The UIC Security Division attended the advisory board of the European RAIN Project on 26 February in Berlin. This project, which stands for “Risk Analysis of Infrastructure Networks in Response to Extreme Weather”, is coordinated by Prof. Alan O’Connor from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
The RAIN vision is to develop a systematic risk management framework that explicitly considers the impacts of extreme weather events on critical infrastructure and develops a series of mitigation tools to enhance the security of the pan-European infrastructure network.
This advisory board was the occasion to bring to light some interesting points in order to push the project through. It brought together various people with an overall view of the project. UIC presented its experience concerning the European projects; especially PREDICT which deals with cascading effects and critical infrastructure.
On 27 February a workshop was held on “Past severe weather hazards” illustrating the work done in WP2 of the RAIN project. It was the opportunity to discover more about the impacts on critical infrastructures from the project partners.
During the workshop, partners presented, discussed and shared the results of their interviews with stakeholders and their findings of how various severe weather phenomena impact critical infrastructure.
As far as the railway sector is concerned, thunderstorms, lightning, windstorms, heavy rainfall can impact the railway system. As an example, the risks and consequences can impact the railway control system, the signalling system in stations and can cause severe disruption to rail traffic when severe lightning strikes.
Another result has showed that the consequences of a severe windstorm may lead to the derailment of a train, damage to catenary wires and that a blackout can affect train services.
A heavy rainfall can lead to erosion of rail embankments and flooding of railroads. Preventive measures and responses were proposed to mitigate the consequences of such severe weather phenomena.
Later in the workshop, a project partner presented his approach on the risk assessment of interconnected infrastructure. The aim of his presentation was to give priority to the resilience of the system and to take into account human factors, organisational factors, hardware, environment, procedures, structure and interface at the same time, in order to have a multidisciplinary approach. He stressed the importance of the high reliability system as a solution for highly interconnected systems.
The Security Division works in close cooperation with the other UIC departments involved.