The 7th World Congress on Railway Security, opened by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of UIC, Mauro Moretti, CEO of FS Group, and Roberto Castelli, Italian Vice-Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, was an opportunity to reiterate the importance of security policies as key components for the rail business and to recall the leading international role of the Security Platform in this area.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stressed the need both to develop responsiveness to cope with events that could affect UIC members, and to build together a real security strategy to serve railway activities in partnership with the various international institutions with a potential role to play on the subject.
He recalled the priorities established by the UIC security unit: developing synergies between safety and security and developing a security strategy for high speed passenger rail systems.
Over 200 participants from 22 different countries participated in the various sessions (covering political and current topics, the issue of metal theft, security in large railway stations and research projects).
Given the resurgence of metal theft, the security platform has been asked to develop work specifically dedicated to this subject, taking into account what has already been done within various bodies and on various occasions, and to tackle, by fostering the necessary partnerships, several aspects such as: preventing thefts, protecting infrastructure, policing those receiving and trading stolen metal, and customs aspects).
In the area of research, the congress provided an opportunity to take stock of progress in the PROTECTRAIL project, launched on 1 September 2010 as a collaborative project between railway companies and security solution providers.
In addition the congress was an occasion to deliver the first official presentation on the RESTRAIL project – “reduction of suicides and trespass on railway property”, whose official launch was set for 1 October 2011 and kick-off meeting for 8 November at UIC headquarters in Paris. This European project coordinated by the UIC security division aims to offer decision-makers a number of support tools for their decisions, both to reduce the occurrence of suicides and trespass on railway premises as well as to mitigate the consequences.
Concerning high speed security systems, UIC is fully involved in the initiative launched by the US authorities to define a specific policy for future high speed systems taking into account the risks and opportunities resulting from their rapid development in a range of countries across various continents. The topic will be re-addressed during the 8th World High Speed Congress (UIC HIGHSPEED 2012) to be organised by UIC and APTA in Philadelphia from 10 to 13 July 2012.
Other topics of common interest were considered worthy of further discussion by participants, and will thus remain part of the UIC security action plan.
The next UIC World Security Congress will be held in October 2012 in Bratislava, in collaboration with Slovakian Railways.