Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director and Chairman of the OSDM Executive Group, and Vittorio Carta, FSM Initiative Manager, UIC PSG Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the OSDM Executive Group, welcomed some 60 participants from CD, SZ, MAV, DSB, SV, DB, SBB, ÖBB, RENFE, SNCF, PKP, ZSSK, SNCB, NS, Trenitalia, and RZD, as well as IT companies such as Entur and Hit Rail and ticket vendors such as GDS Amadeus, OTA TrainLine and SilverRail. They highlighted the fact that railway companies and distributors are cooperating directly within a UIC working group for the very first time, and wished the group every success in its mission to develop a common UIC standard.
On 8 April, following a decision taken at the high-level passenger meeting in October 2019 to provide a common roadmap for integration and development of two complementary distribution solutions, UIC and FSM signed a technical agreement to develop a single/integrated specification for complementary FSM and UIC-nTM functional elements.
Emmanuel Mounier, EU TravelTech Secretary General, thanked UIC for hosting the first UIC meeting with ticket vendors. Since April this year, weekly technical meetings have been held and efforts to achieve alignment between FSM and UIC have resulted, six months later, in the new Open Sales and Distribution Model specification. This UIC specification, called OSDM IRS 90918-10, is an open source document under Apache 2.0 copyright. It defines an API allowing implementation by all rail ticket distribution companies and railway carriers.
The OSDM was presented by Clemens Gantert, Chairman of the OSDM working group, and Andreas Schlapbach, Vice-chairman. The purpose of the OSDM is to provide powerful fare combination and facilitate distribution to make the rail service distribution process easier for the customer and the rail sector as a whole. Mr Gantert and Mr Schlapbach described the information flows between the stakeholders (fare provider, allocator and distributor) and explained the API functions. Organisational aspects were clarified for maintenance of the OSDM IRS 90918-10, which will require versioning and a validation process.
As an important first step, the OSDM working group validated the offline OSDM specification, which can now be implemented in distribution systems. To replace PRIFIS, a shared database containing prices and tariffs for non-reservation tickets, UIC awarded implementation of the new offline OSDM platform to Hit Rail. The new platform will be available in summer 2021.
The rail sector as a whole has taken a major step forward in simplifying ticket distribution to the passenger, including through ticketing, and in developing a consumer-driven, innovative and competitive distribution solution based on transparency and sustainability.