Author Topic: How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?  (Read 9879 times)

adroth

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How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?
« on: March 08, 2018, 05:04:44 AM »
Administrator's note: Companion thread on the forum's FB extension is available here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/1597902583628916/

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The Philippines, particularly Mindanao, is on the cusp of realizing a dream that’s been on the books since the 1930s: The Mindanao Railway.

The 1,570 km circumferential track, which will initially connect Davao City with Tagum and Digos Cities, but will eventually form a loop that will encircle Bukidnon, and connect the Davao Provinces, Compostella Valley, the Agusan Provinces, the Misamis Provinces, Lanao provinces, and Cotabato.

The railway will facilitate the movement of the produce from agricultural lands whose output account for the following according to the publication "The Standard":

Quote
http://thestandard.com.ph/news/national/244398/mindanao-rail-gets-p6-5-b-fund.html

83 percent of the country’s total banana production, 61 percent of all harvested coconut, and 90 % of total Pineapple yield.

Under the right circumstances, windfall from this engine of commerce could facilitate the pacification of areas that have historically been vulnerable to the whims of warlords and the influence of ISIS sympathizers. Stability in Mindanao not only brings prosperity to one of the poorest regions in the Philippines, it also frees up national resources that could then be redirected to external defense concerns: China.

Railways also, inherently, provide a security benefit. The sheer volume of cargo that rail can move will allow the AFP to move men and materiel to critical staging areas than would be possible by road transportation and aircraft alone.

Completion, and safe operation, of this railway is not only a regional concern. It is a national imperative.

However, before any economic benefits become obvious to the common person, there will be a period where the railway is simply something that is being built where it wasn’t. At the very least, a curiosity, or at worst, a threat to the status quo. A threat that a local warlord or two might seek to sabotage.

While other parts of the Philippines have railways systems, none of them have ISIS actively working to establish a presence in those areas. (See Battle of Marawi)

Given the long-standing peace and order situation in the part of the country where the railway will be built, a number of important questions need to be asked:

How do you defend a railway from insurgent / terrorist attack or sabotage?

How should the DND-AFP, PNP, DOTr, etc. be organized to defend the rail?


Mindanao train on front and center after languishing in the back burner
January 4, 2018 | 2:26 pm
BY MARIFI S. JARA AND CARMELITO Q. FRANCISCO

http://bworldonline.com/mindanao-train-front-center-languishing-back-burner/

IT’S AN OLD IDEA — a Mindanao railway — dating as far back as the late 1930s after the Luzon rail was completed.

Then the Second World War came along and “it was put on the back burner,” National Economic and Development Authority-Davao Region Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim narrated, citing historical information based on government archives that are contained in the latest feasibility study for the Mindanao Railway System (MRS).

Rehabilitation of the Luzon rail was made a priority post-WWII and it wasn’t until 1957 that a train system for Mindanao, the country’s second biggest island after Luzon, was again considered.

A project study was undertaken by the Philippine National Railways (PNR), identifying a 1,570-kilometer (km.) track that would have required a P2.6-billion budget at that time.

It was probably the cost, but no one can say for sure now why the transport system was never pursued. It would remain shelved for more than three decades.

Mindanao train on front and center after languishing in the back burnerIt was under former President Fidel V. Ramos, who started his six-year term in 1992, that the Mindanao
railway got back on the national government’s radar.

But more than two decades later, after numerous plans and studies under different administrations, the railway remained on the drawing board.

“In the past, we were never listened to; sometimes (the national government pretended listening but it was only lip service,” said Vicente T. Lao, chair of the Mindanao Business Council.

Ms. Lim explains that the way government works is that localities and regional agencies basically “compete” for funding and prioritization, particularly for big-ticket projects, and decisions are ultimately made at the national level with socioeconomic, technical as well as political considerations coming into play.

“It helped a lot when President Duterte won,” she said, referring to former Davao City mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, the first from Mindanao to be elected president.

“And infrastructure investments are really a focus of this administration,” said NEDA-Davao Chief Economic Development Specialist Mario M. Realista.

< Edited >

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« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 11:03:51 AM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 05:28:40 AM »
Railways are inherently difficult to defend. They cannot move, so any potential attacker would have ample time to probe the system's defenses and would not even need to monitor the target constantly.

For any railway to function effectively, it would need to work on a publicly known schedule. This would allow any would-be attack to know exactly where our trains are at any given time.

The static nature of the target, and the predictability of when train personnel are actually using specific parts of the asset, are essentially par for the course.

The following World War II US Army video about train derailments summarizes what government agencies will need to defend against. Trains are not inherently easy to derail, but it can be done with training

https://youtu.be/agznZBiK_Bs




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Like other public utilities, it would make sense to organize an Affilitated Reserve unit within the Mindanao Railway System organization so that personnel manning the railroad are ready to switch to war-footing if the insurgency down south goes hot again.

Would the Philippines need an equivalent to the now defunct Military Railway Service of the United States?

http://wbachapter.org/files/MilitaryRailwayService.pdf

« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 12:00:08 AM by adroth »

adroth

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« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 12:13:10 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2018, 01:50:25 PM »
From the forum's FB extension



« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 12:13:21 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2018, 04:33:09 PM »
From the forum's FB extension

« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 04:35:35 PM by adroth »

mamiyapis

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Re: How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2018, 10:58:26 PM »
Security in the form of trained and armed marshalls can largely cover train security both on platforms and moving trains, for most other issues though, speed would be the best natural defence.

A train hurtling along at 100kph would be a very difficult thing to stop, let alone board or hijack.

dr demented

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Re: How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 11:50:10 PM »
Could something as simple as a fence or sound wall on either side of the right-of-way help to provide security?  It probably wouldn't completely stop someone who really was determined to mess with the railway.  But it could help, in concert with other security measures.

It isn't just messing with the train itself.  It's also tampering with the tracks when no train is around and no one is looking, particularly in more isolated areas of the line.

adroth

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Re: How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2018, 05:10:44 AM »
The US Department of Homeland Security conducts courses to help railway organizations deal with the threats to all manner of transportation security, to include railway security.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/20625

Freight Rail Security Grant Program Guidance and Application Kit

The Freight Rail Security Grant Program (FRSGP) is a component of the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP), which is one of five grant programs that constitute the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 focus on transportation infrastructure security activities. These grant programs are part of a comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by the Administration to help strengthen the Nation’s critical infrastructure against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks. The FRSGP is an important component of the Department’s effort to enhance the security of the Nation’s critical infrastructure. The program provides funds to freight railroad carriers and owners and offerors of railroad cars to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure from acts of terrorism, major disasters, and other emergencies. The purpose of the guidance in this document is to assist FEMA and partners in preparing, developing, and managing grant activities

mamiyapis

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Re: How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2018, 02:20:59 PM »
Could something as simple as a fence or sound wall on either side of the right-of-way help to provide security?  It probably wouldn't completely stop someone who really was determined to mess with the railway.  But it could help, in concert with other security measures.

It isn't just messing with the train itself.  It's also tampering with the tracks when no train is around and no one is looking, particularly in more isolated areas of the line.

The lines can be electrified and as mentioned in the FB posts. They would be a fault detection method as well.

But the fences are a good idea. Access control as well as protection from the elements would be factored in. The fenced off areas could also serve to house powerful CCTV to monitor stretches of the track ala NLEX/SLEX/SCTEX.

The armed marshalls would serve as a defensive force for passenger safety and protection.

adroth

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Re: How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2018, 05:31:29 PM »
One indispensable facet of the railway will be cameras . . . LOTS of them . . . and a command center that will oversee railway operations and security

From: http://www.enterdavao.com/2013/02/davao-city-public-command-center.html









adroth

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Re: How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2019, 01:32:25 PM »
https://www.facebook.com/130406490431829/posts/1548717901934007

DOTr Assistant Secretary for Railways and Mindanao Projects Eymard Eje met with Gen. Filmore Escobal, Regional Director of PNP Regional Office 11, yesterday at Camp Catitipan in Lanang, Davao City.

During the meeting, Asec. Eje discussed with Gen. Escobal security matters regarding the implementation of the Mindanao Railway Project following its approval by the NEDA Board.

Gen. Escobal expressed his support to the project and committed to provide security to all activities that will be undertaken by the MRP PMO team along the entire proposed alignment of the railway project.


adroth

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Re: How do you secure the Mindanao railway system?
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2019, 02:07:17 PM »
Terrorism isn't the only problem

New trains won’t reach Alabang station, PNR cites track obstruction, security problems
By: Gabriel Pabico Lalu - Reporter / @GabrielLaluINQINQUIRER.net / 12:36 PM December 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The new trains acquired by the Philippine National Railways (PNR) from Indonesia will not reach the Alabang station, as rail officials have admitted encountering obstruction and security problems.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Wednesday said they initially wanted the trains to reach the Alabang station and the other stations beyond it, but the plan was shelved for safety reasons after the trains were stoned and attacked by people with slingshots.

< Edited >

Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1200498/fwd-pnr-still-encountering-obstruction-security-problems-new-trains-wont-traverse-alabang#ixzz68uCCZGYr
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