The 8th UIC World Congress on Railway Security is being held in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, from 25 – 26 October 2012. It is jointly organised between the International Union of Railways (UIC) and Slovakian Railways ZSSK, ZSSK Cargo and ZSR. The congress is mainly taking stock of human factors issues in the field of railway security.
More than 120 delegates from 26 countries (Africa, America, Asia and Europe) are attending the event. They represent the major players involved in rail and transport security issues: railway security managers, representatives of international organisations, the rail supply industry, and universities.
The congress is focusing on four specific themes presented by 25 speakers:
- administrative, legal and operational partnerships,
- human behaviour,
- training of railway staff,
- human factors in technologies and research projects.
The congress was officially opened this morning by Mr Lubomir Hradisky (ZSSK, Slovakia), the new Chairman of the UIC Security Platform, who has succeeded Moha Khaddour from Moroccan Railways (ONCF).
The inaugural session was followed by a video message delivered by UIC Director-General Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, who underlined that it was important not to continue tolerating criminal acts and misconduct and relying on law enforcement authorities to solve these problems or avoid them happening again. In a second point, he underlined that it seemed vital to place people at the heart of security, and use technology and regulations to support railways business, to help staff in charge of security-related duties.
Then, Mr Andrej Holak, State Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic, pointed out that railway companies have a huge potential for development in the future. This implies putting companies at the heart of public policies in order to protect and develop them.
Mr Pavol Gábor, Chief Executive Officer of ZSSK, underlined that it was an honour to host the congress in the Slovak Republic and for Slovakian Railways to co-organise the event. He greeted the appointment of Mr Lubomir Hradisky as Chairman of the UIC Security Platform.
Mr Jerzy Wisniewski, Director of the UIC Fundamental Values Department, explained that the research linked to security is a part of the development for future railway activities. Since the creation of the platform, 25 development projects have been developed with the help of European Union funds. This European effort should be placed in a more global perspective.
Mr Robert Missen, Head of Unit, Land Transport Security, European Commission, concluded the session by highlighting the need to develop an EU land transport security policy after all the work already undertaken for air and sea modes. He reminded the audience that Mr Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Transport, decided to involve the Commission to avoid any potential future risks. Then Mr Missen presented the staff working document published by the European Commission on 31 May 2012. Among the bullet points in this document, priorities have to be given to high speed rail, intermodal structures, staff training, resilience of railways systems, research and security of the supply chain. He confirmed that UIC will be invited to the stakeholders’ group on Land Transport Security, which should meet for the first time in early 2013.
The event was also the occasion for Mr Pradeep Kumar Mehta (Director-General of the Indian Railway Protection Force) to take up his new role as Vice-Chairman of the UIC Security Platform.
On the occasion of this 8th UIC World Security Congress, the UIC Security Division released a new security brochure presenting its organisation, achievements and projects. The brochure is available both in French and English, on request from email@example.com or can be downloaded from
An exhibition is being held during the seminar and the UIC stand is a success.
The congress will conclude tomorrow with the adoption of a final general statement by the congress participants.