Tuesday 28 June 2016
Railway Safety / Level Crossings

UIC participated in the 14th edition of the Global Level Crossing Safety & Trespass Prevention Symposium 2016 (GLXS), Helsinki, Finland from 12 to 16 June 2016

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Enabling safe performance at level crossings

The Global Level Crossing Safety and Trespass Symposium (GLXS) is a biennial event bringing together engineering, safety, security, human factors, practitioners, academics and researchers from the global road, rail, law enforcement, research and regulatory communities.
It provides an opportunity to exchange information, discuss the latest research and share good practice to improve the safety of the at-grade interface between road and rail systems, and prevent railway trespassing.
This year it brought together 100 participants and 30 speakers from 20 countries.

The event was opened by Ms Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications in Finland since 2015 and Kari Wihlman, Master of Laws trained on the bench. He has acted as Director General of Trafi since the agency was founded in 2010.

Two Keynote speakers took the floor:

  • Mr Martin Gallagher, Chair of UNECE Expert Group on Safety at Level Crossings. He gave an overview of the work programme and remit of the group of experts.
  • Mr Kurt A. Olsen, Director, Railway Department, Accident Investigation Board, Norway shared some findings from accident analysis in Norway.

One of the sessions, dedicated to Strategies, Planning and Education, gave Isabelle Fonverne, UIC, the opportunity to present the collaboration between UIC and the International Road Transport Union (IRU) and Operation Lifesaver Estonia, on how to make professional drivers aware of safety at level crossings, which had resulted in the publication of three safety guides for professional drivers (of buses, taxis or trucks), now available in 10 languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Arabic and Greek) and soon in Croatian. UIC, IRU and OLE have worked to deliver simple, basic safety messages and pictograms that can be understood by any professional driver in the world, regardless of national regulations. These flyers will be distributed to professional drivers, and used by ILCAD partners for their own needs, and by IRU (in training sessions organized by the IRU academy) and OLE.

Upon request we can deliver additional languages of these flyers in .PDF and .JPG versions. Please contact: fonverne@uic.org Available languages can be found here http://www.ilcad.org/LC-Safety-Tips.html
Link to the presentation: http://www.trafi.fi/filebank/a/1465988898/61600a4c0ae157f6725e8c676776dc15/21811-4_Isabelle_Fonverne_SESS1.pdf

The following sessions were dedicated to Human Factors, a key issue in level crossing safety.

“Solutions for specific cases”, “Innovative Approaches”, “Accident models and enforcement” and “Accident investigation” were also discussed.

The last sessions presented the “Trespass Prevention” issue and Dr Grigore Havârneanu, UIC Security Division, presented “Preventing Pedestrian Trespass in the Vicinity of Level Crossings”. He discussed a particular type of trespasser profile, specifically pedestrians who cross or walk along the railway tracks from a station platform towards a nearby level crossing or vice versa (http://www.trafi.fi/filebank/a/1466402998/2267ee76d9a1fa6fc1abcde063160745/21874-1_Grigore_Havarneanu_SESS7.pdf).

He gave relevant recommendations from the European research project RESTRAIL (REduction of Suicides and Trespasses on RAILway property: www.restrail.eu) supported by field data and illustrated with examples from several pilot studies conducted in Europe. The presentation highlighted the promising results but also the constraints of jointly implementing anti-trespass panels with signage, surveillance cameras and fences. He also gave a reminder that the RESTRAIL toolbox (www.restrail.eu/toolbox) is being continuously updated to include new published studies and results from ongoing field trials.

Ms Kirsi Pajunen, Chief Adviser to the Director General of Rail Transport Sector and Mr Yrjö Mäkelä, Director General of Rail Transport Sector, Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi concluded this very successful conference. They pointed out the enthusiastic cooperation between stakeholders and the fruitful interdisciplinary exchanges; they mentioned the usefulness of the RESTRAIL toolbox, and underlined the high quality of the presentations made at this symposium (the presentations can be seen here: http://www.trafi.fi/en/GLXS2016/presentations). Lastly, they invited the participants to the next edition in 2018, date and location to be determined.

Technical visit near Helsinki:

Railway Beacon improves the safety of level crossings. The device warns of an upcoming train on level crossings via LED light. When the light is flashing it is no longer safe to cross.

For more information on this event please visit: http://www.trafi.fi/en/GLXS2016/

At UIC, please contact Isabelle Fonverne: fonverne@uic.org and Grigore Havârneanu: havarnenau@uic.org

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3 Isabelle Fonverne, UIC
4 Grigore Havarneanu, UIC
5 Ms Kirsi Pajunen, Chief Adviser to the Director General of the Rail Transport Sector, Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi