Friday 11 December 2020

Web conference on “How can we make the railway system more secure?” organised on Monday 7 December by SNCF

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Over 140 people participated in the “How can we make the railway system more secure?” web conference organised for Monday 7 December by SNCF. Catherine Jarrige, Head of International Research and Development at the SNCF Defence and International Department, and Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Manager of the UIC Security Platform, were the two speakers.

In the first half of the meeting, Catherine Jarrige presented the many UIC Security working groups with which she worked. She valued working as part of a network, which allowed experts to communicate directly with one another and optimised their efficiency. This cooperation was important for several reasons: business, feedback and sharing good practice.

Cooperation also allowed rail stakeholders to put pressure on the airline industry, by offering an open railway model, and thus not be subjected to an aerial business model, which the rail industry could not bear.

In addition, the work undertaken as part of projects financed by the European Commission, such as SHERPA (Shared and coHerent European Railway Protection Approach) coordinated by UIC, provided opportunities to influence decisions made at European level and to maintain constructive relationships with our European neighbours.

Marie-Hélène Bonneau spoke for the second half of the meeting. She presented UIC and more specifically, the Security Platform, chaired by Polish State Railways and vice-chaired by Indian Railways.

Marie-Hélène Bonneau then gave an overview of the Security Platform activities: the working groups, the two annual events (Security Week and World Security Congress), the publications, the network of quick responders and the rail security hub. She also reminded participants of the involvement of the Security Division in research projects financed by the European Commission: SAFER-LC (Safer level crossing by integrating and optimizing road-rail infrastructure management and design), PROACTIVE (PReparedness against CBRNE threats through cOmmon Approaches between security praCTItioners and the VulnerablE civil society), SHERPA, and the new project SAFETY4RAILS which had just been launched and addressed combined cyber-physical attacks targeting rail and metro.

Marie-Hélène focused on the SHERPA project, which had come to an end in November this year, with the aim of defining a coherent approach across Europe to protect stations and trains against terrorist attacks. The project, which was coordinated by the UIC Security Division, involved five of our members: SNCF, DBAG, FS, PKP and SNCB. In addition to the results regarding the assessment and management of risks, emerging threats, and security solutions for rail, the project had also enabled the development of concrete tools to raise awareness of staff and passengers, provide training, and share feedback on solutions to improve railway security.

The meeting finished with an online demonstration of the rail security hub. The objective of the hub is to share information on security solutions. It was designed in a very interactive way so that users could both consult and share documents, study results, and comment on each solution. The hub had been massively updated with the results of the SHERPA project and Marie-Hélène Bonneau invited participants to register to get access and explore the 70 online security solutions – and many other resources.

For more information, please contact Marie-Hélène Bonneau at:

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