The exchange of information through interfaces between railway systems has become a necessity in the railway sector and the use of defined standards in these exchanges improves the speed and efficiency of data transfer. To this end, RNE has been working with experts at railML.org, developers of a widely used data exchange format in the rail sector, to develop a railML interface. With its focus on exchanging infrastructuredata, the interface will enable machine-to-machine communication between RNE railway infrastructure systems and other railway applications.
What is railML?
railML.org, established in 2002, is a not-for-profit membership organisation comprising infrastructure managers (IMs) and railway undertakings, software developers, academic institutions and consulting firms who work together to develop rail industry standards. Together with industry experts, the organisation developed the data exchange format railML and has published a series of XML schemas and sub-schemas, each relating to specific rail applications such as infrastructure, timetable, rolling stock and interlocking.
What will the interface achieve?
To develop the interface, RNE, in collaboration with railML, has mapped all the RNE infrastructure data to the railML standard. The infrastructure data considered includes:
- TAF/TAP TSI Primary Locations and Subsidiary Locations (can be found as code list Registers in railML)
- Connections between locations (Segments)
- Tracks belonging to Primary Locations and Segments
- Line Properties
- Service Facilities
Once the mapping is complete and the interface implemented, both data providers and data users will be able to exchange infrastructure data machine-to-machine with RNE infrastructure systems.
Next steps and outcomes
In this collaborative effort between RNE and railML.org, the upcoming railML interface is poised to significantly improve communication within the railway sector. This development promises increased efficiency by reducing manual labour and the potential for human error, marking a significant step towards digitalisation in the railway sector.
Upon its completion and implementation, RNE will use the interface to bridge RNE infrastructure systems with the railDAX (railML 2.5) infrastructure subschema. Real-world examples of its implementation will be shared on the railML website, ensuring accessibility for the entire industry.