EUROPE: The RESTRAIL research project which aims to develop cost-effective measures to reduce and mitigate the effects on railways of suicides and trespass was launched at UIC headquarters in Paris on November 17.

Reduction of Suicides & Trespasses on Railway Property is being led by seven operators and infrastructure managers, six research centres and three suppliers, and funded under the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme for Research & Technological Development.

It will run for 36 months, with the partners aiming to draw on professional knowledge in human science, law enforcement, emergency response, education, social services, media and communication.

The first stage of the project will identify best practice and research findings from around the world. It will analyse factors influencing the occurrence of suicides and trespass, and high-risk access points such as level crossings, platform ends and bridges. This will be followed by an assessment of countermeasures.

The aim is to produce a toolkit providing practical steps to reduce suicides and trespasses and to mitigate the consequences when an incident occurs.

Over 2 700 suicides were recorded on EU railways in 2009, representing around 66% of all fatalities on the railway system and 72% of all fatalities to persons not authorised to be on railway property.