Tuesday 3 December 2013
Railway Security

European Commission 3rd Meeting of the Land Transport Security Expert Group (LANDSEC)

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UIC, represented by Mrs Marie Hélène-Bonneau and Mr José Pires (Senior Advisors of the UIC Security Division), together with other transport sector organisations (CER, EIM, UITP, COLPOFER, RAILPOL), attended the 3rd Land the European Commission Transport Security Expert Group on 28 November, under the coordination of the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE). The meeting was held in Brussels, bringing together Member State authorities and rail transport sector stakeholders in a joint session.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Robert Missen with the support of Mr Jacques Zachmann, who opened the session reinforcing the idea that the coordination between Member State authorities and transport sector stakeholders is essential to further prevent, manage and mitigate the risk of criminality, the exchange of best practice being the most appropriate approach to Land Transport Security at the EU level.

Within that context, this Land Transport Security Expert Group meeting was fully dedicated to rail security in accordance with the list of priorities agreed between the between Member States authorities and transport sector stakeholders.

Criminal activities on the railways opened the meeting presentations. Mrs Adrianna Miekina from DG Home Affairs provided a broad view regarding the cultural, legal, political and socio-economic aspects considered by this unit towards members states’ security. As referred to, the main objective is to support and provide guidance to member states in the implementation and coordination in cross border security activities.

Mrs Adrianna Miekina explained that DG Home Affairs looks into criminal activities that affect society and business sectors and not business sectors criminality in particular, although there are certain specificities that claim a wider attention, and transportation systems are one of those.

Today, within the EU borders and under the principle of free circulation of people and goods, maintaining levels of security is a constant and complex activity. Nevertheless, the EU institutions are aware and acting on the different concerns and needs either of sectors (public and private), or countries. As an example and within the context of metal theft, Europol organised a conference (April 2013) on the growing trend of metal theft. Law enforcement officers from EU Member States and representatives from the private sector met in the framework of the European project on Mobile Organised Crime Groups. These types of initiatives help to promote the coordination of activities between member states and sectors. Something largely supported and promoted by the rail sector in this LANDSEC meeting.

Next on the agenda was the topic of metal thefts on the railways: “Metal thefts on the railways cause increasing disruption to passengers and freight services, escalating costs to the rail industry and have dramatically killed people within the past years” – in that respect and following the work developed during the last year on Railway Metal Theft mitigation, the next agenda point was jointly presented by CER (Alena Havlova) , EIM (Ville Saarinen) and UIC (José Pires). The joint presentation provided information on a set of collaborative and cooperation activities that resulted in a number of actions. Therefore, efforts have to be made in order to bring together all involved within the same objective, its mitigation.

These efforts have to be “smart”, using all the available resources but avoiding duplication of work (between sector organisations, companies, etc.), by developing a united force against metal theft on the railways. It was then explained that within the context of the metal theft activities, that CER, EIM, UITP are the responsible bodies for the political lobbying activities, that UIC through its UIC Metal Theft WG (chaired by DBAG) is responsible for the strategic and technical activities and that COLPOFER through its Metal Theft Watch Unit is responsible for the operational activities.

Referring to the importance of the topic, the UIC Metal Theft WG produced a leaflet that was distributed to the LANSEC participants on how to tackle the problem by a collaborative mitigation effort involving all relevant stakeholders.

Sometimes also linked with metal theft, rail cargo theft is also a big concern at the moment. Pr. Gerd Neubeck from DB AG was invited by DG MOVE to provide a view of what dimension rail cargo theft represents for DB AG. In abstract, rail cargo theft mainly disrupts/hinders the commercial activities of the companies, creating among clients a mistrustful feeling regarding rail freight services. The negative impacts of that can be measured in million € losses and a modal shift increase.

Technical and procedural measures against rail cargo theft are being developed and used by DB AG, always in line with risks involved and client demands. These also meet the current need to have international interoperable measures that can provide good levels of security, to the all journey (end-to-end service). This type of harmonisation needs to be flexible, adaptable to the trade variations, allowing the voluntary use of standards and norms.

One other very disruptive crime activity for the rail and public transportation is graffiti. The topic was presented by Mr Thomas Kritzer (UITP Chair Secomm), in order to raise the awareness of member states that graffiti is no longer just a regional or even national problem; today there are international crime organised networks that travel around Europe to “express their art”. As this crime is often also linked with other types of criminality, one can benefit from the links between them.

Graffiti is a growing trend in the transport sector that needs to be addressed; as in metal theft it creates big operational, financial and reputation losses. Also here an effort as to be made, by exchanging best practice and taking relevant EU actions, in order to gather all involved within the same objective, its mitigation.

Within that context, an EU research project named Graffolution will start at the beginning of 2014 with the participation of UIC. Graffolution aims at contributing to counteracting the increase of graffiti vandalism focusing on smart awareness and prevention solutions for all affected stakeholder groups summarised on an innovative web based platform.

The meeting proceeded with an EU research project presentation; Mr Vito Siciliano from Ansaldo, project coordinator of PROTECTRAIL, presented the state-of-the-art of PROTECTRAIL where UIC is responsible for its dissemination, and the final demonstration that was held in Zmigrod, Poland during the second week of October 2013.

PROTECTRAIL since its start have tried to avoid over ambitious systematic top-down approaches by splitting the problem into smaller asset-specific security problems (missions) applicable and usable in different threat scenarios. One of the main objectives was making interoperable single asset-specific solutions conceiving and designing a modular architectural framework where each asset-specific solution can be “plugged and played”.

According to Mr Vito Siciliano the demonstration held in Zmigrod can be considered a very good example of collaborative work towards a common objective, protect railways from crime. From that exercise there are already tangible results:

  • SOA-based interoperability framework standardised event feature and discovery mechanisms available as White Paper in mid 2014.
  • Integrated solutions for security sub-missions.
  • ISO 22311 standard world premiere implementation in Zmigrod.
  • Excellent team-working and cooperation by organisations that are competitors in the railway and security market.

Mr Vito Siciliano announced the organisation of a contest for demonstration of solutions for HPLI (High Probability Low Impact) events such as vandalisms (graffiti), trespassing, copper theft, “playing chicken”, etc. The objective is to propose innovative solutions (off-the-shelf only if never used in the railway context) that could be integrated using the PROTECTRAIL interoperability framework.
The next key events of the project are 11 February 2014 with a satellite demonstration organised in France illustrating the protection of a tunnel and high speed train and 13 – 14 May 2014, the final conference closing the project will be held at UIC HQ.

The last presentation of the day addressed a topic already discussed in Paris at the beginning of the month at the 9th UIC world security congress. The Liberalisation of Rail Transport in Europe, What Impact on Security? – Mrs Delphine Beatse (Expert Security Policy SNCB Holding) representing the UIC Strategy, Procedures and Regulation WG, opened the floor by presenting “real challenges” that the liberalisation of rail transport in Europe has created in terms of operational security activities.
As an example:
On the Thalys 9310 Amsterdam - Paris Nord: the train manager is Dutch and sworn in his own country and in accordance with Dutch law. He detects on the Belgian territory a German passenger who has boarded the train in Brussels with no ticket.

  • Thalys train may circulate in four different countries (Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany)
  • Train managers: four possible nationalities, sworn officer only in one of the four countries
  • Legislation: no common rules
  • Which legislation must be applied? The one where the trespassing has been detected? The one from the sworn officer? ….

Nevertheless CER, EIM, UIC, COLPOFER, etc. are unanimous against mandatory European/International transport security legislation, but is the exchange of best practice the most relevant solution to ensure the safety chain in the context of cross borders? This was the question left open to be discussed by the member states and stakeholders, to which Mr Robert Missen addressed a high level of importance and stated that he would like to further assess it within the Strategy, Procedures and Regulation WG.

The Commission’s sharing of best practice and specific themes meeting approach was considered very positive and the transport sector stakeholders sense that the land transport security issues are taken well into account within the users and business needs.

Mr Robert Missen finalised the meeting by reassuring that DG MOVE with the support of the Land Transport Security experts will follow this methodology looking for the results that can reflect the emerging transport security issues by continuing working in a cooperative and collaborative process.

For further information please contact Jacques Colliard, UIC Head of Security Division: colliard@uic.org, José Pires, UIC Security Division Senior Advisor: pires@uic.org

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