Tuesday 12 March 2024

31st meeting of the UIC Global Level Crossing Network (GLCN) held in Madrid on 7 and 8 March 2024

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On 7 and 8 March 2024, 46 level crossing safety experts from 18 countries from Europe, USA and Japan took part, in person or online, in the 31st meeting of the UIC Global Level Crossing Network (GLCN) hosted by ADIF and the Foundation of Spanish Railways (Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles – FFE) at the Railway Museum of Madrid (Museo del Ferrocarril).

Before the very fruitful meeting, participants had the opportunity to visit the Atocha control centre and train station together with the members of the TreSP-Network group that had held their meeting in Madrid the day before.

Adrián Fernández Carrasco, Director General of FFE, welcomed all the participants and shared details of the activities run by FFE and the Museum of Madrid to promote safe behaviour at level crossings and around tracks, in particular safety awareness sessions for children carried out in the museum.

Allan Spence, GLCN Chair, opened the session by thanking Vice Chair Katarzyna Kucharek, Chief Executive Officer of PKP Group Foundation, and all the participants, who were then given the opportunity to introduce themselves.

Next, Roberto Muela Gutiérrez, Director of Level Crossing Department, and Alfonso Escalera Alonso, Head of Level Crossing Protection, presented the “ADIF Level crossing safety plan in Spain 2023-2035”.

Francisco García Torrés (AESF) then shared the “Spanish NSA’s view and initiatives”.

Isabelle Fonverne and Francisco Cabrera (UIC Safety Unit) shared the results of questionnaires launched by UIC and answered by GLCN members:

  • on the use of UIC Guidance on level crossing risk assessment. For those who missed it, here are links to the English version published on 7 December 2022 (and related eNews article), the French version published during summer 2023, and the Spanish version published in December 2023;
  • on road signs at level crossings used in various countries.

Isabelle Fonverne also informed members that the “UIC OPT IN Project on AI to observe LC users’ behaviours, trespassers and suicidal behaviours” had been officially launched. It would last until 2026.

Frank Golden, Senior Technical Executive, Irish Rail, gave a presentation on “Level crossings inspections/Risk assessments, maintenance and compliance checks in the Republic of Ireland”.

Vincent Godeau, INFRABEL, informed members about a new campaign on “Stickers with emergency phone numbers at each level crossing in the future”.

Danijela Baric, Professor, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences presented: “Level Crossings in the Framework of the National Road Safety Plan of the Republic of Croatia”.

Finally, Isabelle Fonverne, UIC, provided information regarding ILCAD 2024.

The ILCAD 2024 campaign will target “Vulnerable users” (all kinds of pedestrians and cyclists, children, teenagers, elderly people, impaired persons, PRM, etc.)
Members agreed on:

  • the ILCAD slogan 2024: “Beware of trains, life can change in a split second”.
  • the draft ILCAD video 2024 made up of CCTV footage (both received from members and taken from the Internet).
  • ILCAD posters showing positive behaviour to counterbalance the misbehaviour in the video.

She told members about the usual joint ILCAD/TRESPAD press release, available in various languages and sent to participating countries by mid-May with an embargo until 4 June.
All these communication supports would be translated into several languages and shared with members.

The results of the usual ILCAD questionnaire would be published here.

She also discussed the ILCAD/TRESPAD 2024 launch, to be undertaken at two international conferences hosted by the Argentinian Transport Safety Board (Junta de Seguridad en el Transporte – JST). She reminded members that:

  • the call for papers to the ILCAD conference was available here;
  • the call for sponsorship was available here;
  • more info on ILCAD was available here.

Save the dates

  • TRESPAD: 5 June 2024, more info here
  • ILCAD: 6 June 2024, more info here
  • ProRAIL invited members to come to the Netherlands (exact location tbd) for the 32nd GLCN meeting to be held on 17 and 18 October 2024

On 8 March, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, participants were fortunate to be able to take part in a level crossing safety awareness session organised by FFE for 75 (8–9-year-old) children and their teachers. They also discussed railway jobs with the children, highlighting that they were open to both girls and boys.

On that day, FFE received great media coverage of their initiative for gender equality in rail, see MujerES en el Ferrocarril – 2024 (ffe.es) (in Spanish).

Thank you to ADIF and FFE for their excellent hospitality.

#safety #uicrail #ilcad #saferlc #levelcrossing #restrail #trespad #TrespassSuicidePrevention #internationalwomensday #womeninrail #DíaInternacionalDeLaMujer #adif #ffe #renfe #aesf

For further information please contact Isabelle Fonverne, Senior Safety Advisor: fonverne@uic.org

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Visit of Atocha Station Group 1
Visit of Atocha Control Centre - Group 2
Awareness to level crossing safety and railway jobs in the Railway Museum From left to right: Ángeles Táuler Alcaraz, Laura Lorenzo Carrascosa, Jose Manuel Liberal Liberal (FFE)
75 children in the Railway Museum
8th March: Promotion of railway jobs
Level crossing awareness activities for children by FFE https://ffe.es/PaXandoanivel/