Tuesday 26 November 2019

22nd European Level Crossing Forum (ELCF) Plenary meeting and ILCAD Task Force meeting held on 21 November 2019

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Almost 30 participants from 11 different countries

Allan Spence, Network Rail (ELCF Chairman) warmly thanked our hosts, the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and welcomed all participants.
The Italian delegation was widely represented with delegates and speakers from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport - DIGIFEMA, the General Directorate for Road Transport, the Italian NIB, the Italian NSA (ANSF) and RFI.

The group endorsed the minutes of the meeting held on 26 March 2019 at UIC HQ in Paris. Read more about that meeting here https://uic.org/com/uic-e-news/640/

The morning session was dedicated to the following issues related to safety at level crossings: Engagement, Engineering solutions: CCTV, obstacle detectors, ways to reduce trespassing around LCs, trialling, risk management, risk assessment, sharing of practices on how to rank risks at LCs to prioritise investment and decide on the right technology to use at a specific LC.

Luciana Lorio, Chairperson of the UNECE Working Party on Road Traffic Safety (WP1), and also International Regulatory Affairs at Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, DTT DGMOT DIV 2 presented the “International coordination and policy guidelines implementing road safety at level Crossing: Perspective and Commitment of UNECE –Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety”
She gave an overview of UNECE activities related to road traffic safety and mentioned the two subgroups: “Road signs and signals” and “Level crossing safety”. She stressed the great commitment of UIC in the creation of the UNECE group on LC and particularly thanked Isabelle Fonverne, member of the WP1 and the group of level crossing at the UNECE for her involvement and dedication.

The final report issued by the WG on LCs was published in January 2017 on the UNECE website in three languages:

To note that 90% of all road fatalities occur in low and medium-income countries.
She reminded the meeting of the “Vienna Convention on road signs and signals”. One of the recommendations of the WP on LC safety was to add a new warning sign to inform level crossing users trapped to break the barriers. This proposal shall be submitted to the next UNECE Global Road Safety Forum in Geneva in 2020 and transmitted to the UN HQ in NYC. After its endorsement, the “Vienna convention on road signs and signals” should be amended, and then this new sign should come into force by the end of 2021.
To note that this sign “breakable barrier” already exists in some countries: France for example

See also some pictograms in the LC safety flyers published by UIC, IRU and Operation Lifesaver Estonia in 2016.

Wolmer Zanella, Digifema (Italian NIB) presented the results of an investigation of a collision of a heavy vehicle and a regional train on the line Turin – Ivrea” that happened on 23.05.2018 accounting 21 serious injuries and two fatalities: the train driver and an accompanying person of the heavy haul convoy.

Andrea Biava and Simona Guerrizio from the Italian railway safety agency (ANSF= (Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza delle Ferrovie) exposed the “Risk mitigation at level crossings, ANSF point of view”.

Domenico Ronzino, Technical Direction RFI SpA presented the RFI risk-based methodology to rank level crossings. To note that several railway infrastructure managers have already been carrying out some risk assessments at LCs to prioritise investments.

Alain Autruffe, Director LC Programme at SNCF Réseau reported on the “results of a questionnaire on bells at level crossings” sent through the UIC to all ELCF members during last summer. The results were very positive with the responses of 17 different countries.
He also explained the process used by SNCF to make risk assessment and prioritise investment at LCs.

Luisa Garcia, Safety and Security Head at IP Portugal gave a presentation on “Obstacle detection: Is this system the way to enforce LC users”. She concluded that the obstacle detectors are not always the right solution. She presented the Portuguese programme to eliminate LCs in Portugal and the case of Miramar LC from a road and rail point of views.
IP manage level crossings only on national roads. All others are managed by local authorities.

Pavlina Skladana, Researcher at the Czech Transport Research Centre (CDV) reported on the tests carried out on “anti-trespass panels at two level crossings in the Czech Republic” of which she presented the results. For information 200 trespassers (pedestrians) are killed each year mainly near LCs or in stations in the Czech Republic. The measure is very effective.

Ramon Atochero Velasco, Expert in level crossing safety at ADIF gave information on “Systems in data recorder and obstacle detection based on artificial vision (cameras)” in Spain. The system has been installed in two regions, all other regions are being tested.

Allan Spence (NR), ELCF Chairman reminded the fundaments of the ELCF group.
It is an informal group of exchange of best practice mainly on Engineering and Education and Enforcement measures at LCs.

He suggested first how we may effectively join road and rail authorities.
The second issue would be to better tackle the risk management issue.
He stressed that ILCAD help to educate, share good practices, is about how to Enforce good behaviour, and it has been very successful over the last 11 years.
He proposed to produce some UIC guidelines from ELCF’s work .

To support A. Spence’s proposals, Alain Autruffe, SNCF Réseau said that he is eager to share information on the collaboration between road and rail authorities. He said that a new French law was voted two days ago about a diagnosis of each LC to be led by the road authorities with the railways every five years.

L. Garcia, IP Portugal stressed that there is no obligation in Portugal for the road infrastructure manager to make LC risk assessment, which is made up to now only by the railways.

The second part of the day was dedicated to Education and Awareness measures to improve safety at level crossings: ILCAD and national campaigns.

Jarmo Koistinen, Transport and Environmental Safety, Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA) reported on the “ILCAD Day in Finland”
The Finnish Ministry of Transport decided to organise activities on ILCAD day after a recent LC collision with a military truck. They gave three presentations to the media and organised activities for children on their first school holiday in a railway museum. Many parents and kids (400 persons) attended.

Pieter Van Eyndhoven, and Annelies De Keyser (INFRABEL) presented the: “Success of an awareness campaign in June 2019 using a famous Flemish TV series called “Thuis” (at home)”

Infrabel carried out a survey in Belgium in 2018. Results: 46% of all people interviewed answered that they have been ignoring traffic rules during the last six months.
77% said that they would deliberately break the traffic rules. Consequently, INFRABEL developed a communication strategy based on the popular Flemish TV series “Thuis”, watched by a lot by young people. They had a huge audience with an average per episode of 1,273,238 viewers; 50.6% market share among the Dutch population during TV news and programmes for children; many other media attention on the radio.

Annelies de Keyser added that they will show VR films to young people based on the same series.

Isabelle Fonverne, UIC gave a “Debriefing on ILCAD 2019 worldwide campaign”:
11 campaigns: 40 participating countries: newcomers in 2019: Algeria (SNTF), Madagascar (Madarail)
150-200 participants with 30 countries at each launch conference. Previous launch conferences hosted by a partner in Brussels, Warsaw, Paris, Geneva, Lisbon, Istanbul, Riga-Tallinn, Montreal, Zagreb, Amersfoort. The next one being hosted by Network Rail at the National Railway Museum of York, GB.

She underlined the public targeted this year: “Professional drivers” and the motto: “The most important stop of the day!” She showed videos used during the campaign:

Three videos produced in the Czech Republic by the Ministry of Transport and CDV, the Czech transport research centre, with safety advices to truck drivers in emergency situations.

Available on ILCAD youtube playlist http://bit.ly/2WCBo2m or ILCAD youtube channel https://youtu.be/E4L02BEFwTs

A video produced with CCTV footage of collisions with large and long vehicles at level crossings in Poland. We thank PKP PLK (Polish railway infrastructure manager) for their kind contribution. Available on ILCAD youtube playlist http://bit.ly/2WCBo2m or ILCAD youtube channel https://youtu.be/E4L02BEFwTs

Erwin Woord, Communication Advisor at Prorail reported on ILCAD 2019 launch conference hosted by ProRail on 6 June in Amersfoort, NL” He stressed the great success of ILCAD conference internally and on an international level.

  • 180 participants
  • 25 countries represented
  • 43 interventions from 17 different countries

Watch the video with a summary of ILCAD launch conference on ILCAD youtube channel

Read https://uic.org/com/uic-e-news/650

He also gave information on national measures: ProRail want to get of rid of all passive crossings by 2023. They want to increase safety in the Port of Rotterdam. He explained that different public were targeted during their different national campaigns: truck drivers, elderly people, young children. He finally presented their controversial campaign for teenagers: “Fashion victim”.

Robert Wainwright, Network Rail invited all participants to the “ILCAD 2020 launch conference to take place on 11 June in York” preceded by a welcome cocktail on 10 and a technical visit on 12 June 2020. He also reported on UK trends related to level crossing collisions, casualties and near misses which are better accounted perhaps because of better driver reporting.

Isabelle Fonverne, UIC suggested some ideas for “ILCAD 2020 worldwide campaign”: public to target and motto to determine. She also said that UIC should publish a new ILCAD website by early 2020.
ILCAD have been targeted a specific public for some years. Network Rail stressed that they have done the same so far but are now targeting behaviours to effective change.
It was then decided to target behaviour as a whole using the “bubble concept” during ILCAD 2020. Further information, a call for papers, etc … shall be published as soon as possible on www.ilcad.org

On 22 November, a technical visit was organised (see photos).

For further information please contact Isabelle Fonverne, Senior Advisor, Safety and Interoperability:


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Old library of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in Rome
LC safety flyers published by UIC, IRU and Operation Lifesaver Estonia in 2016
ILCAD 2019 in Finland
Technical visit to the brand new control command centre at Roma Termini on 22 November
Old control command centre built at the beginning of world war II in a bunker at Roma Termini