FS Italiane, UE fund "Train in Stations" project

Training European railway employees to deal with social hardship in stations.

Rome, 26 March 2015

Training European railway employees to deal with social hardship in stations.

This is the objective of the project entitled TRAIN in Stations (Training Railway Agents on INclusion in Stations) promoted by Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane alongside French, Bulgarian and Luxembourg rail carriers, delegates from which met in Rome today to outline the next steps to take.

This project was included among those funded by the European Union with funding of 210 thousand euros. The challenge is to teach those working in European stations the skills they need to deal with the difficulties, stories and expectations of the homeless people gravitating around railway stations.

Train in Stations will use the significant experience gained by Help Centres, i.e. services focussing on social issues provided in main Italian railway stations. For example, the Help Centre in Rome Termini Station has been operating since 2003 and is run by Cooperativa Europe Consulting: its priority is to intercept and orient those suffering from hardship in the area and around this station in Rome.

The project to train railway employees continues the work already carried out through Hope in Stations and Work in Stations. The former used Italian Help Centres as a reference to create a European model, whereas the latter entailed stations becoming the starting point for returning homeless people to employment thanks to the opportunities offered by railway-related services and new vocational training procedures.

These three experiences are strongly linked to the European Solidarity Charter promoted by Gruppo FS Italiane to ensure that the principles of social responsibility and sustainability is effectively implemented in stations throughout Europe, which has been signed by 12 railway networks. This pool, the presidency of which was again confirmed for FS Italiane and SNCF yesterday, works to ensure that stations become increasingly safer and welcoming, combining security policies with those regarding social solidarity.

More specifically, the European Charter aims to create a large network (railway carriers, institutions and associations) to work with a common procedure for social issues in stations. This procedure must above all be based on partners exchanging their know-how and best practices under the awareness that the issue of social hardship in stations is now common and widespread throughout Europe.