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First joint crisis management exercise for Europorte with French Direction de la Circulation Ferroviaire
Publication date: 14 November 2011
Author: Kreab Gavin Anderson
On Thursday 10 November, Europorte and the Direction de la Circulation Ferroviaire (DCF), the French rail traffic directorate, organised a joint safety exercise to test the crisis plans and reactivity of the organisations concerned. Using a scenario based on an accident occurring on the French national rail network, the DCF and Europorte simulated a train reversing manoeuvre which led to the overturning of a tanker wagon carrying Chlorine.
In this crisis simulation, the first that the DCF has organised with Europorte, the incident led to the opening of the Crisis Management Group, activating on-call staff, opening the Europorte Control Centre and a high level coordination with the DCF to verify that decisions were taken appropriately. These combined measures have the objective of keeping all staff and nearby populations safe and to allow the rapid return to normal traffic in optimal safety conditions.
Frederic Horny, Directeur de l’Etablissement Infra Circulation Lorraine, stated: “Railway operations rely upon the application of security procedures, particularly in the event of crisis situations. The recent evolution of the railway landscape and notably the advent of private operators must continue to guarantee the level of reactivity and efficiency required. The management of serious incidents, by nature a rare occurrence, therefore relies upon regular updating of the skills of all the potential participants via such exercises”.
Pascal Sainson, Chairman of Europorte, stated: “The organization of this type of exercise shows the importance that Europorte attaches to the issue of the safety of the goods we carry and the safety of our staff. We ensure that all staff are fully trained”.
As safety constitutes the priority for railway operators, it has become a strategic issue to simulate abnormal situations in order to prepare, as far as possible, for their avoidance. This exercise, with the participation of professionals such as the Etablissement Infra Circulation Lorraine (one of the 21 Internal Traffic Establishments in France), is an indication of the high quality of preparation by Europorte.
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