The 19th meeting of the UIC Covid-19 Task Force was attended remotely on 27 April 2021 by around 40 participants from across the globe.
Marc Guigon, Chair of the Task Force, welcomed the participants and gave an overview of presentations to come, with a particular focus on the various measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus as well as maintaining safe and healthy spaces.
A series of interesting presentations were delivered by representatives from Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU), CR2 Services (Healthy Space Specialists), NS (Dutch Railways) and Fleetshield (experts in film applications for public transport and buildings).
The key themes of the presentations included:
- “Countermeasures Adopted to Prevent the Spread of Covid-19" by Dewei Li, Researcher – Beijing Jiaotong University (presentation delivered by Songliang Zhang, student of Dewei Li)
Focus was placed on the management of the prevention and control of Covid-19 in the railways. Mr Zhang also highlighted that passenger numbers at the moment are almost as high as in pre-pandemic times and therefore China is slowly seeing the recovery of passenger travel.
- “Safe and Healthy Spaces, free from the risks of Infectious Disease” by Andrew Stephens, Director – CR2 Services
Mr Stephens explained how CR2 Services are working to create safe and healthy spaces with the help of technology such as AI machine learning to determine and manage the risk levels in railway carriages.
- “Impact of Covid-19 on train passenger attitude and behaviour”: Prevention of virus spread through contact surfaces” by Jeroen van Son, Director – Fleetshield and Dr Mark van Hagen, Senior Customer Experience Consultant – NS
Emphasis was placed on the survey carried out among railway passengers to determine passenger behaviour, emotions and perceptions with regard to train travel in the context of the pandemic, as well as looking at behaviour pre-Covid, during Covid and expectations post-Covid. According to the survey the overall expectation is to resume normal travel behaviour after Covid and therefore it is very important to try and restore customer confidence in the railways through good communication.
For the next steps, Members are encouraged to share their thoughts on recommendations for the new normal – either by writing to the UIC Task Force team or by posting in the UIC Extranet: https://extranet.uic.org/en/thread/127006
All guidance documents can be consulted on UIC’s dedicated Covid-19 webpage, which is regularly updated with the latest video, news articles, webinars and other audiovisual material: https://uic.org/covid-19
As a reminder, the Task Force LinkedIn group is open to members. Feel free to join the group and share your thoughts: https://lnkd.in/eEKqfW2
The next Task Force web-conference is scheduled to take place on 25 May 2021. Members are asked to give details of their expectations of future meetings.