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TMB, the first European operator to be accredited as an Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) for railways

4 April 2013  •  Author: Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB)

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has authorised Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) to carry out railway safety assessments and audits. The public company that manages the Barcelona metro has thus become the first European rail operator to be recognised as an ISA (Independent Safety Assessor).

The ISA certificate is a document awarded by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (as the highest railway authority in Spain) and entitles the holder to carry out railway safety assessments and audits throughout the European Union (EU), associated countries, and those which adopt European rail transport legislation as their own (parts of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Russia, etc.).

Technical capability and experienced staff

According to Commission Regulation (EC) No. 352/2009 on the adoption of a common safety method on risk evaluation and assessment for railway systems, risk assessment organisations must demonstrate the required technical capability and independent judgment, and, in particular, those responsible for the audits must be well-trained professional personnel with satisfactory knowledge of the provisions on assessments and appropriate experience, requirements which the authority judges Barcelona Metro to have met.

TMB is the first European rail operator to obtain recognition as an ISA and, currently, is the only one to be granted the operations ISA. This certification represents the recognition of TMB as an international reference in the area of rail safety and an opportunity for the future of the company by opening a new line of business, as the operations ISA certification is a unique product in the rail sector.

Market positioning

From now on, TMB is authorised to perform railway safety assessments and audits throughout the EU and in those countries that adopt European railway legislation, providing the company with an advantageous position in the project tendering market and therefore becoming an additional tool for tackling the difficulties caused by the economic crisis.

As a leading operator committed to its users, TMB established railway safety on the underground network as one of its corporate pillars from the moment that this area started to be defined and regulated by the EU and other official bodies. Thus, in 2009, Barcelona Metro created a special department for Railway Safety Management, coordinating the development and implementation of a management system which is fully adapted to the current directives and regulations, and in which nearly all company departments have been involved.

TMB is the main public transport operator in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It manages a 102.6 kilometre-long metro network, consisting of eight lines and 141 stations, along which up to 132 trains run at peak times, and a bus network of 102 routes and a fleet of over 1,000 vehicles, plus its leisure transport services. Overall, 553.5 million people travelled on TMB transport in 2012.

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