European project SAFER-LC (Safer level crossing by integrating and optimising road-rail infrastructure management and design): online final conference to present its results

The European research project SAFER-LC (Safer level crossing by integrating and optimising road-rail infrastructure management and design) is coming to an end after three years of hard work and held its Final Conference online on 22 April 2020. As meeting face to face was not an option because of the Covid-19 crisis, we shifted the conference online. More than 180 participants from around 35 countries all over the world attended this conference organised by UIC to discuss the findings and main outputs of SAFER-LC.

The SAFER-LC Project coordinated by UIC addresses the issue of level crossing safety. It started on 1 May 2017 for three years. It aims to improve safety and minimise risk by developing a fully-integrated cross-modal set of innovative solutions and tools for the proactive management and design of level-crossing infrastructure.
SAFER-LC has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 723205.

The morning session
The conference was opened by the EC project officer, Claudia Ciuca, who thanked the consortium for making this event possible despite this difficult period. She reminded the meeting that SAFER-LC was one of the three projects funded in 2016 within H2020 programme Mobility for growth in the topic transport infrastructure innovation to increase safety of transport in Europe. She thanked the consortium for all the work done over the past three years and wished everyone a fruitful day.

Then Mr François Davenne as Director General of UIC thanked all those who had been involved in this project. “The 17 members of the consortium brought a range of complementary skills and were able to work together during 36 months in a spirit of collaboration to share their respective competences in their work on this human, societal and technical issue”.

He added: “The results achieved are particularly interesting and effective for the stakeholders both in rail and road environment. The results take the shape of a toolbox, design to help decision makers to increase safety at level crossings through practical recommendations. Moreover, it will enable policymakers and stakeholders to select and implement the most appropriate strategies, measures and cost-effective approaches to make level crossing safer for all road user types at LC."

He concluded that “Level crossing safety is a very relevant safety and UIC will continue to exploit the results of the project both in Europe and on a global scale, first through the SAFER-LC toolbox which will be hosted and updated by UIC after the project, and secondly as UIC is very committed to along with various institutional partners, and in particular within the framework of the annual “ILCAD International Level Crossing Awareness Day"

The opening session was concluded by Vojtech Ekser (ERA – European Agency for Railways) who presented the latest data from level crossing accidents in Europe. He reported that each year, almost 300 people die in accidents at level crossings in the EU. He underlined that the distraction has become even more visible with the explosion of technologies used in daily life. It unveils and emphasises the central role of a human at the intersection of road and rail.

After a quick overview on the project, a hands-on training of the toolbox developed within SAFER-LC was given by Grigore Havarneanu, Senior Research Advisor at UIC. He explained that from the very beginning, SAFER-LC has wanted to produce an outcome that would outlive the project. That is why the toolbox was designed as a web-based platform that will be updated by UIC past the project lifetime. He also emphasised that the toolbox can be used as a decision support tool which regroups in a user-friendly manner several assessment methodologies as well as a wide range of cost-effective safety measures, accompanied by study results.

He used a live online training session to illustrate some toolbox content and demonstrate how advanced search can be performed using different criteria relevant for level crossing safety. There are many ways to sort the various safety measures: type or users and level crossing, costs, effect mechanism, etc. and this can help end-users find the most appropriate measure for a specific context. During the tutorial, the participants had a closer look at the individual safety measures in the toolbox. Each measure is presented through a short description, the potential benefits and criticalities, recommendations, study results, main psychological functions involved, documents, related measures, a gallery of examples, and a comments section.

The live tutorial on how to use the toolbox lasted one hour, and participants had the opportunity to ask questions at the end. At the end of the training, Grigore Havarneanu reminded the audience that although the SAFER-LC toolbox was officially launched, the work is not over and will never be. Along with the SAFER-LC consortium, UIC will be looking forward to new inputs and feedback from the toolbox end-users to continue updating it.

The afternoon session
The afternoon session started with the presentations of the work achieved by the SAFER-LC partners focusing on level crossing safety in Europe and beyond, the human processes at level crossings, the technical solutions developed and integrated for smarter level crossings, the pilot tests and evaluation, the cost-benefit analysis and the final recommendations.

Beyond the SAFER-LC project, speakers from Japan East Railways and US Department of Transportation provided inspiring presentations on the protection of level crossings outside Europe.

To conclude, Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Head of the UIC Security Division and SAFER-LC project coordinator, thanked the partners for the great cooperation during these three years, the external experts who contributed to the work through the various workshops and the attendees of the conference for their active participation, especially through the chat with hundreds of questions and comments. She underlined that the project is over, but the work will continue, especially the exploitation of the toolbox which will be continuously updated by UIC to provide the users with a comprehensive decision-making tool for safer level crossing.

Further information can be found on the website at

For further information on the SAFER-LC Project please contact Marie-Hélène Bonneau:

And for the SAFER-LC Toolbox please contact Grigore Havarneanu:

7 Votes

Average rating: 4.86 / 5


Station Managers Global Group (SMGG) meeting held remotely on 27 April 2020

During the last SMGG meetings, members decided to regularly arrange remote meetings to monitor ongoing activities. This is an ongoing procedure which will be extended beyond the Covid-19 crisis.

For the first meeting, around 20 people took part. On this occasion, two topics were on the agenda: the current Covid-19 crisis management for station managers (+ station recovering plans). The second item concerned the reorganisation of the SMGG sector.

Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the main challenge is about the recovery plan for the reopening of stations. In order to be as ready as possible, SMGG members decided to organise a weekly meeting every Monday (from 2:30 pm to 3:15 pm Paris local time). UIC offers an online meeting room where people can talk and exchange between station managers. The first meeting was held on 27 April 2020. Following this meeting, the minutes will be shared with all the participants and the UIC Task Force Covid-19 to complete the database.

UIC kindly invites you to contact Clément Gautier if you would like take part in this weekly meeting.

Regarding the reorganisation of the UIC station sector, members debated the main challenges one by one. Following every comment, UIC summarised all the expectations and drafted an initial proposal:

1) Station Design Working group:

  • Design of the station (architecture and technical design)
  • Capacity issues (crowd control, flow management, capacity solutions)
  • Standard design (production of IRS)
  • Programming
  • Sustainability development
  • Building information modelling

2) Facility Management and operations Working group:

  • Maintenance
  • Building management
  • Daily management
  • Active measurement (sensors and dashboards)
  • Asset management
  • Passenger Services
  • Passenger information system
  • Customer facilities
  • Digitalisation of existing building

3) Small Station Working group:

  • How to deal with small stations?
  • Innovative local solutions to diversify the functionalities of small stations

4) Retail and commercial affairs (or solutions) Working group:

  • Innovation solution for retail and rent
  • Business development
  • City services (no rail-related services)

5) Urban development Working Group:

  • Planning (i.e. Transit-Oriented Development)
  • Neighbourhood development
  • Real estate management
  • Stations as mobility hubs
  • Intermodality and multimodality
  • Soft mobility
  • Car parking
  • Public and common space

Expert network: Inclusive Station

The Network of Experts is different to Working Groups. A network is used to exchange data, information, questions during web calls or on the UIC extranet discussion platform.

This proposal will be introduced to the Global Passenger Forum Steering Committee on 30 April 2020 before the Global Passenger Forum Plenary Meeting on 9 July 2020. If the reorganisation is approved by members, UIC will organise Working Groups Chair call and experts call the second part of 2020 for an application on 1 January 2021.

The next SMGG meeting initially planned at Berlin is postponed to December (in accordance with health recommendations) and replaced by an online meeting on 3 June 2020.

For further information please contact Clément Gautier, Project Manager – UIC Passenger Department:

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Promoting Representing

UIC to participate in Webcast on 30 April hosted by Global Railway Review

At 2pm BST on Thursday 30 April 2020, Global Railway Review will host a live online briefing joined by François Davenne, UIC Director General and Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Department Director, who will share their latest industry insights and information to support the railway community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Free for all to attend, François and Marc will highlight current challenges, offer best practice guidance and answer questions from the live briefing audience. Please register here to attend for free:

2 Votes

Average rating: 5 / 5


SLoCaT has developed 10 messages on raising ambition for transport in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

With contributions from many international stakeholders including UIC, the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), has launched 10 messages encouraging more ambition for transport in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the centre of the Paris Agreement and represent the efforts of each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to climate change. According to the Paris Agreement, countries must renew or increase their commitments by the end of 2020, by amending their 2015 NDCs. In the transport sector, targets are not ambitious enough yet.

This is why SLoCaT is today sharing a set of crucial recommendations for countries to scale up transport ambition in their NDCs.

In that context, following the Railway Climate Responsibility Pledge signed in 2015 by a large number of UIC railway Members, UIC has decided to update the railway sector’s commitments by committing to take a leading role in the actions to mitigate climate change, by reducing companies’ carbon footprint even further and supporting a shift towards a more sustainable balance of transport modes.

“The recommendations have been compiled by the SLOCAT Partnership in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), and the World Resources Institute (WRI), following an open consultation with additional contributions from: Alstom, the Climate Group, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), the International Union of Railways (UIC), and Walk 21.”


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Open Call for NGOs to apply for Consultative Status with the United Nations

Open Call for NGOs to apply for Consultative Status with the United Nations (Deadline: 1 June 2020)

NGOs interested in applying for ECOSOC consultative status should submit their application and required documents on or before the deadline 1 June 2020.

The following link provides background information, the benefits and instructions how to apply:

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Monitoring Products & Services

Audiovisual material on Covid-19 available in the UIC mediacenter – 28 April

UIC goes on to receive, select and gather a number of films and other audiovisual material on Covid-19 from its members and partners that are now available in the UIC Mediacenter.

The collection is updated on a regular basis.

Feel free to consult them here:Automatic word wrap

Do not hesitate to send us your films through the task force team at

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Promoting Products & Services

New topic added to the RailDoc Portal

A personalised documentary monitoring was created this week on Rail Tourism:

RailDoc is the information portal implemented to improve the sharing of information and document searches on all publications produced at UIC (reports, studies, conference proceedings, etc.), as well as documents from recognised external sources (EU, World Bank, United Nations, Partner Organisations, Members, professional press articles) in the railway sector. It aims to meet the needs of the railway community and in particular those of the Members.

This database has been in use since 1992 and is updated daily.
Recently new track service topics have been added or updated:

Access the portal:

For further information please contact the UIC Documentation Centre:

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Tweet of the week 20 – 24 April 2020

Today we are putting the spotlight on the SAFER-LC Final Conference

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UIC illustrations – send us your drawings (28 April)

Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UIC Communications team has started publishing a series of illustrations.

UIC Members are free to send us their drawings related to this period of confinement with the hashtag #StayHome and we will collect them to publish in UIC eNews at the end of the outbreak.


© UIC / Barbara Mouchel

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News from UIC members

Austria: Rail Cargo Group’s China transport is on the increase

Rail freight transport to and from China can start moving again. Our TransFER connections can guarantee direct links to the Ports for imports and exports with short transit times.

The low number of new infections in China means that the flow of goods can start moving again and transport services for supplies to and from China can be resumed. The first steps for removing the restrictions placed on the population and on industry allow businesses to ramp up industrial production and in turn, deliveries to Europe can start picking up pace again.

The Rail Cargo Group’s direct rail connections ensure that supplies are secured; they support local businesses in China as well as Austrian companies and healthcare facilities with imports and exports. The Silk Road’s link to the RCG’s dense, high-performance network guarantees fast transport services and efficient onward distribution in Europe.

TransFER connections to and from China
The direct rail connection between China, Austria and Italy has been one of the Rail Cargo Group’s focal points for a number of years, and transactions can be completed within 14 to 16 days via the TransFER Xi’an–Vienna–Milan.
A transit time of only 12 to 14 days makes the high speed TransFER Jinan–Budapest from China to Hungary via Ukraine the fastest direct import connection on the Silk Road.

In addition, the Rail Cargo Group’s TransFER Budapest–Xi’an offers a transport solution between China and Hungary via Poland, with goods reaching their destinations in 17 to 19 days.

(Source: Rail Cargo Group)

3 Votes

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News from UIC members

Thailand: Niruj Maneepun has been appointed new Governor of State Railway of Thailand (SRT)

Mr Niruj Maneepun was appointed the new Governor of State Railway of Thailand (SRT) on 24 April 2020. Mr Maneepun is the former Executive Vice President of Thai Airways International.

UIC congratulates Mr Maneepun on his appointment and wishes him every success in his new role.

(Source: SRT)

1 vote

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News from UIC members

Germany: Airlift for medical protective equipment – Porsche and DB Schenker support state governments

Business and politics are working closely together: Porsche, DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo are helping Baden-Württemberg and the Free State of Saxony to overcome the coronavirus crisis. For this purpose, the sports car manufacturer has put together a task force with six employees from the Procurement department and is organising the supply chains of urgently needed protective equipment in China on behalf of the German federal state governments.

“Everyone is contributing their strengths in this joint effort, and it is working extremely well. At the moment it is more than ever about getting involved, showing consideration for others and taking on responsibility – central values of our Porsche culture,” says Uwe-Karsten Städter, Member of the Executive Board for Procurement at Porsche AG.

Oliver Seidl, Chief Financial Officer at DB Schenker: “In uncertain times, reliability, flexibility and full commitment are what count. We are pleased that we are able to maintain the supply chains for important medical products in cooperation with Porsche. Our own network in almost 140 countries is now paying off more than ever in ensuring the security of supplies for people.”

Together with the logistics partners DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo, Porsche is ensuring problem-free transport of protective masks, goggles and protective suits from Shanghai to Germany. Since April 9, up to six aircraft a week have been flying from China for Baden-Württemberg and the Free State of Saxony. Directly after arrival at the airports in Frankfurt and Munich, the material is reloaded onto trucks and transported to an intermediate warehouse of DB Schenker at Stuttgart airport. Here, the state governments of Saxony and Baden-Württemberg take over distribution of the protective equipment so that it can be used to prevent the spread of coronavirus in hospitals, emergency services and other institutions.

Since the flights started, several million protective items – face masks of different protection classes, protective suits and protective goggles – have arrived at the intermediate warehouse in Stuttgart. By probably the end of May, protective materials with a value running into triple-digit millions of euros will have been organised and transported from China to Germany. That is equivalent in total to a volume of up to 50 passenger aircraft needed for transport.

Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg: “The good relationship between Porsche and the state government is now paying off. We are learning to value the benefits of global companies. Porsche has a quite different network in China, for example, than we as a state government could ever have. It is an enormous help and simply marvellous that companies such as Porsche can assist us in procuring protective equipment from China.”

Michael Kretschmer, Minister-President of the Free State of Saxony: “The commitment of the companies involved is fantastic. This joint resolute action is making a crucial contribution to ensuring that the situation relating to provision of medical protective equipment will continue to improve also in Saxony over the coming days and weeks. We are currently also benefiting from the extensive experience of Porsche on the Chinese market. Both responsibility and solidarity are being clearly demonstrated here. Thank you!”

Manne Lucha, Minister for Social Affairs and Integration in Baden-Württemberg: “I am delighted that we have such competent partners supporting us. Procurement of a sufficient quantity of protective equipment is still a decisive factor in effectively containing the coronavirus and for providing sufficient protection for the people in our state, particularly in hospitals as well as retirement and care homes.

Uwe-Karsten Städter, Member of the Executive Board for Procurement at Porsche AG: “It is important that business and politics work closely together. We are helping with our international supply chain expertise – so that the required protective materials are delivered to Germany as quickly as possible and reach the people who urgently need them.”

Dorothea von Boxberg, Member of the Executive Board and COO Lufthansa Cargo AG: “The use of passenger aircraft as freight planes shows that we are doing everything possible to further strengthen the security of supplies by air. That is part of our entrepreneurial responsibility.”

(Source: DB Schenker)

1 vote

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News from UIC members

China: Xinjiang Railway sees 16.1% year-on-year growth in Q1 freight transport volume

By overcoming the impact of the epidemic, deeply exploiting the transportation potentials, conducting accurate dispatching and command, and making all-out efforts to increase the freight volume and revenue, China Railway Urumqi Group Co., Ltd. registered a freight transport volume of 40.3367 million tons in Q1 2020, up 16.1% year-on-year.

China Railway Urumqi Group Co., Ltd. has listed 477 upstream and downstream customers in Xinjiang as the monitoring objects for resumption of production, communicated with enterprises one by one to accurately learn their resumption progress. It has adjusted the transportation plans in time according to the enterprises’ transportation demands for products and raw materials after the resumption, and guaranteed short barge transportation services to reduce the logistics cost for the enterprises.

China Railway Urumqi Group Co., Ltd. has focused on the transportation of both mass freight and sundries. To increase the freight transport volume of general merchandise and promote the transportation of general merchandise in Xinjiang, it resumed the regular trains in southern and northern Xinjiang on 13 March and continuously expanded the transport scale.

It has particularly monitored the key matters such as train timetable and pairs of district trains on the routes with large freight increment. It has strictly operated trains according to the diagram and optimised its production and organisation mode to ensure the fast loading, unloading and departure of trains. It also promoted the application of 35-ton open-top containers to increase the loading capacity of single car, and organised nine circulated trains of open-top wagons for cyclic application in Urumqi Terminal and southern Xinjiang.

(Source: CR)

1 vote

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News from UIC members

United Kingdom: New training centre for railway signallers opens after just four weeks

Network Rail has taken just four weeks to transform an old depot in Newport, south Wales, into a state-of-the-art training centre to ensure it has enough skilled railway signallers across Wales and the west throughout the coronavirus crisis.

The railway is crucial in enabling key workers, such as NHS staff, to continue travelling to work and transports vital food and medical supplies across the country via freight services.

Signallers play an essential role in keeping trains moving but require specialist training to allow them to do the job safely and efficiently.

Network Rail recently appealed for retired signallers, or those who have moved to other careers in the railway industry, to volunteer to provide cover at signal boxes and control centres if some current signallers fall ill or need to self-isolate during the Covid-19 outbreak.

More than 200 signallers across Wales and the west responded to this call to arms.

The new signalling training centre in Newport will now be used to train new recruits as well as those returning to signalling on the national railway.

A little over a month ago the rooms at the Crindau depot in Newport were mothballed former testing workshops and meeting rooms but have now been converted into a temporary training facility that enables former signallers to refresh their training and get back to work on Britain’s railways.

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for Wales and Western, said:

“It is a remarkable achievement that this fully functioning training suite for signallers has been completed in less than a month.

“Under normal circumstances we have enough signallers to keep trains running whatever happens, but these are not normal circumstances and without fully trained signallers it is possible that parts of the network would have to shut.

“I am delighted with the response from former signallers who are willing to return to the railway. Putting the right training and facilities in place means that we can get them back up to speed to help us keep moving essential freight goods, and passengers whose journeys are essential."

(Source: Network Rail)

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5

News from UIC members

Sweden: The Swedish Transport Administration and the coronavirus

The Swedish Transport Administration is monitoring developments in relation to the coronavirus. We thank you for following the recommendations of the Public Health Agency when travelling.

Updated April 16th 2020
Protect yourself and others. Stay home if you are feeling ill and wash your hands carefully. Keep your distance to others on public transport, and avoid unnecessary travelling. We also ask you to cancel your driver’s license test if you are ill or have symptoms. Please prevent rumours and stay updated by following the official channels from relevant authorities.

The Swedish Transport Administration is monitoring developments in relation to the coronavirus and adjusting its response according to recommendations from the Public Health Agency and other relevant authorities and we apply the precautionary principle.

The Swedish Transport Administration’s national crisis coordination team has been activated to ensure a collective focus in terms of our priorities and any action we plan to take. This will allow us to continually monitor the course of events with regard to the coronavirus, and adapt our response accordingly based on the very latest situation.

The Swedish Transport Administration currently receives many questions regarding the consequences of the outbreak of the coronavirus and force majeure. A general position in this matter is not possible, but each situation must be considered separately while taking the specific circumstances and conditions into account. To the extent that you consider that coronavirus affects your agreement(s) with the Swedish Transport Administration, it is important that you handle these matters in accordance with each separate agreement. The contact persons and ways to communicate agreed upon in each separate contract should thus be applied also in matters regarding the coronavirus.

(Source: Trafikverket)

5 Votes

Average rating: 3.4 / 5

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UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 28 April 2020

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