SHERPA Shared and coHerent European Railway Protection Approach

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Internal Security Fund Police under the grant agreement Nr 815347


Terrorist attacks carried out in the latest years showed an alarming increase of indiscriminate violent actions carried out against civilians gathering in public spaces.
Railways, due to their inherent nature of open systems and critical infrastructures, need solid layers of protection as they might be a target for such attacks.

SHERPA aims to improve the overall protection level for stations and trains in Europe against terrorist attacks by filling the current knowledge gaps about the phenomenon and implementing multiple synergistic actions towards the relevant stakeholders.

Main objectives

  • Enhancing cooperation on terrorism-related threats at European level among rail companies and between them and the relevant authorities.
  • Promoting a coherent approach to rail security across Europe and reaching a fair balance between security needs and ethical and legal aspects.
  • Raising awareness on the terrorist threat in all its already known and potentially emerging forms by collecting, validating, enhancing and sharing most up-to-date knowledge and know-how.
  • Helping decision makers to identify and implement the most effective security solutions in the technical, organizational and human factor domains for protecting persons, stations and trains against terrorist threats.
  • Fostering railway business development by improving the protection levels of stations and trains and, consequently, the security perception among the general public.

Added value for rail

  • SHERPA will identify and assess terrorism-related threats potentially affecting the railway sector at both European and national level, with a focus on the emerging ones such as insider threats and misuse of new consumer technologies. It will raise awareness on the relevant issues and allow stakeholders to improve their risk assessment and crisis management strategies and procedures.
  • SHERPA will build a coherent railway security approach in Europe by creating a comprehensive international knowledge base and maintaining over time a set of practical security solutions to provide end-users with pre-processed, synoptic information that is both useful and useable directly.
  • SHERPA will foster the improvement of new tools and methods for effective communication with the public of transport users, raising awareness and promoting a fair and ethical model of shared and participative security in stations and trains.
  • SHERPA will produce a wide range of outputs addressing both management and operational areas such as guidelines, recommendations and practical tools, and deliver a comprehensive set of events on different levels including conferences, workshops and international practical trainings.

SHERPA Project results will be disseminated through the UIC Rail Security Hub, an online platform where users will be able to easily retrieve information on security solutions, provide inputs and share comments and operational experiences.


1 November 2018 - 31 October 2020


Leadership: UIC

  • DB (Germany)
  • FS (Italy)
  • PKP (Poland)
  • SNCB (Belgium)
  • SNCF (France)

7th R&D Framework Programme/Horizon 2020 Acoustic control for new composite blocks Administ of HERMES Messages + relating 900 Leaflets Administration of Passenger Commercial Issues Administration of Passenger Technical Issues Artificial Intelligence for Remote Monitoring Asset Management – unified procurement methods in order to achieve high quality for less money Asset Management Common Method and Template in a GIS implementation Brake Performance Deficiency of UCT (Unaccompanied Container Transport) trains Capacity4Rail Commuter and Regional Train Services Commuter and Regional Train Services II Composite brake block behaviour under winter conditions CYRAIL DEcision-making and Slab-track MANagement Design, definition and localisation of a "Trackcircuit" for detection of broken rails without detect DIGIM DIGIM II Digital Observatory & New Projects Platform Direct electropneumatic brake Direct Radio Link for Train Completeness Safety Check DOOR TO DOOR e- WAG ECCO Phase 2 ECCO Phase 3 EES Platform Activitie Emergency Brake Valves Performance on ERTMS Lines Energy & Electric Traction Experts Group Energy Efficiency Best Practice Workshops Energy Efficiency Best Practice Workshops (Europe) eRail Freight Intermodal – Phase 2 ERTMS Platform services EUR palette European Standard Freight Wagon Axle for 25t (ESFA 25) Exceptional and Over-Loads on Existing Infrastructures Exchange of Railway Vehicules phase 2 Formalization of Interfaces Functional Specifications Future Railways Mobile Communications Systems Solutions GALILEO Panel of Experts GSM-R GSM-R Network Management Harmonised Methodology for Infrastructure Lifetime Assessment Harmonization of track quality description and assessment High Speed Activities Holding Force 2017 How to improve the overall safety at level crossings using new technologies and operating modes to m Impact of the digitalisation on the modern Traffic Operation possibilities (linked to “Traffic manag IPAAB AUDIT Lasting Infrastructure Benchmarking Long term development of railway stations Long trains with distributed power MERITS PRIFIS New UIC Standard "Overhead Conductor Rail Requirements" Noise Technical Advice Other Freight Activities Panel of Experts Activity - Asset Management Group Panel Of Structural Experts Passenger Accessibility Solutions Support and Action Group for Europe Passenger Accessibility Solutions Support and Action Group for Europe II Passenger Door System, Alarm System and Communication System: Safety and Standardised Operation PRIFIS PRM Assistance Booking Tool PROACTIVE RailTopoModel (ERIM) RailTopoModel extension for Building information modelling (BIM) RailTopoModel for Geographic Information Systems RailTopoModel for Simulation Railway Telecom Panel of Experts Recommendations for the DEsign and use of MOnoblock concrete SLEEPERs Reference guide of core rail job profiles and professional competences Requirement DataBase EUTREQ rEvERsE REVERSIBLE SUBSTATIONS Revision of UIC Leaflet 930 RIC Rolling Stock Bogie Energy Management and Brake-Wheel interaction Rolling Stock multimedia applications Rolling Stock on board applications (traction-braking management) and commissioning Rules for the consist and braking of international freight trains SAFER-LC SAFETY PLATEFORM SATLOC+ (follow up of SATLOC) system safety demonstration on the basis of the formal functional mode SECURITY PLATFORM SFERA: Smart communications for efficient rail activities SHERPA Signalling Panel of Experts Station Managers Global Group Station Managers Global Group Technical advice and assessment of European Railway noise policy and research Tourism potential of railway services Tourism Potential of Railway Services 2 Track Circuit Shunting Booster Track Experts Group Activity - (TEG) including INNOTRACK Dissemination Track stability and prevention of buckling Train Bus Applications and Homologation TRAINING CENTRE NETWORKS TRISTRAM UIC Control App UIC-IEC Overhead Contact Line life cycle harmonization Upgrading and Updating the UIC Standard 413 URT - PRISM (Passenger Railway International Security-based Mobile app) Vegetation Control and Use of Herbicides WG Pallets Wheel: European Standard low maintenance for 25t traffic Works of Programme Managers and SETs XBORDER quick wins