Friday 1 April 2022

Global Level Crossing Network (GLCN) hybrid meeting hosted by Irish Rail in Dublin on 24 March 2022

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A hybrid meeting of the Global Level Crossing Network (GLCN) was held in Dublin on 24 March, hosted by Irish Rail. The Chair of the GLCN, Allan Spence of Network Rail, officially opened the meeting and welcomed 48 delegates attending in person and online from 18 countries in three continents around the globe, including the USA, the EU, Australia and Japan.

The participants first discussed and decided on the arrangements for future governance of the group. Allan Spence will remain as Chair until at least the end of June 2022.

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Ms Katarzyna Kucharek, CEO of the PKP Foundation, applied for the position of GLCN Vice-Chair and was duly elected at the meeting.

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Ms Kucharek has been a member of the GLCN (previously the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF)) for over a decade and contributed to organising the first truly international UIC conference to launch the ILCAD campaign in Warsaw in 2011 together with the UIC General Assembly: https://ilcad.org/ilcad/campaigns/article/ilcad-2011.

The meeting participants then discussed level crossing safety best practices in more detail with a focus on engineering, innovation, enforcement and education measures, with presentations from Australia, Europe and the USA.

Angus McDonal, CEO & Founder of Compass IoT and Nick Karahlis, Head of Product - Traffic & Transportation, Compass IoT Pty Ltd. shared a new initiative in road safety developed by Compass IoT. It involves a proactive approach to road safety based on vehicle “near miss” and road accident data displayed on an interactive road safety map called Safepoint.

Paul Murray, Program Manager at the Australian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI) gave an overview of a report on freight train visibility at passive crossings published in Australia: https://tracksafefoundation.com.au/resource/freight-train-visibility/

Frank Golden, Senior Technical Executive and Cathal Mangan, Chief Civil Engineer at Irish Rail provided a comprehensive overview of the Irish Rail network, types of level crossings (private, public, CCTV-monitored LCs, etc.), level crossing management, accident statistics, the LC risk model, engineering solutions (including new technology) and engagement, enforcement and education measures to improve LC safety.

Keith Pollock, Level Crossing Risk Manager at Translink (UK) presented Translink’s crossing closures and safety improvement projects, as well as its user-worked crossing safety improvement programme and other infrastructure projects improving safety at public and private level crossings in Northern Ireland.

Greg Morse, LHSBR Editor and Operational Feedback Lead at RSSB shared interesting information on level crossing safety history in Great Britain and lessons learned from level crossing accidents. He mentioned the RSSB LC Digest, accessible free of charge by registering on the RSSB website: https://www.rssb.co.uk/safety-and-health/learning-from-experience/level-crossing-digest

The participants then discussed risk assessment methods. The GLCN has commissioned a workstream to create a documented best practice guide for level crossing risk assessment.

On behalf of Robert Wainwright, Network Rail, Allan Spence presented the results of a questionnaire launched last summer. The report is due to be finalised before ILCAD 2022.

Francesco Bedini Jacobini, Federal Railway Administration (FRA) shared the results of a questionnaire on level crossings with humping or hogs sent by UIC on 24 January 2022.

Rachel Maleh, Operation Lifesaver Inc. provided information on new resources/campaigns for level crossing education awareness in the US and again invited participants to the ILCAD launch conference in Denver.

Finally, Isabelle Fonverne, UIC shared information on potential communication support materials for ILCAD 2022 on level crossing safety and trespassing awareness. This year, in addition to the international conference to launch ILCAD on 9 June, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Association of American Railroads (AAR), and Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLE) will co-host an afternoon session on trespassing and suicide prevention in Denver on 8 June: https://ilcad.org/ilcad/article/launch-conference

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ILCAD 2022 will target vulnerable people (young and elderly people, people with impairments or reduced mobility, etc.).The slogan for ILCAD 2022 is “Don’t put your life at risk, stay away from (the) tracks”, and a video montage showing inappropriate behaviour at level crossings is ready to be shared.

The 2016 ILCAD video on elderly people may be used again in 2022; it is available in English and many other languages https://youtu.be/w_gwagAqCi0

Further resources:

For more information, please visit www.ilcad.org

For the call for papers and to register for the ILCAD launch conference, please visit https://ilcad.org/ilcad/launch-conference (due to be closed shortly).

If you have any questions, please contact, please contact Isabelle Fonverne, Senior Safety Advisor: fonverne@uic.org

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