Tuesday 30 April 2024

UIC Security Platform holds the Steering Committee and three Working Group meetings this April

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The UIC Security Platform sprung into spring with the meetings of the Human Factors Working Group (HFWG), the Sabotage, Intrusion and Attack Working Group (SIAWG), the Steering Committee and a workshop on “AI Related technologies in the railway security domain” from the New Technologies Working Group (NTWG).

On the morning of 17 April 2024, the HFWG met at UIC Headquarters in Paris, and online, to discuss in-depth examples of training and awareness campaigns against violence and terrorism in the rail environment. Over thirty participants from four UIC regions, as well as a guest from the German Police University, participated actively in the discussions. Luciano Bentenuto (VIA Rail) kicked-off the meeting on behalf of the working group chair with a presentation on the government of Canada’s awareness campaign focusing on dealing with an armed intruder. Next, Stig Brahn (Trafikverket) presented the on-going Swedish project ‘safety in public environment-public transport,’ whereby two different security training courses are being developed. This was followed by a presentation from Marius Kupper (EVR) on Eesti Raudtee’s training awareness activities and campaign against violent crime and terrorist attacks. Then, Catherine Jarrige (SNCF) provided the group with examples of the SNCF initiatives to increase security awareness during the Paris Olympic Games. The next HFWG meeting is planned for Autumn 2024 and will focus on the de-escalation of aggression behaviours.

In the afternoon, the SIAWG also met at UIC Headquarters in Paris, and online, to discuss the topic of metal theft. The meeting began with the presentation of the results from the 49th Network of Quick Responders survey on metal theft, which demonstrated that UIC Security Platform members are experiencing an increase in metal theft incidents, leading to a substantial financial impact, delays and operational setbacks. Following which, the Chair of the Working Group, Benjamin Burghard (DB AG) gave a presentation entitled ‘Metal Theft – Old Problem, New Solutions.’ Then Peter Friberg (Trafikverket) gave an overview of metal theft in Sweden. After these detailed presentations on the various security solutions for metal theft, the over thirty participants from four UIC regions exchanged best practices and operational experiences. Going forward, the SIAWG plans to update the 2013 UIC Metal Theft in Railway Operations brochure.

On 18 April 2024, the UIC Security Platform Steering Committee was held in hybrid mode, with certain members meeting in-person in Paris and others joining online. During his welcome address, Manoj Yadava, General Director of the Railway Protection Force of Indian Railways, Chair of the UIC Security Platform, highlighted some major concerns for rail security, including terrorism, metal theft, trafficking in human beings, and the importance of fostering a security culture amongst the traveling public via awareness and training. He complimented the UIC Security Platform for addressing such issues. Vice Chair of the Security Platform, Xavier Roche, Security Director SNCF (French Railways), echoed the Chair’s sentiments and then outlined SNCF’s comprehensive security strategy for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

After these welcome words, the steering committee members discussed the preparation for the 19th World Security Congress, the call for candidature for the vice-chairpersonship, the updates from the working groups, the updates from the UIC regions as well as partners such as RAILPOL and CER and were presented with an update on the UIC Security Division activities such as the upcoming joint UNECE – UIC workshop on the security of vulnerable users in the railways, recent Network of Quick Responders surveys, and the ongoing EU (co)funded projects: IMPRESS, CYRUS, ODYSSEUS and SafeTravellers.

On 25 April, the NTWG held an online workshop on the topic of AI-related applications for railway security. During the event, attended by participants from more than 20 countries worldwide, results of the 48th Network of Quick Responders survey on AI-related technologies in the railway security domain were shared, featuring takeaways on: current national regulatory frameworks and desirable regulation levels for different AI applications; current use cases and deployment stages of different technologies; foreseen evolution of technological maturity levels; potential future impacts on the workforce; and future challenges towards the operational deployment of AI in the rail security domain. The NTWG Chair, Armand Raudin (SNCF), presented, together with David Cabili from XXII, on how SCNF is preparing for the Paris Olympics by creating seamless travel for 15 million tourists, also by operationally experimenting with AI applications for security. Then, Yannick Ragonneau from Vona Consulting provided an overview on how AI and its generative applications could be leveraged to ensure secure, efficient railways. The NTWG will continue to work on the topic of AI, aiming to produce a guidance document on potential use cases by the end of the year.

If you are interested in joining the Security Platform working groups, or would like further information, please contact us at security@uic.org

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The UIC Security Platform Steering Committee attendees, in person from left to right: Bruno de Rosa (UIC), Grigore Havârneanu (UIC), Kacper Kubrak (UIC), Benjamin Burghard (DB AG), Laura Petersen (UIC), Marie-Hélène Bonneau (UIC), Elisa Sidgwick (RAILPOL), Armand Raudin (SNCF) and Xavier Roche (SNCF). Pictured online: Manoj Yadava (RPF), Paola Fasano (COLPOFER), Ewa Wójcik (PKP SA), Blaž Pongracic (CER) and Carmela Canonico (UITP).
HFWG meeting
SIAWG meeting
Screenshot from the NTWG online workshop