Conference on crisis management in the railways

Ivan GOGEV, M.Eng.Sc., Deputy Chairman of the Managing Council of NASRTE

On 14th-15th October 2005, in the railway rest-home ‘Jeleznichar’ in Varna, the National Association-Society of Rail Track Engineers (NASRTE) held a national conference on ‘Actions for the reconstruction of railway infrastructure in the circumstances of natural disasters’. The two main tasks of the conference were to assess the actions for the reconstruction of railway infrastructure from the point of view of the so called ‘crisis management’ and to propose amendments in the current regulatory basis for crisis management, so that negative consequences for NRIC in the case of similar future disasters be reduced to the minimum level.

The participants in the conference were welcomed by the Chairman of the Managing Council of NASRTE, Ph. Eng. D. Mario Galabov. The conference programme included five main reports. Among them was a report on ‘Issues in regulatory basis, concerning actions to be adopted by NRIC for the reconstruction of railway infrastructure in the cases of natural disasters and other heavy damage’, presented by Nisim Primo, M.Eng.Sc., Director of Railway Infrastructure Repair and Maintenance in NRIC. In his analysis, Mr Primo underlined the fact that the crisis situation in July-August this year was a real-time test for the regulatory basis, concerning actions to be adopted by NRIC in force majeure circumstances, such as: the Crisis Management Law, the Public Procurement Law, the Territorial Structure Law, as well as a number of other ministerial regulations. According to Mr Primo, the main problem encountered by NRIC in the process of overcoming the crisis (due to the lack of its own design bureaus and subdivisions for emergency reconstruction works) was the obligation to carry out the time-consuming procedures for selection of contractors, envisaged under the Public Procurement Law and required for the selection of all investment process elements.

The State-owned enterprise ‘Transport Construction and Reconstruction’ (TCR) is among the partners of NRIC, and in the last 30 years it has accumulated rich experience in track emergency reconstruction. The presentation of the Chief Engineer of this enterprise, Varban Angelov, M.Eng.Sc., titled ‘TCR organisation and capacities for the implementation of emergency reconstruction works in crisis situations’, evoked great interest.

There are good reasons to consider the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Enterprise Koehne AG as successor of the so called ‘Accident unit’, established in 1880 in BDZ with the task of performing emergency reconstruction works. Ivan Ivanov, M.Eng.Sc., who is Head of Department in this enterprise, contributed with a highly interesting presentation on ‘Inventory means for railway infrastructure reconstruction in the circumstances of natural disasters and other crisis situations’.

The specific features of emergency reconstruction works on track and facilities require the identification of such technical solutions, which would save both time and money. This innovative concept was presented in the report of Naiden Konov, M.Eng.Sc., Director in Transstroi SK - 13.

The Bulgarian association of railway construction consultancy companies took part in the conference with a report entitled ‘Role and place of designer and consultant (construction supervisor) in the implementation of emergency reconstruction works for the elimination of damages, incurred by natural disasters’ and presented by Sevdalin Valnarov, M.Eng.Sc., governor of Rubikon Injenering Ltd.

Finally, Krassimir Bejanov, Head of Department in the Ministry of Transport, presented information about the issues, related to the allocation of investments in emergency reconstruction measures.

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