Reminder: SAFER-LC project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 723205. It is led by UIC and will last 36 months. 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.
The First SAFER-LC workshop on “end-user requirements” was held on Thursday 28 September 2017 at the headquarters of UIC, the project coordinator.
Around 40 participants from 12 countries attended the workshop organised around two sessions: the morning session dedicated to presentations and then a brainstorming session in the afternoon.
In his introductory speech, Marc Antoni, UIC Director of the Rail System department, welcomed the participants from the Advisory Board and from the consortium. He stressed the fact that in the medias, accidents at level crossings (LC) are presented as rail accidents whereas more than 90% are due to road drivers and pedestrians dangerous/risky behaviours. Level crossing accidents are the second cause of fatalities on rail infrastructure after suicides and trespasses, already addressed by UIC within the European project RESTRAIL; so, it was logical for UIC to address this aspect after the successful RESTRAIL toolbox creation. The SAFER-LC consortium gathers road and rail experts to have a holistic view, enabling to address both human and technical innovative answers. According to the differences between the signalling principles country by country, the workshop aims to list the needs and requirements on road and rail taking into account the disparities in the different countries in Europe.
Then, Edward Rollings gave the Network Rail perspective regarding safety of LC in the UK. LC in the UK are very regularly assessed to improve safety by managing and mitigating the risk at crossing. Network Rail is continuously developing and deploying risk reduction measures to enable and encourage safe use. Several measures on the technical side and human side were presented as well as the new opportunities that digitalisation of railways can bring such as speed supervision, near continuous train location reporting to radio block centre, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart access systems.
This was followed by the road perspective with a presentation given by Helena Rådbo from Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration. Helena Rådbo explained the “Toward Zero in Sweden” safety strategy, which is applied at all levels in the country: political, industry and end users. A database for all LC has been implemented with information from both road and rail and reporting of all incident/accidents at level crossings. This makes it possible to view the system and define the strategy for implementing prevention measures at LC.
These keynotes speeches on end-user perspectives were followed by the presentation of the first results of SAFER-LC project regarding the analysis of LC safety in Europe and beyond (by Sarah Whalley from FFE) and the identification of typical factors behind LC accidents (by Anne SILLA from VTT).
All the presentations of this session are available on the SAFER-LC website at http://safer-lc.eu/safer-lc-first-workshop
During the afternoon, a brainstorming session dedicated to situations at risk or leading to dangerous behaviour at level crossings and innovative solutions was organised.
The aim was to work on a questionnaire in small groups to prioritise the risks at LC, identify new ones, and discuss possible innovative solutions. Animators from each of the five tables presented short accounts of the findings on the higher risks identified and some possible innovative solutions. This workshop enabled some valuable contributions from the participants. It was a fantastic opportunity to consult end-users to better define the expectation and requirements for safer LC.
The next steps are as follows:
- Workshops at national level will be organised to collect other requirements from both road and rail
- Deliverable on requirements will be ready by the end of the year
- Next workshop will be held in March 2018 at UIC HQ focusing on human factors at LC
All the presentations given are available at http://safer-lc.eu/safer-lc-first-workshop