Tuesday 24 October 2023

30th Global Level Crossing Network meeting hosted by DB NETZ in Frankfurt on 12 and 13 October 2023

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46 participants from 20 countries (Australia, Japon, Europe, USA, Canada and Chile) participated in the 30th Global Level Crossing Network meeting, kindly hosted by DB NETZ in Frankfurt am Main on 12 and 13 October 2023.

The meeting took place for the first time in over a decade in Germany with our DB Netz members, who rejoined the group in 2021, and half of the participants were able to attend in person.

Allan Spence, GLCN chair, said: “I am grateful for the kind hospitality provided by DB Netz in hosting the meeting and arranging the technical visit to a selection of level crossings in and around Frankfurt. Oliver Gross, Tobias Dietzen and Ansgar Többen are valued members of the group, sharing learning and good practice in level crossing risk management with participants from across the world. I am particularly grateful for their time preparing for and facilitating the visits.

On 12 October, participants were invited to visit various level crossings on the DB railway network; please see photos.

On 13 October, Patrick Steinebach, Head of technology and maintenance (LCs and all assets) at DB, opened the meeting and shared some general information on DB, focusing on a DB project on high performance network.

The participation of Alexander Siebert, Leiter Bahnübergangs-sicherungstechnik und Signale (Head of Level Crossing Safety technology and signals) should also be noted.

Then Oliver Groß shared some information on DB NETZ AG, and more particularly on level crossing safety. They have 15,971 LCs (figure dated 31.12.2021), which represents a huge reduction from 28,682 LCs in 1994.

We were lucky to have presentations from:

  • Ravi Ravitharan and Elias Kassa, Monash Institute of Railway Technology, Australia: “Assessment of Effects of Lighting on Locomotive Conspicuity”.
  • Jared Withers, General Engineer, Federal Railroad Administration - Office of Research, Data and Innovation Connected Crossing Technologies for Improved Safety and Mobility. Jared gave an overview of Rail Crossing Violation Warning connected vehicle application and related USDOT research efforts.
  • Asim Zaman P.E., Project Engineer II, Rutgers University, USA, presented “Artificial Intelligence Aided Grade Crossing Trespassing Detection and Analytics”.

Please note that UIC wishes to launch a project in 2024 on Artificial Intelligence for safe behaviours at level crossings and around tracks (tackling trespassing issues). The objective of this project is to better detect human behaviour through Artificial Intelligence (AI) at authorised locations (stations and level crossings) and unauthorised locations (tracks, depots, tunnels, bridges, rolling stock, etc.) to improve safety for the public, our customers, train passengers and staff, to reduce the number of trespassers into the railway property, to prevent all those people from taking risks, and finally to prevent suicidal acts.

  • Helena Radbo, Trafikverket, and Niklas Post from Digital Tvilling, Sweden presented “A solution system that provides warnings to road users at unattended level crossings”. The VFT solution is a stand-alone system that can combine different data sources to provide warnings to road users in a channel of their choice, such as mobile phone or GPS in the car. https://www.digitaltvilling.se/aktuellt/seminar-covering-the-demonstrated-warning-of-approaching-trains-solution
  • Takashi Otani, JR EAST gave an update on level crossings in Japan.
  • Robert Wainwright, Head of Level Crossings and Public Safety at NetworkRail gave an update on signs at level crossings in the UK and the actual policy to make signs simpler and more understandable for users.
  • Elise Grison, Project Manager at the Experience, Cognition & Behavioural Research Programme at SNCF, gave a presentation on “Understanding cognition to improve safety: example of safety signs in train stations in France”.
  • Johan Fredin Knutzén, National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, Karolinska Institute & Region Stockholm, presented the work of developing signs and the results of a survey distributed in Sweden regarding different signs relevant for Swedish rail bound traffic.
  • Isabelle Fonverne gave a debrief on the ILCAD and TRESPAD (Trespass Prevention Awareness Day) 2023 campaigns and launch conferences held on 14 and 15 June 2023 in Warsaw. For more information, please read:

Save the dates:

  • 5 June 2024: 3rd edition of TRESPAD campaign + launch conference
  • 6 June 2024: 16th edition of ILCAD + launch conference
  • 7 June 2024: social and technical visits

These events are co-organised by UIC and la Junta de Seguridad en el Transporte (JST) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

www.ilcad.org ; ILCAD YouTube playlist ; Trespass Prevention YouTube Playlist

For further information, please contact Isabelle Fonverne at fonverne@uic.org

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