The 6th edition of the UIC International Seminar on Railway Operating Safety and Security, jointly organised by Moroccan Railways (ONCF) and the International Union of Railways (UIC), was held from 19 – 21 April 2017 in Tangier, Morocco.
The opening session of the seminar was attended by 180 delegates, representing 16 countries.
The Moderator of the opening session was Ms Farida Moha, a Moroccan journalist, who stressed the “importance of initial and continuous training on security safety.”
The Secretary General, representing the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport, Logistics and Water Management, Mr Khalid Cherkaoui, opened the session.
He spoke about the Socio-economic dynamic of the country: 10% of Morocco’s labour force works in the transport sector.
ONCF aims to promote sustainable transport, a fundamental value for the economic development of the country, and a government priority within transport activities.
On 6 November 2015, the announcement was made with regard to the creation of the highspeed line, the first link to Africa, as part of the EuroMed transport network.
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, then welcomed all participants. The key messages in his speech focused on the importance of the Moroccan highspeed line as the first on African continent. He spoke about the impact of the technical evolution, the digital world, and the presence of terrorist attacks on the railway sector, and the importance of security and safety.
The Director General of ONCF, Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie, then thanked the delegates and experts of the seminar. He focused on the sustainable development of the railway sector as a contributing factor of the dynamic of the country. He also insisted on the fact that the Casablanca-Tangier highspeed line is the symbol of rebirth and modernity of Moroccan railways.
Economically, the line has represented 600 million Euros per year of investment over the last seven years. It should enter commercial service during the summer of 2018 and will represent national know-how at the service of the region.
In addition, the modernisation of the rest of the network will be crucial for national mobility.
Security and safety are fundamental values of the quality of service. There is no such thing as “zero risk” and the mobilisation of all staff is necessary. Technology rules and human factors are the pillars of a security and safety policy.
The seminar highlighted the security safety continuum: system design, commissioning and post-operation feedback, as well as the importance of external partnerships in the event of incidents and operation.
The event also highlighted the importance of human factors beyond regulation. It is necessary to acquire a real development of a culture of safety security, as it affects everyone.
During the technical visits, the importance of ONCF’s commitment to high speed was highlighted, particularly with the visit of the maintenance centre for high-speed trains and the visit of the El Hachef Viaduct.
To read the full speech given by Mr Loubinoux please click here (the spoken word alone prevails):