This article first appeared in the Railway-News Magazine Issue 4 2023.
On 13 and 14 September ZÖLLNER hosted its annual symposium. The two-day event is held in Kiel, Germany, where we are headquartered. We are so delighted that 170 participants from 10 different countries made the journey in order to join us this year!
The symposium has a long tradition in our company’s history. As manufacturer of automatic warning systems and infrastructure solutions, we have always had an interest in meeting with different people from the industry to develop and make products that don’t just work on paper but make real-life worksites safer. What started as a small event held in one of our meeting rooms has turned into an international conference with far over 100 participants and speakers from around the world.
The conference days were structured around 22 podium presentations on a multitude of topics surrounding this year’s guiding theme “the future of worksite safety on railways”. With climate change, the growing mobility revolution and changes in the availability of qualified personnel, the industry is facing quite a few challenges in the near and far future. We are proud to have created a platform that brings together rail infrastructure companies, railway authorities, accident insurance carriers, rail construction companies and worksite safety teams in order to face these challenges hand in hand. The discussions surrounding the presentations were not only incredibly thought-provoking but led to important decisions being made right there and then.
One achievement is the founding of a round table initiated by the representatives of Deutsche Bahn who invited everyone present at the event to join together regularly in order to overcome current problems in the German rail worksite safety market. What an incredible result!
As mentioned before, the symposium has become quite international. We believe that there is great potential in learning from one another. In Germany, for example, Deutsche Bahn is just introducing the ElBa, an electronic qualification card. Having representatives from Network Rail, who have been working with their electronic qualification card, Sentinel, for more than 10 years, led to a valuable exchange of experiences. Looking to one another for support is the most effective way we can propel the industry forward! We are very grateful that so many experts were willing to share their experiences, their ideas and their struggles in order to work as a team.
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