Following the conclusions of the 2nd Educational Seminar on Railway Safety held in Tehran on 4-5 May 2010, the first meeting of the UIC Middle-East Rail Safety Working Group took place at the invitation of Iranian Railways (RAI) at the Tehran Headquarters (RAI Tower where the UIC Regional Office for Middle-East is also located). The main objective of this meeting consisted in starting the concrete work towards developing and implementing a Rail Safety Database tailor-made for railway needs in this region.
The two-day Working Group meeting was opened by Mr Arab Yar Mohammadi, Member of the Board and Vice President of RAI (Coordination of District Affairs and Safety Promotion) and chaired by Mr A. R. Khorasani, Director-General of Movement Safety at RAI, with the support of Mr Paul Véron, UIC Director in charge of the Coordination for the Middle-Eastern Region (RAME) and Mr Abbas Nazari, Director-General of International Affairs at RAI, and Director of the UIC Tehran Office. The technical content of this working group meeting had been prepared at UIC by Mr Peter Gerhardt, Head of the Rail Safety Unit together with Mr Yves Savoye. The first working group meeting was attended by representatives from Iranian (RAI and Niroo), Turkish and Iraqi railways. Furthermore, Middle-Eastern Railways have announced their interest in joining these activities during the next period.
The chairman of the meeting Mr A.R. Khorasani firstly presented and commented on the draft of the Internal Regulation of the Safety Group of the UIC Regional Assembly for Middle-East (RAME). Some amendments will be integrated before this document is submitted to the RAME Director-Generals’ meeting on 31 May in Amman, Jordan, for approval.
Mr Khorasani from RAI then presented the methodology for the preparation of a regional Railway Safety Database. The methodology refers to the 2004 version of the UIC Safety Database. The meeting provided a useful opportunity to explain the content and in particular:
- The type of accidents and incidents to collect during the first stage and steps
- What kind of data has to be collected
- How to use the database
- Understanding how to use common definitions
- Analysis of the causes of accidents, treatment and prevention measures
Mr Peter Gerhardt then presented the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD), an international campaign monitored by UIC in cooperation with a large number of other stakeholders. The purpose of this worldwide awareness campaign is to improve education and risk awareness of users at level crossings (motorists, cyclists, pedestrians) who are mainly responsible for fatalities at these road/rail interfaces.
As a result of this meeting, the structure, content and data of the RAME Rail Safety Database will be finalised to take a number of comments into consideration. It will be circulated to all RAME Members (Middle-Eastern Railways).
At the 9th RAME meeting scheduled to be held on 31 May 2011 in Amman, Jordan, Director-Generals will be invited to:
- Confirm their willingness to set up a regional Rail Safety Database,
- Confirm the location of this database and the responsibility for the day-to-day management in UIC RAME Regional Office in Tehran (with the professional support of the RAI Movement Safety Department and the technical support of UIC HQ whenever needed)
- Designate correspondents for regular work related to the ME Rail Safety Database who are authorised to send data on railway accidents, causes and investigations
- Approve a budget in the 2011-2012 RAME Action Plan for further work on this issue