Mr Jerzy Wisniewski, UIC Director Fundamental Values and Coordinator of the UIC Region “Middle East”, opened the session on behalf of Mr François Davenne, UIC Director General, and welcomed all participants. He said that the railway community had been coping with many challenges for which they had to be more and more efficient in defining and implementing safety policy measures by sharing information and experiences, by implementing tools, and by organising training. There was also a need for coordinating research to find innovative solutions and coherent safety policies and funding plans, as well as build up the awareness of clients and the public through dedicated safety awareness campaigns: ILCAD, spearheaded by UIC, was an excellent example. He extended his gratitude to all the attendees (almost 100 participants registered), speakers and organisers contributing to the webinar.
This was followed by a presentation on safety concepts & level crossing applications of Turkish State Railways from Mr Tamer Iyiiş, Deputy Head of the Safety and Quality Management Department of TCDD and member of RAME Safety WG. He gave an overview of the TCCD safety organisation, hazard tree & gap analysis, accident root cause tree, risk assessment & hazard log, accident investigating app, targets (qualitative & quantitative), training, emergency procedures, Safety Critical Work (SCW), safety audit, the Safety Council and Committee, and then level crossing actions (awareness), projects and collaborations.
Mr Sayed Mostafa Davoudi, Deputy President for Technical and Infrastructure (RAI), gave an overview of the level crossing safety situation in Iran and the measures taken to improve it. Considering all the measures taken and the decisions made, they hoped to achieve the goals of their safety working group to reduce the number of level crossing accidents. RAI also invited UIC and members of ELCF, the UIC working group on level crossing safety, to present and share results of studies or projects carried out to improve level crossing safety to a joint working group session so that all members could benefit from the results.
Mr Frédéric Hénon, UIC Head of Operation and Safety, provided information on the Safety Unit and Safety Platform activities including the safety statistics, CSM ASLP, and exchange of best practices that we could share with TCDD and RAI. He then informed participants about the UIC safety public report.
Finally, he presented the idea of a UIC project to carry out a benchmark study in 2021 on existing level crossing risk assessment/analysis methods and invited RAI and TCDD to take part. For more information on safety activities, see https://uic.org/safety/.
Mr Allan Spence, Chairman of ELCF and Director of Regulator Liaison at Network Rail, provided an overview of the main activities of ELCF (European Level Crossing Forum), a UIC Safety Platform working group for the exchange of best practices on engineering, enforcement and education measures to improve level crossing safety. (https://uic.org/safety/safety-at-level-crossings/)
- Ms Isabelle Fonverne, UIC Senior Advisor Safety, informed participants about ILCAD (International Level Crossing Awareness Day), which had begun on a European scale in 2009 and had been growing year after year.
She also reminded participants that ILCAD was not just a worldwide level crossing safety conference, but also served as a global awareness campaign with the participation of over 40 countries, including Turkey with TCDD. She recalled the launch conferences that had been hosted by different partner countries from 2009 and specifically, the very successful event organised by TCDD in Istanbul in June 2015.
- 18 March 2021: 25th Plenary ELCF online meeting
- 10 June 2021: ILCAD worldwide campaign + launch conference (hopefully face-to-face + online event)
- 4-5 November 2021: 26th Plenary ELCF meeting (tbc)
- Mr Grigore Havarneanu, UIC Senior Research Advisor – Security Division, gave an overview of the completed “SAFER-LC” project coordinated by UIC
(https://safer-lc.eu/) and in particular, the main outcome: a toolbox that collated around 50 safety solutions and would be constantly updated to help UIC members or other stakeholders find the best solutions for improving safety at level crossings. (https://toolbox.safer-lc.eu)
- Mrs Parinaz Bazeghi, UIC digital project manager, Digital platform: DIGIM II project. (https://uic.org/projects/digim)
The DIGIM II project had been launched in 2019 and was the second project of the DIGIM programme. In DIGIM II: Connected Level Crossing (Phase 2), a new proof of concept had been designed and evaluated for connecting level crossings to their surroundings and for cars to act more safely around level crossings. In DIGIM II, the status of level crossings would be transmitted to cars. The final report was expected by December 2020, including the description of the POC design and its 3D simulation outcomes. The next step was to test the POC in a real environment. For information on DIGIM II, see https://uic.org/projects/digim2.
- Finally, Mr Ramon Atochero, ADIF, gave an overview of the level crossing safety situation in Spain: state of the art, types of level crossings and technological solutions to improve safety (automatic protection system, data recorder system, obstacle detection system, etc.).
For more information, see https://uic.org/middle-east/.