Wednesday 27 September 2023

Enhancement of the railway sector’s resilience to natural disasters and climate change

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Natural disasters have recently multiplied all over the world. These disasters have devastating social and economic consequences in the affected areas, and usually entail the loss of numerous human lives.

Given their uniqueness, railways are no stranger to the consequences of these extreme phenomena. Both infrastructure and operations (and therefore users) are significantly affected when these natural disasters take place.

UIC is currently working to enhance the railway sector’s resilience to natural disasters and climate change. Prediction, prevention and protection are the pillars of this work.

To this purpose, a set of five projects under the umbrella name of REsilient RAilways (RERA) will cover the following extreme events:

  • Heavy rains, floodings and excess run-off (ongoing project);
  • Extreme temperatures and desertic conditions (ongoing project);
  • Strong winds (expected 2024);
  • Adherence (expected 2024);
  • Earthquakes (expected 2025).

The RERA-Rain project was the first to be launched. It deals with the effects of heavy rains, floodings and excess run-off on both infrastructure and operations.

The aim of this project is to analyse past extreme events and learn from best practices in different countries. With 11 UIC members currently working on it, the main outcome will be the development of international guidelines, which will support UIC members in their decision-making process when facing extreme rainfall events.

As this subject may potentially concern a large number of members, UIC encourages you to contact Jesús Palma

for more information.

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