Tuesday 4 December 2012
Railway Safety

Rail Safety Training Seminar, Brussels, 26 – 27 November 2012

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The EuroMed Regional Transport Project “Road, Rail and Urban Transport”, is a project funded by the European Union. It started in December 2011 for a duration of three years.

The project has been assigned to a consortium led by SAFEGE (France), while other members are SYSTRA (France), NTUA (Greece), IDOM (Spain), FIT (Italy), DAR-AL -OMRAN (Jordan), LTRC (Jordan) and LEEGO (Algeria).

The project activities cover the following fields of expertise:

  • Road freight transport: UN-ECE agreements, liberalisation and harmonisation of international road haulage, road safety, reform of the road transport industry, professionalism
  • Rail transport: rail interoperability and safety, structural reform of the rail market
  • Urban transport: sustainable urban mobility plans, regulatory and institutional framework, fleet management, promotion of CIVITAS network

The specific priorities of the project for railways are to provide technical assistance & training, in cooperation with international organisations (UIC, ERA, ETCR, etc), for:

  • Enhancing international cooperation in the region (harmonisation between partner states for standards & regulations, regional agreements )
  • Separation of infrastructure ownership and railway operation
  • Developing an action plan for sustainable and efficient rail transport to support the modal shift from road to rail
  • Institutional, technical, operational interoperability, how to benefit from ERTMS
  • Safety management: independent national safety authority, investigation bodies, common safety indicators and targets

The first training seminar event of the project was on railway safety on 26 and 27 November 2012. It took place in Brussels with the cooperation of UIC and ERA.
17 participants in total, from partner countries operating railways (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia), all high ranking officials from railways or ministries of transport of their country, all related to rail safety management, participated as trainees. The trainers were experts, from UIC, ERA, EBA (Germany’s rail safety authority).

Mrs Anna Gigantino, from EC DG MOVE, opened the event as representative of the EC.
This event presented a range of issues and approaches related to rail safety management and offered the opportunity to “train the trainers” on the international state-of-the-art in this area. The seminar was interactive and included working sessions with exercises and specific cases. The following topics were presented and discussed:

  • Accidents in partner countries: trends in rail accidents in partner countries, investigation of accidents, safety management in partner countries (George Emmanoulopoulos-KE rail transport)
  • Safety management system: accident investigations, accident prevention and risk management (Mr. Ludwig Koschutnig-OEBB/UIC)
  • Solutions for rail safety: Safety Database (Mr. Olivier Gorger-UIC)
  • Independent investigation body, autonomous safety authority (Mr. Michael Schmitz-EBA)
  • Safety reporting and statistics, safety targets and indicators (Mr. Voytech Eksler-ERA)
  • Technical solutions for rail safety, technologies for control and signalling, ERTMS (Mrs. Bueno Cobos Maria Angeles-ERA)
  • Human factors in safety management (Mrs. Meryem Belhaj-UIC)
  • Measures to reduce accidents, level crossings management (Mrs. Isabelle Fonverne- UIC)

During the seminar all the participants were very interested in the clarifications and discussions, and were satisfied with the content and the quality. They also expressed a wish to have more extended training and technical assistance on the above topics in order to improve railway safety in the partner countries.

For further information about the Euromed project please contact George Emmanoulopoulos: georgios.emmanoulopoulos@safege.com
Contact at UIC: Meryem Belhaj, Senior Advisor for International Training and Human Factors: belhaj@uic.org

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