The 5th International Seminar on Railway Safety and Security – held in Tangier on 10 and 11 April and followed by a technical visit to the future high speed line – took place under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. The event was attended by almost 250 participants and over 40 panellists, railway managers and external advisors.
This was the 5th seminar organised on this common theme by UIC as part of its global activities (Passenger/High Speed Department and Security Division) and by ONCF, Moroccan National Railways (Security and Control Division).
This edition served as an occasion to highlight the concept of integrated protection of railway operations which encompasses and brings together the aspects or policies of:
- Security in terms of protection and combat against malicious intent, from damage and petty crime to terrorism – a responsibility shared between the public authorities and railway companies
- Safety of railway systems in terms of addressing risks by using human factors and technologies, implementing procedures to ensure the rail transport system is reliable for customers: key and ongoing responsibility of the railway sector
- Civil and environmental safety in terms of addressing risks relating to the rail system’s environment (natural hazards, extreme weather conditions…) and which can disrupt operations, as well as risks relating to the running of the system (complex nature of managing heavy flows, potential technical defects of station infrastructure,…)
- Civil defence, resilience of railway systems, role of emergency services and crisis management in the event of incidents and accidents with a view to mitigating the consequences
The seminar was also the occasion to once again emphasise the specificities of high speed and their significance for companies and countries which use and develop them. The security of high speed systems has specific characteristics linked to the amount of investment (notably public) that they represent, their symbolic business aspect, customer requirements, and potential worsening of effects caused by incidents due to traffic speed. To this end UIC has decided to develop – together with its members involved – a manual on the security of high speed systems, which will become part of the series of high speed manuals that have already been published or that are being drafted. The work will be coordinated by the UIC Passenger/High Speed Department and Security Division.
These two key aspects were also addressed during the official opening session:
- By Mr Aziz Rabbah, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure of the Kingdom of Morocco, who highlighted: “2013 is about improving railway transport thanks to large investments in infrastructure and giving priority to security and safety aspects.”
- By Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie, Chief Executive of ONCF et Chairman of the UIC Africa Region who confirmed: “ONCF has budgeted three billion euros for its 2010 – 2015 investment programme. A quarter of the investment budget is allocated to improving safety and security.”
- And by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, who concluded the session by saying: “For the first time, participants from 25 different countries will discuss experiences and projects in the field of safe railway operations, security of goods and people, and anticipating crisis situations by mitigating the consequences. Strengthening links with civil defence services as well as specific issues relating to high speed will also be discussed. Though safety and security have been rail’s principal assets since its creation, we should remain modest about our achievements in these areas so as to ensure strong progress in the future.”
The Final Declaration adopted by the participants is available at:
A professional exhibition was held in parallel to the conference. The UIC stand welcomed a large number of visitors.