional safety in the rail industry?

Functional safety ensures that safety risks due to hazards caused by the mal-functional behaviour of systems are reduced to an acceptable level. These safety risks are increasing in the rail industry as rail technology is becoming more and more complex, with both hardware and software interacting in different ways and components that are sourced from multiple markets. In the rail industry, the CENELEC EN 5012X (or the equivalent IEC standards) govern functional safety worldwide:

  • EN 50126 (IEC 62278) – RAMS
  • EN 50128 (IEC 622279) – Software
  • EN 50129 (IEC 62425) – System safety

Why is functional safety important in the rail industry?

The benefits of functional safety assessment and testing against relevant rail standards include:

  • Ensure software, hardware and all components used in a railway product interact in a safe and robust way
  • Demonstrate your compliance against all relevant CENELEC standards - EN 50126, EN 50128 and EN 50129
  • Minimise the risk of harm to people and non-acceptance of your products by the market
  • Save time and money by discovering potential conceptional flaws and operation errors as well as hardware and software failures early
  • Simplify access to global markets to establish a competitive edge

TÜV SÜD is your global partner for EN 50126, EN 50128, EN 50657 and EN 50129 certification

TÜV SÜD has global in-depth knowledge of processes and procedures in the rail sector, and decades of experience conducting functional safety testing. We have a base of international and local experts in all key markets worldwide who work with you along the entire product development lifecycle and support you with our testing services from the onset of your project with technical expertise that will result in a safe and reliable product.

As one of the leading global independent assessment bodies we ensure you achieve compliance at an acceptable cost with our unique pro-active and pragmatic approach.

TÜV SÜD’s functional safety testing services for the rail industry

TÜV SÜD supports you along the development lifecycle with all requirements to ensure a safe product design:

Technical ADVISORY

  • Assessment of safety concepts (definition of suitable safety development processes)
  • Verification of development documentation
  • Qualitative (FMEA) and quantitative analyses (Markov, FTA)
  • Compiling hazard and risk analyses
  • Validation of generic products and applications
  • Assessment of software development processes and software analyses

Independent Safety Assessment (ISA)

  • Combined assessments of on-site inspection and documentation review
  • Assessment of general safety concepts and safety assurance processes
  • Assessment of suitability of design
  • Verification and validation of processes and proof of safety (safety cases)
  • ISA reports



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