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Kick-off European Research Project IMPRESS on Rail Safety

June, 28 2023

The IMPRESS project (IMProving Railway sEcurity through awareneSS and training), funded by the European Union’s Internal Security Fund Police and addressing rail security in Europe, held its kick-off meeting in Paris at Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer / International Union of Railways (UIC (opens in a new tab)) headquarters. The German Police University is involved in the research project with its unit III.1 "Criminology and Interdisciplinary Crime Prevention".

IMPRESS project, coordinated by the UIC Security Division for a duration of 24 months, aims at enhancing and harmonising the operational security level of stations and trains in Europe by enhancing training and security awareness of the stakeholders working in stations and trains. The project will be implemented in partnership with the security services of major European railway companies (FS, NS, PKP S.A. and SNCB), the German Police University and an extended network of international security experts recruited through UIC.

The scope of the project is both security culture in general (with a wide range of significant threats for several European rail operators) and CBRNe threats specifically, which represent a more challenging scenario. It will focus on the ‘immediate responders’ from the railway environment who are most likely to be the first to prevent or react to a security incident when it occurs on railway premises. This target group of end-users includes the railway staff (e.g., non-security staff at stations and onboard trains, security staff) and stakeholders at stations (e.g., shops, business area) or in trains (e.g., catering, cleaning).

During the meeting, members of UIC staff from Security Division and External Funding Unit presented the project in more detail as well as the project management rules. Discussions were held on the organisation of the work and the next steps of the project.
The project is structured into three technical work packages (WP):

  • Training needs assessment – led by UIC
    Training programme/curriculum development– led by DHPOL
    Curriculum implementation, testing, validation – led by SNCB

For an effective project impact and long-term exploitation of the training modules, synergies will also be developed with international organisations such as CER, COLPOFER, UITP, RAILPOL and relevant EU bodies such as CEPOL and EUROPOL.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Internal Security Fund Police under the grant agreement No 101100521.

The project's website is available at (opens in a new tab)