Wednesday 21 June 2023

Successful TreSPAD Launch Conference held on 14 June 2023

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On 14 June 2023, Katarzyna Kucharek, CEO of the PKP Group Foundation, Poland, and Vice-Chair of the UIC Global Level Crossing Network (GLCN) officially kicked off the international launch conference of the 2nd edition of TRESPAD (the International Trespass Awareness Day). The event was held at the National Institute of Polish Rural Culture and Heritage, Warsaw, and was kindly hosted by PKP S.A. and the PKP Group Foundation.

Dr Ann Mills, Deputy Director of System Safety & Health at the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), UK, and Chair of the UIC TreSP Network, spoke on behalf of UIC, recalling the resounding success of the 1st edition, hosted by AAR/FRA/OLE on 9 June 2022 in Denver, Colorado, and lasting half a day. The event received such positive feedback that the decision was made to organise a whole day event in 2023 with a range of presentations given by outstanding speakers from around the world. She also thanked the hosts, PKP and the PKP Group Foundation, for their support in organising the events in Warsaw.

Although the public TRESPAD campaign only targets trespassing issues, the conference offered the opportunity to exchange ideas and information on both rail trespassing and rail suicide prevention.

Nuno Duarte Gregório, Railway Safety Inspector, and Graça Carvalho Brígida, Railway Safety Assessor at the Portuguese National Safety Authority IMT (Instituto da Mobilidade e dos Transportes) began the session with a set of rail data on “Trespassing and rail suicides in Portugal”.

The aim was to analyse the current situation in terms of the most prevalent type of accident and the distribution of hotspots and critical zones within the network, as well as providing a set of mitigative measures to be applied on site.

The suicide prevention session then began with
Dr Patrick Sherry, Research Professor and Director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation, University of Denver, USA, giving a presentation on “Preventing Intentional Death by Rail: An update on training in South California”.

Lola Barre, Hotspot Suicide Prevention Consultant at the Papageno Programme, and Igor Thonnelier, Emergency National Accident and Terrorist Attack Manager, SNCF Réseau, France, presented “Accidents to persons and suicides on the French railway network - Clinical knowledge specifically about suicides in public places (hotspots), prevention and treatment of railway deaths

Luc Sillen, Suicide Action Plan Manager, and Gaëtan Van Overmeiren, Team Lead for Safety Monitoring & Safety Action Plans at INFRABEL, Belgium, presented their “Action plan against rail suicides in Belgium

The event continued with rail trespassing related issues and how to prevent them.

Robert Wainwright, Head of Public Safety, Network Rail, and Allan Spence, GLCN Chair on behalf of Stuart Heaton, Managing Director at Learn Live, UK, opened the session with the very moving “Story of Harrison Ballantyne and its impact on public behaviour”. The video of Harrison’s story, delivered for Network Rail, was translated into French and Spanish for the TRESPAD campaign and shared with the participating countries. On 16 June, the news broke that the video had been recognised at the highest level by the judges at #TheDrumAwards. The agency Storycatchers took 4 category wins - Disruption, Creative, Advertising, and Public Sector/Charity/Not for profit - plus the overall Grand Prix for best in the show. More information can be found here, or to watch the video, click here.

Finally, Gemma Lavery, Professional Head of Public Safety, and Charlotte Sweet, Assistant Strategy Implementation Manager, Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), UK, shared information on “Trespassing risk assessments”.

Mgr. Pavlina Skládaná, Researcher, Centrum dopravního výzkumu (Transport Research Centre), Czech Republic presented a research project on how improving design around railway tracks to prevent shortcuts and trespassing.

Michael Long, Director of Railroad Operations and Outreach at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) presented: “Reducing Trespass and Grade Crossing Fatalities on the Brightline Florida (BLF) Corridor in South Florida

Sanja Paic, President, Safety Guru Institute, Croatia presented “The story of Hendrix

Annelies De Keyser, Communication Business Partner and Catherine Gillard, Project Manager, INFRABEL, Belgium informed us on ”New tools for railway safety awareness for young people

Nils la Cour, Head of Department, DSB - Danish State Railways, Denmark and UIC Vice-Chair of the UIC TreSP-Network informed us on how “Communicating railway safety to children and teenagers

Dr. Ann Mills wrapped up the first day conference.

Then we had the privilege to listen to a Chopin piano concert and discover the historical centre of Warsaw through a guided tour.

During the breaks all delegates had the opportunity to visit the exhibitors’ stands from
IDS (Ingegnieria dei sistemi); Schweizer Electronic and SORHEA who supported our events. On the UIC’s stand we could find the UIC’s 2022 best practice guide for level crossing risk assessment, developed by members of the UIC Global Level Crossing Network (GLCN), Level crossing safety flyers in English and Polish …and UIC documentation.

For further information, please contact Isabelle Fonverne

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Nuno Duarte Gregório; Graça Carvalho Brígida, IMT, Portugal and Dr. Patrick Sherry, University of Denver, USA
Katarzyna Kucharek, CEO PKP Group Foundation, Vice Chair of GLCN
Dr. Ann Mills, RSSB, Chair of UIC TreSP-Network
Lola Barre, Papageno Programme; Igor Thonnelier, SNCF Réseau, France
Michael Long (FRA, USA)
Nils La Cour, DSB, Vice-Chair of UIC TreSP-Network
Robert Wainwright, Network Rail - Allan Spence, Chair of GLCN