Tuesday 30 October 2012
Security and research

PROTECTRAIL mid-term conference held on 24 October 2012 in Bratislava

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After two years of work, the EU PROTECTRAIL project, which aims to improve security through better protection of railways and trains and to reduce disparity in security between European railway systems, held its mid-term conference on 24 October 2012 in Bratislava. Around 40 participants from 15 countries attended the conference.

The conference was opened by Lubomir Hradisky, Chairman of the UIC Security Platform and Head of Team for International Relations who highlighted the importance for Slovak Railways (ZSSK) to become a member of such a project. Jacques Colliard, Head of UIC Security Division, recalled the importance of the research projects for building railway security policies and the specific role of Protectrail as an integrated part of the solution to the various security needs referring to railway activities and structures.

The conference was the opportunity to take stock of the work already performed and to give details on the next steps and especially the scenarios that will be demonstrated next year in France, Italy and mainly in Poland.

The main achievements of the project and next steps were presented by the coordinator of the project and the leader of the sub-project on global integration.

A concrete example is given below on how to improve the efficiency of a Security Operator in a Control Centre. All events generated by the sensors and other security solutions implemented are integrated in a single system:

  • Geo-localisation: Show the position of the event on the map.
  • Enrich: Show related information and video cams that help to solve the threat.
  • Situation Awareness: Prepares the operator to act considering all possible aspects of the situation.
  • Decision Making: Start an incident with a predefined workflow and detailed instructions. This improves the security and operational compliance in an Operation Centre.
  • Correlation: The system can correlate events with each other and react dynamically on different system states.
  • Investigation: Records all activities to replay and understand the cause and verify the compliance with the process. That also helps to continuously improve the processes.
  • Training/Simulation: The staff can be trained in simulated situations.

The challenge of PROTECTRAIL is to make the single asset-specific solutions interoperable through a modular architectural framework. PROTECTRAIL will experiment with these new solutions, and based on the results of the demonstrations, will promulgate a new generation of standards.

Three related EU projects were also presented on this day:

Information was given by IFSTTAR (France) on the results of the blast tests and simulations of the SECUREMETRO designs.

Then Marie-Hélène BONNEAU, UIC Security Division, presented the EU SECRET research project, which addresses the protection of railway infrastructure against Electromagnetic (EM) attacks. This project started one month ago for a duration of three years. It will develop technical solutions to detect and manage electromagnetic attacks. The consortium will look after the compatibility of the developed solutions with the SOA architecture developed in PROTECTRAIL.

Finally the EU SECUR-ED demonstration project on security solutions for urban transport was presented and the common activities with PROTECTRAIL were highlighted.

The mid-term conference was followed by the Stakeholders Advisory & Validation Group chaired by the leader of the sub-project on Functional and Technical Railway Security Specification. The representative of RFI (Italy) summarised the needs of end-users as follows: security solutions should be customisable for different needs (environment, scenarios, etc...), easy to use (user-friendly interfaces), easy to configure, reliable, available and above all affordable.

The next meeting of the Stakeholders Advisory & Validation Group will be held in the first quarter of 2013 and the final demonstration will be held in Poland during the last quarter of 2013.

Reminder: The project led by Ansaldo STS Spa started in September 2010 for a duration of 42 months and at a total cost of 21 million €. Six railways companies are involved in the consortium and act as end-users: LG (Lithuania), PKP PLK SA (Poland), RFI (Italy), SNCF (France), TCDD (Turkey) and ZSSK (Slovakia). The UIC Security Division is leading the dissemination sub-project. The objective is to guarantee that the project results will satisfy user needs and fulfil railway requirements, and in particular that proposed solutions are feasible for implementation from an economic, organisational and operational perspective.

More information available at www.protectrail.eu

For further information please contact Marie-Hélène Bonneau: bonneau@uic.corg

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