Tuesday 18 December 2012
Security & Safety

RESTRAIL project: Reduction of Suicides and Trespasses on RAILway property

Share this article

The Second RESTRAIL Info Day was held in Paris on 12 December 2012.

More than 50 participants from 30 companies/organisations attended this meeting. The objective was to provide members of the project’s advisory group with the results of RESTRAIL after more than a year’s work.

The meeting started with a welcome note to the participants by Jacques Colliard, RESTRAIL coordinator from UIC, followed by a global overview on railway accidents given by ERA, the European Railway Agency. The data show that 2011 was the safest year for EU railways since 2006 (6% fewer fatalities compared to the previous year). The number of fatalities decreased for all categories of railway user except for unauthorised persons on railway premises: there was a rise in the number of trespass and suicide fatalities compared to the previous year. In this context ERA underlined the importance of the work conducted within RESTRAIL.

Then, the work done on the analysis of suicide and trespass on railway properties (WP1) led by VTT that is almost finished was presented to the participants by each task leader involved in workpackage 1 (VTT from Finland, KAU- Karlstad University in Sweden, FFE- Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles, University of Nottingham)
The conclusions of WP1 will focus on

  • What do we know? What does the collected data tell us about the problem?
  • How can we use the collected information in the future?
  • Where are the important gaps? Why they are important or how would the missing data help to improve safety?
  • What else do we need to know?
  • How can we fill these gaps?

After that, the intermediate results of WP2 and WP3 which deal with the assessment of measures to reduce trespass and suicide were presented by TRAFIKVERKET (from Sweden) as leader of WP2 and IFSTTAR (from France) leader of WP3 as well as the task leaders involved (University of Nottingham and PRORAIL from the Netherlands).

At this stage, 83 measures have been identified and classified in 38 measure groups. The partners of the project initially provided a set of measures – either in use or proposed – aimed at reducing suicide and/or trespassing accidents in railways. In addition to the partners, national infrastructure managers and operators as well as UIC members (but non-project partners), were contacted and asked to provide information regarding more measures in use, with the purpose of collecting a list that is as complete as possible.

The assessment of these 38 measure groups was then performed by a group comprising members of WP2 and WP3, with the addition of representatives of UIC member infrastructure managers invited to bring their expertise. All the measure groups were assessed twice separately, once for suicide and once for trespassing. As a result, around 20 measures have been evaluated as recommended or promising.

The next step will consist in a set of recommended and promising measures for testing in WP5, and include an outline of the factors affecting the success of implementation of the measures. The recommendations for the implementation will focus on

  • The existence of empirical evidence concerning its effectiveness (No / Yes )
  • What to do:
    • tips to increase effectiveness: when, where, who, how
    • staff training
  • What to avoid / control / pay attention to :
    • expected difficulties, constraints (e.g. durability, cultural differences)
    • cross-over or contrary effect for suicide / trespass
  • How to associate it with other measures (“multi-measure” implementation plan)
  • Other domains (e.g. law, policies, authorities)

In the second part of the meeting the floor was given to end users who presented some measures already implemented in their country.

PKP PLK, the Polish infrastructure manager, presented the measures implemented within the national programme on “Zero tolerance for unauthorised railroad crossing” and especially the campaign on Safe level crossing – “stop and live” that was extended and adapted to prevent trespass.

The Rail Traffic Division of SNCF gave information on the “Intervention Guide for the Rail Environment” that has been created in partnership with government authorities, addressing five typical situations arising on the French national rail network which have a particularly critical impact on passengers in terms of punctuality, and which can lead to the risk of further accidents or public disorder, including accidents involving collisions with individuals.

EJRC, East Japan railway, presented the approach of the company to reduce suicide with a focus on a new measure which consists in introducing blue LED light at 35 stations platforms and 12 level crossings since 2009. Following the implementation of this measure, the number of suicides (that occurred at night time) reduced by up to 84% with a 95% confidence interval.

To conclude Jacques Colliard congratulated the partners of the project for their excellent work, thanked the participants for their very fruitful contributions and announced the next RESTRAIL event that will be held on 20 June 2013 in Paris.

For further information on the RESTRAIL project, please consult the website: www.restrail.eu

All the presentations given are available in the RESTRAIL private workspace at


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

0 vote