Information published on 18 March 2014 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 390.

Rail & Public Transport Safety & Security Conference – 2014

  • Security

By invitation of Eurotransport magazine, UIC represented by Mr José Pires (Senior Advisor of the UIC Security Division) attended the Rail & Public Transport Safety & Security Conference on 6 March 2014 in London.

It was the ninth year that Eurotransport magazine had brought together the main actors of Rail & Public Transport to discuss Safety & Security to present good practice in safeguarding passengers, assets and revenue.

The key topics included:

  • How do we Better Protect Passengers, Assets & Revenue against Threats to Security?
  • Reducing Crime on a Shoestring
  • Best practice in Revenue Protection
  • Countering Terrorism: The Power of Community Engagement Programs and Forming Trusted Partnerships
  • Creating a Hostile Environment Hostile to the Criminal or Terrorist
  • How do we move Security up the Company’s Agenda?
  • What is the Optimum Balance between Staff and Technology in Addressing Crime, when weighed against challenged Budgets?
  • Next Generation Surveillance: Automating Security Alerts to Mitigate the Human Factor Risk
  • How should Security be integrated within an overall Safety Approach?

And it was under that guidance that UIC presented for discussion the topic of “Coherence and resilience towards a comprehensive railways protection”!

For many years, railways have built their reputation and efficiency by ensuring that high levels of operational safety are kept at all times. Somehow in the last decades, railways have also had to deal with security challenges. The prevention and combat against terrorism, organised crime and all other types of criminality to customers, staff and infrastructure, etc., are also becoming a permanent concern for railway operators and infrastructure managers. But not all; the environmental and climate changes such as extreme weather conditions are also making the rail transport sector more resilient and responsive. All together raising the need to adapt and prepare railways to the complex challenges of the future in terms of protection. So naturally the discussion on Coherence and resilience towards a comprehensive railway protection” raised a lot of interest.

During the several sessions it was interesting to observe that even coming from different professional backgrounds there are a couple points of convergence, with the need to use and develop open and transparent communication forums being the most important. Building trust between the actors as well as creating a comprehensive information structure is essential in the next coming years. Even more considering the need to introduce a two way communication between the national and international authorities, the law enforcement, the transport actors and industry.

Furthermore there is the need to discuss the design of a mid long term strategic technology investment plan aligned with the multi year budget planning. More and more the railways are facing the economic challenges that forces them to be “creative” (according with a participant statement) on the development of security strategies.

Within that spirit and based on a wide and rich membership experience, UIC promotes the coherence and resilience towards a comprehensive railways protection discussion in many different forums with the railway operating community, national and international authorities, law enforcement, civil protection, etc.; trusting that a coherent system approach considering railways holistically within the national and international scope is very much probably the next step towards the comprehensive railways protection.

For further information please contact Jacques Colliard, Head of the UIC Security Division: colliard@uic.org and/or José Pires, Senior Advisor UIC Security Division: pires@uic.org