Road permits (permission de voirie, an authorisation granted for works to be carried out near a public area) for the railway network aim to improve the safety of railway users in terms of temporary or permanent structures set up alongside said railways.
Any natural or legal person planning to carry out development or construction works alongside a railway line must apply for a road permit from the Public Works Department (Département des travaux publics) under the Ministry of Mobility and Public Works (ministerial road permit).
Who is concerned
A road permit for the railway network is required for any construction, planting or other works carried out on property bordering the railway line at a distance of less than 10 metres from the edge of the track.
No developments of any kind may be carried out at a distance of less than 2 metres from the edge of the railway line.
The outer edge of the railway line stops at either the edge of the embankment or the outer edge of the ditch. Failing this, the edge shall be considered to be located at 1.5 metres from the outer rail of the track.
Planned developments outside of this 10 metre distance are not subject to a road permit provided that they are carried out in compliance with the authorised procedures.
Specialised intermediaries (research consultancies, architects, etc.) can offer assistance with regard to the formalities to be completed with the administrations.
In exceptional cases it is possible to submit an application for a road permit in principle.
Before applying for authorisation, the applicant must contact the competent Regional Department of the National Roads Authority (Service Régional des Ponts et Chaussées) for information on the formalities to be completed.
Businesses who intend to carry out infrastructure works along public roads, namely works concerning telecommunication, gas, electricity or water networks, etc., can consult the National Road Works Register before submitting their application for a road permit.
The Register lets a business check if someone else has already submitted an application for a road permit concerning the same plot of land and hence enables said business to achieve cost reductions by sharing the cost for infrastructure works based on an agreement between 2 or more concerned businesses and other interested parties.
How to proceed
Preparing the application
Each application for a road permit must be accompanied by the following documents:
- a recent extract from the land register of the parcel of land concerned;
- a plan of the project (scale of 1:1,000 or 1:500) showing the development or construction works with respect to the railway line: this plan must show the full width of the railway line;
- where applicable, a longitudinal cross-section of the railway;
- an extract from the general development plan (PAG) including the maps, legend and extract corresponding to the written part of the general development plan for planned developments and constructions on the periphery of towns as well as for business park or housing estate projects;
- where applicable, a plan of the façade facing the railway line and a plan of any other façades with a garage entrance;
- where applicable, a plan of basements, lower ground floors or other floors where the individual or collective garages are located;
- for transformation works:
- 2 plans, one before the works and one showing the planned transformation;
- or indication of the type of works on a plan using the colour code defined in the guide for ministerial road permits (Guide d'application pour l'établissement des permissions de voirie ministérielles).
For large-scale projects likely to result in significant traffic to and from the area, the preparation of a traffic study may be required. Similarly, for construction works that involve significant excavation works, a geotechnical study or assessment may be required.
Ministerial road permit
After obtaining the information and documents required, applicants must send their road permit application to the competent officer at the Regional Department of the National Roads Authority (Service Régional des Ponts et Chaussées).
As soon as the application is received, an acknowledgement of receipt indicating the number allocated to the dossier and the name of the person in charge of the dossier is sent to the applicant.
The competent Regional Department of the National Roads Authority sends a copy of this application to the Luxembourg's national railway company (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois - CFL) for their opinion.
Where applicable, any modifications requested by the National Roads Authority must be made to the project.
Applications for road permits for the railway network are generally processed within maximum 3 months.
Road permits for development works that have a definitive purpose are valid for a period of 2 years. Within this period, the beneficiary thereof must have commenced and terminated the authorised development and construction works.
An extension must be requested no later than 3 months after the end date indicated on the road permit in the following cases:
- the construction work has not yet begun;
- the construction work is under way but not yet finalised.
Only one extension per road permit may be granted.
The road permit does not release the applicant from having to obtain other permits which may be required, in particular when purchasing land or a building:
- a building permit;
- an operating permit for classified establishments;
- an authorisation with regard to the protection of nature;
- a water permit;
- a deforestation / clearing permit;
- an authorisation to install a commercial business sign or advertising sign;
- authorisations concerning developments or works alongside public roads.