Safety regulation

Types of regulation

How is rail safety regulated?

There is a wide range of transport safety regulations in Russia, including technical, criminal and fire safety regulations.

One of the general acts for transport safety is the Federal Law on Transport Safety. It prescribes the following different types of safety requirements:

  • transport safety requirements;
  • transport safety requirements regarding transport infrastructure safety during project design;
  • transport safety requirements regarding non-transport infrastructure facilities that are located near transport infrastructure; and
  • requirements for the transport safety of individuals.


The Government Regulation on federal transport supervision regulates rail transport supervision, including safety supervision. The Regulation sets forth a timetable for planned inspections of providers: depending on the risk category of the facility, an inspection takes place every year, or every three, five or 10 years.

The Federal Law on Fire Safety and the Federal Law on Technical Regulation also apply to transport safety.

For convenience of researching transport safety regulation, the most important acts on rail transport regulation can be found in the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Transport (FSSST) Order ‘on approval of the FSSST list of legal acts that contain obligatory requirements for commercial operations based on a notification procedure’.

Competent body

What body has responsibility for regulating rail safety?

The Ministry of Transport regulates the safety of transport and maintenance of rail infrastructure and prepares the state transport safety policy.

The FSSST performs control and supervisory functions in the transport sector, including rail transport.

Manufacturing regulations

What safety regulations apply to the manufacture of rail equipment?

Primarily, the manufacture of rail equipment must comply with provisions of the Technical Regulation on the Safety of Rail Equipment (approved by a decision of the Customs Union Commission). It includes, inter alia, requirements for mechanical, chemical, biological and radiation safety.

A safety compliance assessment may be in the form of certification or in the form of a declaration of conformity. The Technical Regulation contains lists that state the form of assessment for particular equipment.

Maintenance rules

What rules regulate the maintenance of track and other rail infrastructure?

The general rules of the Town Planning Code apply to the operation, construction and commissioning of buildings that are part of rail infrastructure. Rail transport and other rail infrastructure are also regulated by the Federal Law on Rail Transport and other specific by-laws. This includes the Technical Regulation on the Safety of Rail Infrastructure.

Rules for the maintenance of track and other rail infrastructure are stipulated by the Ministry of Transport Order on the approval of railway technical maintenance rules, which regulates, inter alia, the following:

  • rail transport employees’ obligations regarding transport safety;
  • the maintenance of buildings and track equipment;
  • the maintenance of electrical equipment; and
  • train traffic management.

What specific rules regulate the maintenance of rail equipment?

The Ministry of Transport Order on the approval of railway technical maintenance rules also regulates the maintenance of rail equipment. It prescribes requirements for planned repairs. An access permit can be obtained following equipment repair provided the relevant notes were made in the technical passport, which each locomotive, carriage or other part of the rolling stock must have.

The rules also require certain signs and titles to be made on rolling stock (eg, owner’s name, dates of repair, identification numbers).

Moreover, the rules contain separate regulation for the maintenance of rail infrastructure, including rolling stock, on tracks where high-speed trains (140 to 250km/h) are operated.

Accident investigations

What systems and procedures are in place for the investigation of rail accidents?

The procedure for the investigation of rail accidents is prescribed by the Ministry of Transport Order on the approval of provisions for classification, investigation and recording of rail accidents and other events related to violations of rail safety regulation procedure.

This procedure requires the rail infrastructure owner to inform a range of government bodies (including the FSSST and the relevant public prosecutor’s office) about accidents such as train crashes, accidents involving hazardous cargo spills, etc.

A commission of FSSST representatives must be formed to investigate these accidents. The commission’s decisions are binding on the rail infrastructure owner.

The Russian Railways Joint Stock Company (RZD) Order ‘on the approval of provisions for the classification, investigation and recording of rail accidents and other events related to violations of rail safety regulation procedure on RZD infrastructure’ corresponds to the above-mentioned Ministry of Transport order.

Investigation of accidents involving a transport company’s employees is regulated by the Labour Code, which also requires the employer to immediately report accidents to the relevant government bodies. In this case, the investigation is conducted by a commission formed by the employer. The commission must include a state labour inspector if the accident caused death or injury.

Accident liability

Are there any special rules about the liability of rail transport companies for rail accidents, or does the ordinary liability regime apply?

The Rail Transport Charter states that a transport company is liable for the death of and injury to passengers, or for damage to baggage in accordance with international treaties or Russian civil law. The Rail Transport Charter or the respective transport contract may set a higher amount of compensation than is determined by civil law.

According to the Rail Transport Charter, the compensation for a passenger’s death is 2 million roubles and for injury up to 2 million roubles. However, if the amount of compensation for harm which is determined in accordance with civil law is higher than that stipulated by the Rail Transport Charter, payment of the compensation in accordance with the Rail Transport Charter does not exempt the payer from the payment of compensation for harm in the amount exceeding compensation stipulated by the Rail Transport Charter.

Liability for safety rule breaches is also regulated by the Criminal Code (liability of individuals) and Code of Administrative Offences.

Law stated date

Correct on

Give the date on which the information above is accurate.

10 July 2020.