RESTRAIL is a collaborative project selected by the European Commission as part of the 4th “transport” call for proposals under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development.
RESTRAIL aims to reduce the occurrence of suicides and trespass on railway property and the service disruption and other consequences these events cause by providing the rail transport and industry decision makers with an analysis and identification of cost effective prevention and mitigation measures. It deals with both security and safety topics
This project, coordinated by UIC’s security division, includes seven UIC members in the consortium (DB AG, FFE, IK, INFRABEL, PRORAIL, TCDD and TRAFIKVERKET) as well as research centres and universities (VTT, CIDAUT, IFSTTAR, HMGU, KAU, UNott) and industries (ASTS, MTRS3, NICE).
The project will last 36 months at a total cost of nearly € 4 million.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, and Jerzy Wisniewski, Director of the UIC Fundamental Values Department, welcomed the European Research Project Officer Alexandra-Maria Gurau and the representatives of the 17 partners from 12 countries to the official kick-off meeting held on 8 November 2011 at UIC headquarters in Paris.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux stressed that this security/safety project is focussing on sociological, public health, and political and administrative aspects, and that UIC is proud to have the confidence of the Commission for this multidimensional issue.
Even though the rail sector cannot be held responsible for these events which are external to its activities, its strong public presence as a social link and as an essential part of land use planning led to it getting involved in developing collective responses to the increasingly frequent occurrences of suicide and trespass.
The purpose is to enhance the efficiency of the railway system by assisting it in responding to phenomena which jeopardise its reliability, punctuality and thus its attractiveness.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux concluded his presentation by adding that the project will have a strong impact combining “soft” measures such as communication, deterrence and/or education campaigns among the general public, and technological and human measures to protect railway premises.
Alexandra-Maria Gurau congratulated the partners of the RESTRAIL Consortium for their decision to get together for this very interesting research project and highlighted the fact that RESTRAIL was the precise answer to the European Commission’s proposal.
RESTRAIL has to deliver concrete results for the benefit of the entire sector.
Mrs Gurau confirmed that she believed the project would not have any major problems achieving the targets included in the description of work, due among others to the very good coverage of the various actors.
She also underlined the importance of dissemination (led by UIC) in this project. She asked the consortium to work in close cooperation with the European Railway Agency and was pleased to see that a representative of the Agency was attending the meeting.
To conclude the session Jerzy Wisniewski congratulated the partners of the consortium for the good rank obtained during the evaluation and stressed that UIC was very proud that the European Commission was supporting this project.
The day before and during the afternoon various related meetings were held: kick-off of the data collection work package, first meetings of the Project Management Committee and of the Steering Board.