Information published on 2 December 2014 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 426.

10th edition of the UIC Global Rail Security Congress held in Lisbon from 26 – 28 November

  • Security

UIC was pleased to hold the 10th Edition of the UIC Global Rail Security Congress from 26 – 28 November in Lisbon, Portugal, with around 150 attendees, organised in close partnership with the Portuguese rail companies REFER, EPE e CP Comboios de Portugal.

Following the three previous editions that were mainly dedicated to the transverse topics within rail security: “Technologies” in Rome in 2011 organised in partnership with FS Group, "Human factors” in Bratislava in 2012 organised in partnership with ZSSK, “Strategies, regulations and partnerships” at Paris UIC HQ organised in partnership with SNCF, this 10th edition focused on the concept of “comprehensive rail system protection” which consists of two main topics:

  • Coherence between the rail protection policies addressing safety, security, and other hazards or risks (civil defence, civil protection, natural disasters and other disruptions).
  • Resilience of the rail systems or services: crisis management and communication.

The concept of “comprehensive rail system protection” implies that there must be an observation, understanding and effective management of the interdependencies between the railway internal and external protection sub-systems such as Railway Safety, Rail Security, Civil Protection Agents (CPAs), Law Enforcement Authorities (LEAs).

The congress is designed to help attendees understand the forthcoming challenges that rail security will face in the coming years, also providing a unique opportunity to meet strategic partners and to help capitalise on new opportunities, solutions and exchange of good practices. In this edition, the congress theme is addressing a new and arising concept linked with the overall world security challenges such as the rail transport system becoming increasingly relevant within societal developments.
This 10th Edition of the Global Rail Security Congress is also particularly important due to the themes addressed and also with regard to the European framework developments on EU Internal Security Strategy for 2015-2020.

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General welcomed the attendees and delivered the opening speech: “Each railway company and UIC region defines its strategy in the short, medium and long-term, but implementing this development requires our systems to be protected, against the risks and defects of internal operations, against external risks such as extreme climatic conditions and geo-physical events, against external threats due to malicious intent or harmful behaviour.

This protection consists of the concepts of safety in the traditional sense, which has always been at the core of railway professions, and the security of people and goods which has become a growing constraint. The growing complexity of our railway systems means that each of these aspects requires an increasing number of specialists, who are able to implement increasingly sophisticated technology, and develop increasingly detailed procedures – the success of which will depend on how effectively each issue is addressed. But despite these specialisations, the customer’s point of view – whether in passenger or freight traffic – is perhaps much more transversal: the customer wants transport to run smoothly, whatever the cause of disruption and those involved.

Bringing more coherence between policies or strategies regarding safety, and policies or strategies regarding security, is essential. Their main purpose is to reduce the possible causes of incidents in each of these areas and at the same time mitigate the consequences. No matter how effective our measures, there will always be incidents or accidents, and therefore one has to monitor the resiliency of our systems, the conditions in which operations are resumed following incidents, and the management of crisis situations which also include all aspects of communication with the public and the various institutional stakeholders.

Coherence and resilience: these two aspects fall within the scope of “comprehensive protection” which UIC has developed over the course of 2014. This concept has been presented on various occasions in the UIC regions of Africa, the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific and which is the central focus of this 10th UIC World Security Congress.
For the future I would like to place particular emphasis on the research projects that are being conducted either within the railway sector or as part of a multi-sectoral approach. The five research projects currently underway within the security division, together with the Protectrail and Restrail projects – which ended in 2014 – cover a large area, with the characteristics and outcomes being made available periodically, such as the “Focus” brochure published for the congress.”

Mr Manuel Tomás Queiró, CP-Comboios de Portugal Chairman of the Board of Directors, spoke about the importance of both component – Safety and Security, stressed the need to have an approach coordinating efforts on both levels, and emphasised the importance of cooperation with security national bodies, which in Portugal has proven essential to minimise risks and ensure passenger safety.

Mr Rui Lopes Loureiro, REFER, EPE Chairman of the Board of Directors, delivered a Keynote Speech in which he emphasised the evident and enthusiastic participation of REFER in the organisation of the Congress, giving the opportunity to bring together so many specialists, that was only possible in the frame of UIC activities and that must be enhanced through the debates to reach some relevant conclusions referring to coherence between rail protection policies and the resilience of the rail systems and services. The exchange of experience with colleagues from foreign networks is fundamental to consolidate the ideas and actions of the future. The vision of REFER is to consider security as a culture, a service supported by technologies and procedures with a clear goal: serve our clients and society, creating a strong relation of confidence between the users and REFER.

Mr Loubinoux especially thanked Messrs. Krishna Chaudhary, Director General of the Railway Protection Force within Indian Railways and Chairman of the Security Platform since July, and Gerd Neubeck, Chief Security Officer at Deutsche Bahn and Vice-Chairman of the Platform since the same date, for their attendance. Their personal involvement in UIC work is a guarantee that an overall vision of security will be maintained as one of the fundamental values supporting UIC members and serving passenger, freight and rail system activities.

The work of the Platform working groups was highlighted and is given concrete form through the publication of the working groups’ main results, in the shape of leaflets on:

  • Human factors, technology and metal theft (last year)
  • A second leaflet on human factors and three leaflets by the group on border crossings and international corridors (November 2014)

These leaflets provide users with all the work that has been carried out, enabling everyone to benefit from the information they need for their own strategies. It ensures that the activities conducted are in line with the needs of UIC members and allows them to put forward their proposals for the future.

The two-day congress was organised around four sessions alternating between presentations and panel discussions:

  • Rail Security Information, Structure and Actors (the national and international dimension) moderated by Mr. Francisco Cardoso dos Reis (REFER,EPE)
  • Rail Comprehensive Protection - Security Coherence and Resilience, moderated by Mrs. Dora Peralta (CP, Comboios de Portugal) & Mrs. Luisa Garcia (REFER, EPE)
  • Security events impacting the rail system (at operations, economic and reputation levels) moderated by Mr. Jerzy Wisniewski (UIC)
  • Rail Comprehensive Protection – the political dimension, moderated by Mr. Iñaki Barrón de Angoiti (UIC) and the Panel discussion on Rail Comprehensive Protection - From the Concept to a Model? Moderated by Prof. Gerd Neubeck (DB Corporate Security)

Mr Sérgio Silva Monteiro, Portuguese State Secretary for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications, concluded the seminar with his Keynote Speech: “Rail standardisation of procedures in Europe is not fully fletched, whereas in air space there is a single management at European level. Even if the temptation of protectionism is strong, there is a need to make sure that there is a true single rail market in procedures.

We need to try to ensure investment in signalling, telecom, safety and security, providing increasing incentives, and standardised railways will bring more passengers and goods for the rail network.

Geographically speaking, Portugal is a periferic country but central for world trade and even if Portugal had budget constraints, it honours its commitments at European Level. Besides, it is important for the country to show coherence in the plan for investment in transport and infrastructure.

For example, the current plan for the full electrification of the Portuguese rail network will decrease arrows and human intervention (consequently more safe and secure). We need to ensure stability in the future, regardless of which government is in place.

Finally, European projects in signalling, telecom, safety and security must support continued innovations and most of all helping the implementation of those in a comprehensive and coherent way.”

Attendees participated in an Emergency/Rail Security exercise at a Lisbon railway station in conjunction with the Portuguese National Public Police (PSP) & CP Comboios de Portugal with the support of REFER, EPE, during the Congress, as well as technical visits afterwards.

The Congress Final Declaration was delivered by Mr Jacques Colliard (UIC), Head of the UIC Security Division. He thanked REFER and CP for the organisation with the support of FERTAGUS, and confirmed the interest of the participants in the theme of comprehensive protection i.e. developing coherence between the policies dedicated to internal safety risks, external security risks due to geophysical events, and external security threats due to negative will from daily delinquency to terrorist acts; resilience of the rail systems and crisis management in order to manage the emergency situations and restart the service in the most appropriate way.

Emphasis was placed on the need to develop and enlarge the partnership between all the relevant stakeholders: law enforcement authorities, infrastructure managers, railway undertakings, civil protection and emergency services in order to improve the efficiency of each one by a close cooperation between all.

The presentations of the relevant actors or structures managing crisis aspects showed the need to address further the aspects of civil protection, contingency plans, to organise the sharing of experiences and best practices.

UIC was asked to include the evolution of security threats due to the use of new technologies particularly the growing importance of the cyber threats within the priorities of the UIC current and future activities.

Demands were expressed to the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Security Platform to develop the activity of the current working groups by attracting new UIC members and including when possible external representatives.

The Chairman was asked to examine the opportunity of organising an event, perhaps the next UIC Security Congress, in India in 2015.

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