Mehdi Torabi & Vahid Pourtajrishi

Iranian rails safer than expected: UIC high expert

December 17, 2017

TEHRAN - George Oliver, the head of Safety Database (SDB) of the Union of the Int’l Railways (UIC) praised the Iranian railways for its high safety and reliability even in comparison with some European railways.

The significance of safety of passenger transport is getting more attended by relevant companies all over the world. Expansion of rail network and using rail as the safest mean of passenger and freight transportation is highly attended by many economic blocs like EU’s policies toward attraction of more passengers into rail network instead of road. To make this matter more clear, we talked to Olivier Georger the senior expert in rail and head of UIC’s Safety Data Base. The full text of this interview is as follows:

Q: What was your purpose for coming to Iran?

A: It is six years that I am the head of UIC Safety Database and Iran also started its participation in our department from six years back and that’s why this is my pleasure to come to Iran and holding training lectures on this matter.

Q: Could you please elaborate what is Safety Data Base (SDB) of UIC and what the output of your department is?

A: UIC Safety Data Base registers all significant rail accidents since ten years back to now. These keep comparable bases, same definitions and parameters for all railway companies. It recommends the measures that have to be taken and checks the effects of these measures. The outputs of course include international benchmarking and preparation of annual reports to its members.

Q: How many members of UIC are working under SDB?

A: There are 22 active members plus Turkish Railways and Iranian Railways. It means EU rail members plus Iran and Turkey.

Q: How is the condition of the SDB of Iranian Railways? 

A: According to the given SDB data of 2016 that was not a very good year because of the specific accidents, but I was expecting more accidents (in Iranian railways) that what really has happened in this year. So, I am happy to say that the outcome of Iranian railways in this field is better that European railway. Most of accidents (in Iran) are happened by individual accident. Level crossing train accidents contains 25% of European train accidents and this number is only 3% in Iran. That’s why I wondered because of such few level crossing accidents in Iran just there are many motorcycle accidents with train in Iran that this matter is not seen common in Europe. We have to adapt some parameters of this present state of SDB to meet the requirements especially the rail environment which might be different in Europe. For example, we don’t have deserts in Europe. If you don’t have desert, you don’t have desert, you don’t have sand on the rails. 
The prepared SDB by Iranian Railways was quiet good and I’m so happy that it’s the first report of Iran while its quality was better than many other railways.

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