Tuesday 26 November 2019

15th UIC World Security Congress was held from 21 – 22 November 2019 in Prague, Czech Republic

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The 15th UIC World Security Congress, co-organised by the UIC Security Division and Czech Rail Infrastructure Manager SŽDC, was a successful opportunity for UIC members to share and discuss the safety and security of stations.

More than 150 participants from 26 countries all over the world had the opportunity to exchange best practice and discuss the conference theme: “safety and security of stations.” The participants represented many key rail security stakeholders: police, transport authorities, safety and security agencies from the Czech Republic, international organisations (including UITP, the public transport organisation, and WCO, the World Customs Organization), universities and the UIC Security Platform, chaired by Mr Marc Beaulieu, VIA Rail Canada, and vice-chaired by Mr Piotr Kurcz, PKP S.A. in Poland.

The congress was opened in the presence of Mr Vladimír Kremlin, Minister of Transport for the Czech Republic, Mr Jiří Svoboda, Director General of SŽDC, Mr Jerzy Wisniewski, Director of UIC Fundamental Values and Mr Marc Beaulieu, Chairman of the UIC Security Platform from VIA Rail Canada. The Director General of SŽDC reminded everyone that as the railway has no borders and as such, UIC has a primordial role in advocating for the railways. Furthermore, SŽDC is very proud of their UIC membership. The UIC Security Platform chairperson, Marc Beaulieu, stated how crucial UIC events are as they allow rail stakeholders to share expertise, best practice, provide each other with feedback and learn about on-going efforts in security.

The first session, Different models of security organisation in stations, was an opportunity to showcase how railway stakeholders all over the globe deal with security issues in train stations. Presenters from SŽDC (Vladimír Abraham), ViaRail (Marc Beaulieu), Railway Protection Force India (Arun Kumar), SNCB (Delphine Beatse), ÖBB (Manuel Seidl) and PKP S.A. (Dominik Kogut) all shared best practice and discussed how important security is for railway stations, as they are a preferred target for terrorist actions. Many placed emphasis on the need to form partnerships with other actors in the security field such as police and corporate security services as well as the importance of CCTV in ensuring station security.

The second session, Integrated protection: multimodality and public spaces, allowed rail stakeholders to hear about safety and security from the perspective of non-rail actors: police, airports, academics and authorities. Maria Haberfeld from the NYPD Police Studies Programme noted the importance in collaboration in order to respond to any attack at a station. Corinne Cousseau from ADP, Aéroports de Paris, presented ways that airports had to increase their “landside”, i.e. before crossing the security check, security following the various terrorist attacks in France in 2015. Petr Sobotovič mentioned that while they are prepared for such an attack, so far, the Czech Republic has not been a target for terrorism. Lastly, Jiří Apeltauer in behalf of his brother Tomáš, demonstrated the results from a mathematical model on the movements of people during an evacuation inside the Prague Main Station.

The third session, Design of stations and feeling of security, focused on security by design. Changyeop Lee from the World Custom Organisation presented non-intrusive customs inspection to facilitate exchange between customs and rail. Paul Van Doninck from Jernhusen, station manager in Sweden, shared their view of a station as being part of the larger community and the importance in working with community members to ensure a safe and welcoming station for all. Lastly, Yves Rougier from the French Transport Authority addressed the complicated issue of designing for security when it comes to emerging threats.

At the gala dinner, UIC Director General François Davenne gave a speech on how we all need to collectively ensure security as security issues don’t stop at a single border. UIC helps rail stakeholders do just that. Despite our different situations across the world, rail stakeholders can have common approaches and so we must share, open and connect.

The fourth session, Innovative solutions to enhance security and safety of stations, focused on many different technical solutions to security issues, from a smart video pilot test at DB AG (Marita Annegret Grosser), the EU H2020 PREVENT Project coordinated by UITP (Denis Luyten), to the UIC Handbook on Station Security which was used during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia (Ekaterina Kozyreva), benefits and criticalities of each solution were shared and discussed.

At the fifth and final session, the UIC Security Platform presented their on-going activities and next steps. Marie-Hélène Bonneau presented two EU H2020 projects coordinated by the UIC Security Division: SHERPA, dealing with a common security approach amongst European rail stakeholders, and SAFER-LC, addressing how to make level crossings more secure. Laura Petersen also presented an EU H2020 project coordinated by the UIC Security division: PROACTIVE, which deals with CBRNe (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive) threats.

Then the achievements as well as the 2020 working programme of each of the five working-groups of the UIC security platform were presented by their respective chairs.

Regarding safety activities at UIC, two important products developed by the UIC Safety unit were presented: The Safety database and the ILCAD (International Level Crossing Awareness Day).

Laura Petersen also presented the two main Security Platform tools: the Security Hub and the Network of Quick Responders. The Security Hub is a one stop shop for security solutions to various security issues and is designed to be a collaborative web platform. The Network of Quick Responders remains a great way to get quick feedback from fellow UIC members, promoting best practice.

The 15th UIC World Security Congress came to a close with speeches from Piot Kurcz from PKP (Poland) - vice-chair of the UIC security platform, Marc Beaulieu – Chair of the security platform and Mr Abraham, SŽDC Director for Safety and Security. Marie-Hélène Bonneau thanked all the presenters, participants and Anna Kodysová and SŽDC team for their active help in making the congress such a success.

Forthcoming events:

  • 22 April 2020: SAFER-LC Final Conference, Paris UIC
  • 2 – 4 June 2020: 6th UIC Security Week, Paris UIC
  • 25 – 27 November 2020: 16th UIC World Security Congress, Vienna, Austria

The presentations given during the congress will be soon available on the private UIC security workspace at


For further questions please contact Marie-Hélène Bonneau, Head of the UIC Security Division:


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01. Official Opening session
02. First session on Different models of security organisation in stations
03. Second session on Integrated protection: multimodality and public spaces
04. Third session on Design of stations and feeling of security
05. Mr François Davenne, UIC Director General giving his speech at the gala dinner
06. Session on UIC activities
07. Concluding session
08. Mrs Anna Kodysova, SŽDC
09. Mr Marc Beaulieu, Chairman of the UIC Security Platform from VIA Rail Canada