On 6 June, UIC, together with ProRail and 180 guests, joined efforts around the 11th edition of the International Level Crossing Awareness Day. After Brussels, Warsaw, Paris, Geneva, Lisbon, Istanbul, Riga, Montreal and Zagreb, Amersfoort hosted the international conference on safety at the road/rail interface.
2019 ILCAD video
The conference was opened by keynote speakers.
- Mr Hans Buijtelaar, Deputy Mayor, Traffic and Transport, Municipality of Amersfoort said: “Separating traffic flows is always a good idea, regardless of the modalities involved. So this also applies to trains and other types of traffic. It improves flow, reduces emissions and improves road safety. For a municipality, that means there is work to do. Pier Eringa, ProRail of CEO said on TV on 1 November 2018: “Work with us, do something and don’t get bogged down in talking”. It is a clear call that helps me, as a city councilor, to get decisions implemented.”
- Mr Pier Eringa, CEO of ProRail: “I feel personally committed to lead my company on the road to zero level crossings. Involvement of all stakeholders is crucial to further reduce the number of (incidents) at level crossings. This applies specifically to the road owners involved, since a level crossing is by nature a crossing between road and rail. “Because of our interventions, the number of incidents around level crossings has decreased markedly in the past few years, but we have to invest more and more to maintain this steady decrease. Campaigns play a large part in this. That is why I am happy with the ILCAD, also as President of EIM, European Infrastructure Managers. Every country that has railroad tracks knows these problems, and by raising awareness of these together we make a strong case."
- Mr Keir Fitch, Head of rail safety and interoperability Unit at DG MOVE: “despite the fact that collisions and fatalities at level crossings represent only 1% for the road, the road and the rail sector shall better cooperate to tackle this particular interface in the future.”
- Mr François Davenne, Deputy Director General of UIC: “the role of UIC is to share information from members and be able to propose standardised solutions to be implemented not only by railways, but in partnership with other modes. In particular, communication between rail and road vehicles through digital tools is the mean to achieve the zero death objective at level crossings.”
We then had an outstanding plenary session with road and rail professionals giving the points of views of train and truck drivers and also on road users’ behavior at road/rail interfaces:
- Mr Herbert Ofner, ÖBB INFRA: “ILCAD 2019 in Austria”
- Mr Alejandro Martinez Treceňo, Secretary of the Spanish Trade Union “Autonomous train drivers in Europe” (A.L.E.): “Vision of a train driver”
- Interview (video) of Mrs. Ingrid MARESCHAL, Déléguée Générale, FNTV (Fédération Nationale des Transports de Voyageurs = buses): “Cooperation of FNTV (National Federation of Passenger Transport in France with SNCF Réseau”
- Mrs Letty Aarts, Manager road safety data at SWOV: “Crossing worlds: Rail and road traffic, vehicles and road users”.
- Mr Henrico Hendriksen, Manager Risk Engineering at HDI Risk Consulting and Mr Marcel Vlaar, Director, Breedijk Transport, NL: Mr Vlaar gave a very emotional testimony on a fatal collision that happened to one of his drivers at a level crossing.
Anne Zwiers, new Level Crossings Director at ProRail summarised the eight parallel sessions that we had in the afternoon on hard and soft measures to improve safety at level crossings presented by speakers coming from around the world (USA, Canada, Japan, India, all of Europe) on the following topics:
- Engineering and Innovations
- Education and Awareness
- Human factors
- Risk assessment
Isabelle Fonverne, UIC presented some results of the ILCAD campaign 2019 in various countries and gave the floor to Allan Spence, new chairman of the European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF) to announce that NetworkRail (NR) would be honoured to welcome the 12th edition in Great Britain. The date and location will be communicated later.
Grigore Havarneanu, UIC, gave an overview of the SAFER-LC toolbox: a tool which is currently under development as part of the SAFER-LC H2020 EU research project (Safer level crossing by integrating and optimising road-rail infrastructure management and design). He explained how information about safety measures is structured and presented in a standard way. He also illustrated the toolbox with some measure examples.
The SAFER-LC toolbox is a free online tool designed to provide road and rail infrastructure managers as well as railway undertakings with a wide list of safety measures which can be implemented to improve level crossing safety. It equally provides recommendations, implementation examples, study results and other practical details concerning the available measures.
Most safety solutions which are included in this toolbox cover human factor low-cost measures. Safety measures are classified according to various keywords which enable end-users identify the optimal solution for a specific level crossing type or road user behaviour. The SAFER-LC toolbox is a good example of practical and exploitable outcomes of EU-funded research projects.
More information can be found at: https://safer-lc.eu/
On 7 June the whole group had the opportunity to visit a certain number of level crossings around Amersfoort.
Barbara Klein Barr, Director, International Program Division
Federal Railroad Administration, US Department of Transportation was interviewed by Dutch television: https://www.rtvutrecht.nl/nieuws/1929321/internationale-conferentie-in-amersfoort-over-veiligheid-overwegen-we-willen-naar-nul-doden.html
Video of the interview https://www.rtvutrecht.nl/embedded/2232610/