A European project seeking to improve railway safety across the continent is working with Turkey’s railway operator to introduce new guidelines and training.
RailSafe-TR builds on the success of two previous RailSafe projects, part-funded by the European Commission, which developed qualification and certification schemes for arc welders working in the railway industry.
UK-based research and technology organisation and engineering specialist TWI is one of several companies collaborating on the initiative with Turkish State Railways (TCDD). The others are the European Federation for Welding, Joining and Cutting, Gedik University and the Netherlands Institute of Welding (NIL).
The recent development of the rail network in Turkey requires special attention to be given to the training and capability of personnel working in the sector. To address this need, the RailSafe-TR project will transfer the RailSafe guidelines and best practices to the Turkish railway industry.
The European Commission considers railways as a strategic element in both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting economic growth. Modernisation and extension of the rail network poses significant investment challenges, not only for the creation of a technically sophisticated and efficiently integrated infrastructure, but also, and no less importantly, for the development of additional and more highly competent personnel.
Quality of rail welding is a key driver of rail integrity, rail performance and rail life, and the training, qualification and certification of rail welders is essential to the quality of rail welding. Rail weld failures impose operational and maintenance penalties, and competent rail welding personnel are necessary to ensure safety, productivity, quality and long-term sustainability of the national and European railway networks.
The main goal of Railsafe-TR is to develop a training programme for rail welding personnel, in accordance with RailSafe guideline standards, to be implemented in Turkey. The project will contribute towards the harmonised training of railway track personnel in Turkey, based on TWI and NIL’s experiences. Its expected outcomes are as follows:
- revision and updating of the RailSafe guidelines
- revision and updating of the RailSafe rules for implementation
- preparation of training support
- organisation of RailSafe pilot courses in Turkey.
The RailSafe-TR final seminar was held in Ankara, Turkey earlier this month, under the organisation of TCDD. The seminar delivered the outcomes of RailSafe-TR and explained the benefits of the RailSafe guidelines in relation to rail integrity and rail life.
The European Commission has made a bold decision to streamline all railways operations in Europe, including a policy objective that by 2050 the majority of medium-distance intercity passengers should travel by rail. The rail networks will need to shoulder this demand for increased performance and utilisation, higher speeds and higher loads.
In transferring the RailSafe guidelines to Turkey, the RailSafe-TR project is supporting this objective by implementing a permanent way to improve rail welder competence in the country.
TWI Ltd (The Welding Institute)