Information published on 19 November 2013 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 374.

Great success of the 9th UIC World Congress on Railway Security held in Paris

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The 9th UIC World Congress on Railway Security, which was held in Paris, France at UIC Headquarters from 13 – 14 November 2013, was a great success. Around 170 delegates from 33 countries all over the world attended the event, representing the major players involved in rail and transport security issues: railway security managers, delegates from transport and police authorities, as well as representatives from international organisations, rail supply industry, and universities.

Jointly organised between UIC and SNCF, this important Congress was mainly dedicated to “Security policy: what strategies, regulations and partnerships for railway companies?”.

In the current world context, railway security is expected to play an increasingly omnipresent and strategic role. The changing nature and shift in threats are the reasons why rail stakeholders (infrastructure managers and operators) are seeking more efficient solutions in order to adapt their organisational methods to the new “ground rules”. Security is under the shared responsibility of national authorities and railway companies. Each country divides tasks between security stakeholders according to its own prerogatives, in line with its specific national situation and constraints, enabling partnerships to be established in an international context.

Jean Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC pronounced the opening speech emphasizing UIC’s role in bringing together its members to take part in joint measures and policies, share their experience concerning major issues and make full use of their diversity to feed into coherent policies that meet the needs of their customers, take into account their staff and make optimum use of their assets.

Today’s congress is devoted to security policies and the relevant partnerships. Security has now become a key element of railway services. We therefore need to effect change in the concept of security and consider it in terms of threats and vulnerabilities in our systems, responsibilities of various stakeholders and cohesion between these stakeholders for the benefit of the system as a whole.

The chief concern is to provide staff with the resources that will enable them to take action as efficiently as possible in accordance with regulatory documents, ethical principles and other priorities. These aspects should therefore be addressed regularly and benefit from coherent action and synergy. Secondly, the aim is to bring clarity. While railway companies have to develop increasingly extensive and sophisticated security policies, these policies are closely connected to a body of national and sometimes international legislations and regulations.

The security of persons and goods in a particular country or region is the responsibility of the public authorities but action taken by companies is also important. Costly as it may be, it must remain subordinate to and coherent with public action, on the basis of partnership. We invest in security for the benefit of our customers and staff, in order to develop our business. In this respect our priorities cannot be the same, or at least exactly the same, as those of public authorities, hence the importance of fostering partnership, cohesion and complementarity.

Railway security is part of an increasingly complex context. The progressive liberalisation of the transport market in Europe, the evolution of company structures and the increasing separation between activities even outside of Europe mean that the number of stakeholders involved at a given time and place, in a same station, is always increasing. A transition has taken place, or is taking place, between a traditional system with two public stakeholders, the state and a national railway company, and a complex system in constant evolution involving the state, several public or private carriers from different countries and other private stakeholders in charge of other aspects and with other roles in the running of a station. The security system will only function correctly if all stakeholders fully assume their role (and their role alone), with shared responsibility and commitment.

The development of international traffic calls for ever greater coherence. In conveying passengers as in conveying goods, the security of the transport system must obviously be conceived with the entire journey in mind. The challenge is thus to ensure coherence between national policies, beyond a mere juxtaposition of agreements that are bilateral or geographically limited and are concluded to answer specific needs.
The scale of the infrastructure and the significant financing involved call for greater protection. For this purpose, sharing experience and best practices (or even failures or insufficiencies) among different countries and different types of organisation must lead to solutions.

Tomorrow’s security has to follow two courses: from the stakeholders’ point of view the focus must continue to be on research projects bringing together in a cross-disciplinary manner the relevant railway stakeholders, suppliers of solutions and universities or research institutes. A certain number of European projects are underway in the Security Division, and the PROTECTRAIL project is being presented during the conference. From the customers’ point of view the demand is obviously that nothing untoward happen during transport, and even if something does occur, that the consequences be mitigated as far as possible and that services may continue or resume as soon as possible. In this regard, although security and civil protection concepts and other potential risks affecting services have to be studied separately, as they represent different areas of responsibility and a variety of responses, these responses must themselves be cohesive and synergetic to avoid contradictions and to respond to customers’ demands by making optimum use of the available resources.

Then Mr Claude Baland, Director-General of the French National Police, Representative of the French Home Minister, took the floor and apologized for the absence of the Home Office Minister, Mr Manuel Valls. He described the role of the security forces and the essential partnership between the State and SNCF. This partnership is absolutely necessary because 2.3 % of all delinquencies occurs in the rail transport.

First of all, there is an exchange of staff with the Security Division of SNCF, joint training sessions to promote mutual understanding, exchanges and agreements on tactical intervention schemes, and common exercises (operational simulation). During the technical visit of the first day of the Congress, participants will attend a joint exercise of the Suge (SNCF’s security services) and civil police forces.

This cooperation is part of daily business (31229 shared operations in 2012) and aims at leading actions in specific domains: metal theft (35 million euros prejudice and 350 000 minutes delay in 2012) – prevention measures, shared monitoring and international actions; graffiti; terrorism – terrorism prevention, passenger and luggage control; and incivilities, precursor of potential delinquency.

Thanks to this successful cooperation, 64 460 persons were apprehended in 2012. Indeed, between 2010 and 2012 delinquency in rail transport dropped by 4.1 % and thefts by 26.2 %.

Nevertheless, joint efforts must be reinforced by creating new rail security brigades (1st one created in Perpignan in September 2013). International cooperation should also be promoted in the framework of an exchange of experience and the implementation of an action programme.

Mr Stéphane Volant, Secretary General of SNCF, then explained that Security has been a shared responsibility of the State and railways for one century. In a few months, a security law will be discussed that aims to cover technical domains. Even with the opening of the network to third-parties, security will still be assured by the State and SNCF, who are also responsible for the security of every new operator.
UIC has made security a core value and as for the European projects RESTRAIL and PROTECTRAIL, we can see that cooperation is essential.

Incivilities are always disturbing for customers and agents: they must be monitored closely because they can develop into more criminal actions. Even if the figures are satisfactory, customers have a feeling of insecurity; there is a strong need for improvements in this domain with intensive collaboration between all the networks.
Then, Mr Lubomir Hradisky, chairman of the UIC security platform, welcomed the participants and underlined the fact that the issues of Strategy and Regulation in the area of security, which are the main themes of this year’s congress, play an important role and complete together with other important elements the complex picture of Rail Security.

The cooperation of all security stakeholders needs very clear and pragmatic rules. It is inevitable to coordinate our common approach with all relevant national and international rail security stakeholders. The railway sector has to look for answers and solutions to new issues and challenges that we face in our security business every day and this year’s congress will offer an excellent possibility to share and exchange valuable knowledge and “best practice”, which will be used in your future professional work.

The two-day conference was organised around six sessions with 30 speakers:

Session 1 on “Professional partnerships” chaired by Maria Cristina Fiorentino, Responsible for Civil protection in FS (Italian railways), gave the opportunity to have the point of view of the passenger activity (presented by Ignacio Barron, Director of the UIC Passenger Department) and especially high speed needs regarding security and the freight activity with the presentation by Bertrand Geoffray of the activities of the BIC (Bureau International des Containers/International Container Bureau) and the current developments initiated by the BIC with IMO (ACEP) and Customs Authorities (e-register) which represent a significant step forward in the fields of Safety and Security.

Then the UIC special group COLPOFER (Collaboration of railway police and security services) were presented by its chairman, Didier Schwarz from SNCF who described the COLPOFER missions and working groups based on professional partnerships between rail companies, security services and police.

Finally Alena Havlova, CER Policy Adviser Security, presented the CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies) position regarding rail security. CER is in favour of voluntary measures, supports the exchange of best practices and experiences, welcomes stronger European coordination and cooperation between security authorities, police forces and transport operators but is opposed to new EU legislation and wish to focus on metal theft and vandalism.

Session 2 on “Institutional Partnerships” was chaired by Andrew Cook from the UK Department for Transport. This session gave the opportunity to have an overview of the existing institutional groups dealing with rail security and their role:

  • IWGLTS (International Working Group on Land Transport Security) which group together 20 Member countries, including G8 countries, Spain, Israel, Singapore, Australia and also UNECE, EU, UIC, and UITP. IWGLTS provides an international forum that allows countries that have been affected by terrorism to share information, experiences and best practices.
  • UNECE Working Party on Rail Transport with an annual workshop on rail security was presented by Konstantinos Alexopoulos.
  • The DG MOVE land transport security advisory committee (LANDSEC) which brings together Member States and stakeholder organisations to discuss the development of EU land transport security policy. Jacques Zachman recalled that the Commission makes the proposal of legislation to the Council and to the Parliament and DG Move is the entry point to bring the message of rail security stakeholders to the relevant authorities.
  • The World Customs Organisation and the AEO (Authorised Economic Operator program) presented by Georges Cantone
  • RAILPOL (Network of RAILway POLice organizations) which, under the responsibility of the competent national authorities, are in charge of carrying out police tasks related to the railway transport in the EU member states was presented by Arend Bannink, Chairman of RAILPOL.

During session 3 on “National examples of partnerships” chaired by Pradeep Kumar Mehta, Vice Chairman of the UIC security platform, four national best practices were presented:

  • the partnership between Italian Railways Group and Civil Protection (by Maria Cristina Fiorentino),
  • the national partnerships with Indian railways which carries more than 23 million passengers a day (by Pradeep Kumar Mehta),
  • the security action plan of Moroccan Railways that is currently implemented on the basis of the global security policy that has been developed (by Moha Khaddour)
  • and finally the manpower and means implemented for ensuring transport security on Russian Railways (by Vladimir Kuznetsov). Thanks to RZD, chair of the WG “Human Factors” of the UIC security platform, a leaflet on Preventive Measures Against Terrorist Acts on Railway Premises was created and distributed during the congress. Another leaflet for Passengers on Actions in Emergency Situations is currently prepared by the working group.

On the second day, session 4 moderated by Pr. Gerd Neubeck, DB AG was dedicated to the specific partnerships against metal thefts. Metal Theft is a main concern for railways and this session gave an overview on the measures taken by DB AG in Germany, by SNCF together with the National Gendarmerie and National Police, by Pol Primett (police-private sector partnership to reduce metal theft across Europe) and also by Orange, French telecom operator, which is also affected by these thefts. Referring to the importance of the topic, the UIC working group on “Metal theft” chaired by DBAG has produced a leaflet that was distributed during the congress on how to tackle the problem by a collaborative mitigation effort involving all relevant stakeholders.

Session 5 dealt with Border crossing management and was moderated by Hendrik Vanderkimpen from SNCB.

First, Delphine Beatse from SNCB presented the UIC security platform working group on Strategy, procedures and regulation and raised some questions about the impact on security of the liberalisation of Rail Transport in Europe. Mandatory European/International transport security legislation are rejected by the sector but “is the exchange of best practices the most relevant solution to ensure the security chain in the context of the cross border?”. The proposal is at minimum, to raise awareness among governments about the need for them (1) to introduce national rules that do not impede the free circulation of security services or (2) at least, to explain how the role sharing could work with the introduction of railway liberalisation.

Then a presentation was given by Gaëtan Carlens on the preparation of the Olympic & Paralympics Games London 2012 within the COLPOFER working group on “Management of big events” which is a good example of international cooperation at operational level.
Moreover the new UIC working group BIRC on “Security – Borders crossing, International Railway Corridors” chaired by Tadeusz Kaczmarek from PKP PLK will focus on the security of the Europe-Asia corridors with a bottom-up approach by establishing links between railways and national authorities in each area along the route in the event of a security alert, and by laying down the conditions for action in their area.

Session 6 moderated by Jerzy Wisniewski, UIC Director for Fundamental Values UIC was dedicated to Research and Projects. 5 research projects co-funded by the European commission in the FP7 program were presented:

  • RESTRAIL: Reduction of Suicides and Trespasses on RAILway property
  • PROTECTRAIL: the Railway-Industry Partnership for Integrated Security of Rail Transport
  • SECUR-ED: "Secured Urban Transport – European Demonstration
  • SECURESTATION: Passenger station and terminal design for safety, security and resilience to terrorist attack
  • SECRET Project: SECurity of Railways against Electromagnetic aTtacks

The conference was also an opportunity to present an exhibition of the PROTECTRAIL project, one of the largest integration projects on security and probably today’s most relevant initiative in railway security and its results. This project is aimed at developing a global framework, taking existing solutions, making them interoperable, testing them in demonstrations with real-life scenarios.

The technical visit was organised by SNCF on the following theme: How to manage an incident on an international rail service travelling towards Paris Gare du Nord railway station that could result in public disorder on arrival at the station. This technical demonstration at Gare du Nord was an excellent experience for all participants and at the same time a possibility to demonstrate how the railway sector and other security partners can react or be prepared to the risks and challenges railways face in the security area.

This global event has been shown that railway security is becoming a key element in the sector. In particular the two specific issues of metal theft and the security of international corridors must continue to be priorities for action by the UIC Security Platform. The event highlighted the increasing number of actors and the relation between security (intentional actions) and safety (unintentional actions), who often have similar measures of detection and prevention.

For the first time we had the chance to benefit from an external point of view: a representant of the ENPC “Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées” presented his concluding remarks. Railway security is part of an increasingly complex context: the progressive liberalisation of the transport market in Europe, the evolution of company structures and the increasing separation between activities even outside of Europe mean that the number of stakeholders involved at a given time and place, in a same station, is always increasing.

The development of international traffic calls for ever greater coherence.
The scale of the infrastructure and the significant financing involved call for greater protection. For this purpose, sharing experience and best practices (or even failures or insufficiencies) among different countries and different types of organisation must lead to solutions.

Tomorrow’s security has to follow two courses: from the stakeholders’ point of view the focus must continue to be on research projects bringing together in a cross-disciplinary manner the relevant railway stakeholders, suppliers of solutions and universities or research institutes. From the customers’ point of view the demand is obviously that nothing untoward happen during transport, and even if something does occur, that the consequences be mitigated as far as possible and that services may continue or resume as soon as possible. In this regard, although security and civil protection concepts and other potential risks affecting services have to be studied separately, as they represent different areas of responsibility and a variety of responses, these responses must themselves be cohesive and synergetic to avoid contradictions and to respond to customers’ demands by making optimum use of the available resources.
Addressing all these concerns together depends on a close partnership between national authorities and railway undertakings, while remaining within the framework of international organisations or requirements without reducing the efficiency of the transport system.

Even if each country has its own realities and dedicated means, the Congress strengthened the idea that we should work together. Mr Mehta, the next UIC Security Platform Chairman concluded saying that these two days fruitful conference showed that security is really a universal subject.
The date and place of the next UIC World Security Congress will be communicated soon.

All presentations are available in the private area at https://ovidentia.uic.org/index.php?tg=fileman&idx=list&id=169&gr=Y&path=Security%2F01+-+Security+Platform+-+Annual+Congresses%2F9th+UIC+World+Congress+on+Rail+Security+-+Paris+-+November+2013

For further information on the UIC Security Division, please visit www.uic.org/security
and contact Marie-Hélène Bonneau: bonneau@uic.org