The Rail Data Modelling project aims at creating the UIC Rail Topological Model as a common structure for storing railway infrastructure data. Its purpose is to provide a consistent, scalable way of representing corridors, lines, tracks, down to elementary details and equipment. Infrastructure data users include e.g. supply industry, regulatory authorities, engineering and service providers, and of course “the company-internal customers”. Responding to all needs by structuring and storing data in a single way will improve quality of exchanges, reduce expenses and fasten transactions: interoperability of data has immediate benefits.
Since legacy information systems shall remain, and others have been recently established for a special regulatory purpose (e.g. the European Register of Infrastructure, RINF), a single data exchange format is being developed in parallel, extending an existing, proven, xml-based encoding (RailML®).
The UIC conference held on 8 April brought together more than 70 participants representing over 15 countries, from infrastructure managers, railway undertakings, sector organisations, IT firms, and the European Railway Agency.
The UIC RailTopoModel, open for scrutiny since December 2013, has been demonstrated by a Topological Rail Viewer with data from RFF (France) and Infrabel (Belgium), displaying actual rail network topologies on a geographic background.
In close cooperation with the European Railway Agency, the RailML® foundation team managed to successfully upload sample RINF datasets for Jernbaneverket (Norway) Bergensbanen line and the whole French National network into the Agency servers, using the RailML® 2.2 format.
As announced by UIC Director General, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC will publish the finalised UIC RailTopoModel as an International Railway Standard (IRS) in 2015, together with software tools, sample datasets and other user support material.
The 3rd UIC Conference on the subject will be held on 7 and 8 October 2014 at UIC HQ.