Tuesday 5 February 2013
Safety / Level Crossings

European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF) met on 24 January and ILCAD Task Force on 25 January in Utrecht

Share this article

At the kind invitation of Jeroen Nederlof (ProRail) 27 people from different European countries, from railways, UN-ECE, ETSC and ESA, met on 24 January in Utrecht during the 14th European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF) chaired by Alan Davies (RSSB).

Alan Davies reported on previous events: the Global Level Crossing and Trespass Symposium and the International Railway Safety Conference (IRSC) that took place in October 2012 in London.

For further information you can consult the following sites – IRSC 2012: www.irsc2012.org and GLX 2012: www.levelcrossing2012.org

The next IRSC (annual event) will take place in October 2013 in Vancouver. The next biannual GLX Symposium will take place in 2014 in Chicago.
For more information on IRSC 2013 please visit: www.irsc2013.org

Isabelle Fonverne (UIC), ELCF Secretary and ILCAD Coordinator, briefly reported on the Euromed training session from 26 – 27 November 2012 in Brussels in which she participated as a trainer on level crossing safety. Finally she informed participants about the UIC coordinated EU Restrail project (REduction of Suicides and Trespasses on RAILway property) and the second RESTRAIL Info Day held in Paris on 12 December 2012. She reminded the audience that the next Info Day open to all will take place on 20 June 2013 in Paris.

Robert Nowak of UN-ECE spoke about the proposed multidisciplinary group on level crossing safety to be hosted at UNECE in Geneva. He presented the terms of reference available on their internet website and which have been endorsed by different UN-ECE working parties and entities. Final endorsement should happen very soon, the kick-off meeting should take place in 2013 (TBC).

Peter Gerhardt, Head of the UIC Safety Unit reported on safety, human factors and occupational health initiatives as well as safety performance data collection.

Jeroen Nederlof of Prorail presented “Public level crossings for pedestrians and cyclists in the Netherlands”.

Michael Woods (RSSB) gave a presentation on “Pedestrian risk at level crossings and the need for an agreed decision point”. Michael finally reported on the Fourth International Rail Human Factors Conference in London from 5 – 7 March 2013 organised jointly by RSSB/Network Rail/Nottingham University dealing mainly with human factor issues: www.railhf2013.org

Carl Duranthon/Network Rail presented the NR national strategy for level crossings.

Finally we had two presentations from Jeroen Nederlof and Nicole van Nes/Research institute SWOV on the possibilities of car navigation use to improve LX safety.

Rob Postema/ESA: European Space Agency reported on a new ESA project on “improving safety at railway level crossings” supported by Space Assets. 1% of ESA’s budget is dedicated to the integrated applications promotion programme. TOMTOM came out of the US space programme, based on the military GPS product. They are also working on ice thickness measurements at the poles to improve winter navigation. Other applications include GNSS, Earth Observations can check vegetation on a weekly basis. Radar can check subsidence. They finance 35 feasibility studies a year. 50% of them continue in a development programme.
Last year in July they published a call for tender on LC safety with seven proposals of good quality – they are funding two, Saferail and Lecross. If these feasibility studies are successful, then ESA will fund them as development programmes.

On 25 January the ILCAD Task Force members gathered to present education campaigns on level crossing safety in their respective countries:

Job van Beek (ProRail, Netherlands): to note their campaign for young people with a well known rap singer in the Netherlands: Mr. Polska:

Daniela Detersova and Martina Pavlikova (ZSR, Slovak Republic): to note their video with a car driving on a long and straight road parallel to railway tracks on which a locomotive would start and brake at the same time as the car but at different speeds to show the distances taken by a train and a car to break. The results are

At 30km/h – breaking distances:
Car: 5 m
Engine: 40 m

At 50km/h – breaking distances:
Car: 10 m
Engine: 94 m

At 80km/h – breaking distances:
Car: 18 m
Engine: 236 m

The video was visible on TV at peak hours; there was a press conference with the ZSR General Director and 30 journalists and TV teams from Slovakia. Their poster and billboard were displayed in 30 different places across the country.

Georgina Chalmers (Network Rail U.K.) presented the NR rail campaign and showed different videos that you can find on their website:
http://www.networkrail.co.uk/level-crossings/ or visible on

She presented the video “See Track Think Train”: Railway crossings TV ad”: http://youtu.be/Uy-sIfsW7tg launched during the GLX and IRSC event in London at national level, in the media, on internet with interviews of Martin Gallagher: very large audience.

This video will be visible at least until ILCAD 2013 in May. She also showed the video “See Track Think Train – behind the scene”:


They also used this video “Professor Green says #LoseUrHeadphones”

Katarzyna Kucharek (PKP PLK Poland): they plan to continue their SAFE MONDAY campaign (on the third Monday of the month) with police forces in 23 different cities to give fines to offenders. In 2013 they intend to have a unique identification number at each level crossing. The plate at the level crossing will include a phone number for failure problems and another one in case of an accident: the European number 112. PKP PLK will participate again in ILCAD 2013 on 7 May. On 24 May they will inaugurate the next edition of their national campaign A SAFE LX – “STOP AND LIVE!” They will have a mobile education park to educate kids. They also launched a competition for schools:


Tine Verheyden (Infrabel) presented a very targeted campaign towards truck drivers in the Port of Antwerp. Each day about 10,000 truck drivers, from different nationalities, drive to and from the port of Antwerp with containers, as well as 250 freight trains a day. In 2011 they had 19 level crossing accidents in the port of Antwerp (= 40%), 70% of these accidents involved truck drivers. The port of Antwerp consists of 1,100 km of railway tracks and 206 level crossings. Drivers drive too fast in the port. They will start their campaign with the support of the Port of Antwerp, the Transport federations and Unions. They will then send a message to the transport companies driving through the port of Antwerp and the companies in the port of Antwerp. They will also distribute the message through a safety leaflet directly to the truck drivers driving through the port of Antwerp. In the coming years they hope to have all level crossings in the GPS owned by the truck drivers. They will also work more with the police forces to step up enforcement. The campaign in the Port of Antwerp should take place in March 2013.


Finally Isabelle Fonverne gave a short overview of ILCAD 2012, which was the third edition. ILCAD 2012 had great success in the press, on internet (6 more visits to the website compared to 2011, 5th most visited UIC website among bigger projects), on social media: https://www.facebook.com/ and https://twitter.com/ ILCAD.
Then she presented ideas for the ILCAD 2013 campaign. UNECE will host ILCAD within the 2nd Global UN Road Safety Week, the core message being pedestrian and vulnerable persons’ safety. We will organise the 3rd drawing contest for children on pedestrian safety.

We will issue new posters, a short version (30”) of the 2012 video with children

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaA6lB7dBJA and a new video with the support from UN-ECE and the Swiss Federal Office of Transport.

On 7 May there will be an International press conference, a round table and an exhibition at UN-ECE premises in Geneva. More info to follow: www.ilcad.org

For further information you can contact Isabelle Fonverne: fonverne@uic.org

3 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5

01. Utrecht Railway Museum
Jeroen Neferlof/ProRail (left)
03. Meeting room inside the Utrecht Museum
04. ProRail campaign for disabled persons
Level Crossing Diemen, Netherlands: 20 trains/h