Reduction of suicides and trespasses on railway property

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RESTRAIL is a research project in the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7-SST-2011-RTD1), call transport published on 20 July 2010 (Budget call: 26 millions Euros)

Main objectives:

  • Analyze causes of suicides and trespasses on railway properties based on existing data, studies and research results
  • Identify most efficient mitigation measures and analyze their conditions of success in the rail environment
  • Field test some selected measures and evaluate their effectiveness
  • Propose a toolkit of the most relevant and cost-effective measures and recommendations at European level both to reduce the occurrence of incidents as well as to manage incidents.

Description of work

The aim of the RESTRAIL project is to reduce:

  • the occurrence of suicides and trespasses on railway property and
  • the costly service disruption these events cause,
    by providing the rail industry with an analysis and identification of cost-effective prevention and mitigation measures.

The project starts by identifying the state of the art of best practices and research findings (inside and outside Europe) combined with an analysis of factors (internal to railways or external such as media communication) influencing the occurrence of suicides and trespasses and their consequences, based on official data sources and other collected data. This work will consider hotspots and other high risk access points such as level crossings, station platform ends and bridges.

This is followed by an assessment of existing countermeasures (technical and soft) for reducing suicides, preventing trespasses and mitigating the consequences on rail operations. Attention will then be given to the development of new approaches particularly those involving soft measures. The project will demonstrate some selected measures in order to evaluate the findings and finally develop recommendations and guidelines.

This project is led by railways since it is a rail related topic which aims to answer the concerns of the rail industry. However an essential feature of the project is the involvement of a wide range of relevant professional expert knowledge in the areas of human science and health, law enforcement, emergency services, education and social services, media and communication, road and rail. This will ensure the project output is of practical use to all who can be involved with suicides and trespasses.

The final outcome will be a toolkit, accessible through a user friendly interface (for consultation and continuous update) in order to support the decision-makers in taking practical steps to reduce suicides and trespasses and to mitigate the consequences once an event occurs.

Added value

  • Multi-disciplinary and multi-national expertise of the consortium partners and advisory group members
    The rail stakeholders-oriented results with their strong involvement
  • The evaluation of existing measures in the rail environment and their conditions of success
  • field tests of some selected measures which will demonstrate their efficiency
  • Availability of a set of recommendations and tools for decisions makers all over Europe taht will make them aware of the problems and the related solutions.
  • Broad dissemination of a toolbox containing the most efficient measures through conferences and workshops organised by UIC at international level and also by the partners at national level : a specific focus on decision makers will be a guarantee of efficiency


1 October 2011 - 30 September 2014


  • 17 partners from 12 countries: BE, DE, ES, FI, FR, IT, IL, NL, PL, SE, TR, UK Coordination by UIC (Security division)
  • 3 research centres: VTT (FI), CIDAUT (ES), INRETS (FR)
  • 3 Universities: HMGU (DE), KAU (SE), UNott (UK),
  • 3 industries: ASTS (IT), MTRS3(IL), NICE (IL)

Advisory group

SNCF, NETWORK-RAIL, RAILPOL, MOSTRA (communication agency), PTFE (Spanish railway technology platform), OSPI project, HIT, Madrid metro, Spanish general direction of traffic…

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Saturday 1 October 2011