Information published on 7 May 2013 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 345.

10th session of the International Working Group on Land Transport Security (IWGLTS) (Montreal, 1 – 3 May 2013)

  • Security

This international group was created at state level, first of all as part of the G8 plan, and then extended to include:

Canada (2013 chair), Singapore (2012 chair), Netherlands (2014 chair), Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Russian Federation, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, People’s Republic of China, Spain, USA and the UK.
UNECE and the European Commission are also part of the group and the UIC Security Division participates to represent the interests of railway stakeholders.

The meeting, hosted by Transport Canada’s Surface and Intermodal Security Directorate on 1 and 2 May, enabled joint progress to be made and actions to be approved in the following areas:

  • Creating a toolbox to mitigate actions against rail: based on a presentation by the US Transportation Security Administration and the UK’s Department for Transport, the benefit of such a toolbox for decision-makers – containing threat scenarios and the key vulnerabilities of the rail sector – was confirmed. Its development is to continue. Insofar as those responsible for security policies and actions frequently change, this toolbox will provide a particularly useful common framework at all times listing the types of measures in force in the various member countries and able to be adapted to each one’s requirements as new situations arise.
  • The current discussions at UIC on the security of high speed rail systems could be included in this toolbox.
  • Organising rail freight services in the event of a crisis, whether it be an attack on infrastructure or an external event (related to climate, cf. the Icelandic volcano in 2010…) presented by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development: definition of vital goods, main transport routes, preparing contingency plans. A questionnaire is to be sent to members in June 2013, and a draft document is to be developed by January 2014 for discussion at the 2014 IWGLTS session.
  • A questionnaire was presented by Australia as part of the “stakeholder partnerships” sub-group.

Furthermore, various national presentations were put forward, including those of Canada (management of large public events, students and others), Belgium (legislative authority and organisation for land transport security), Japan (video surveillance technology and tracking suspicious persons), Australia (stakeholder engagement, managing contaminated air in the underground), United Kingdom (taking into account security constraints in the design of stations), Germany (location of Bonn railway station in December 2012).

Finally, on behalf of the European Commission (DGF MOVE), Robert Missen reminded participants of the process initiated with the Staff Working Document published on 31 May 2012 and the working group on the security of inland transport comprising the Member States and a number of stakeholders (including the UIC Security Division) which met on 30 January 2013. The aim of this process is to proactively raise security awareness as security decisions are mostly incident-driven. He recalled the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality and raised the question of the added value of European rules in this area.

The meeting continued on 3 May with a technical visit of Montreal Transit Corporation’s operations centre and with a simulation exercise of an explosion and fire in the Montreal underground in its dedicated training centre.

The next IWGLTS will meet in April 2014 in The Hague under the chairmanship of the Netherlands.

For further information please contact Jacques Colliard: colliard@uic.org