RAILDATA

Objectives

RailData is a special group of the International union of railways (UIC).

The main purpose of RailData is to develop and run central IT systems for European freight railway undertakings.

There are currently five main IT systems in production:

  • ORFEUS (Open Rail Freight EDI User System) – CIM consignment note data exchange
  • ISR (International Service Reliability) – wagon movement and status reporting
  • CoReDa (Commercial Responsibility Database) – central freight wagon database
  • ATTI (Agreement on Freight Train Transfer Inspection) – quality management system
  • WDI (Web Data Input) – web form for collection and presentation of train consist data

CoReDa and ATTI are provided as services for other UIC study groups (e.g. Wagon Users and ATTI).

Organisation

RailData is managed by its General Assembly, in which all members are represented.

The current management structure of the General Assembly is as follows:

  • Chairman: Mark Verhulst (Lineas) – since 2019
  • Vice-Chairman: Tommy Ransmark (Green Cargo) – since 2018

RailData systems (development, maintenance and operation) are managed by IT Service Assemblies, which represent only those RailData members that participate directly in the system. Service Assemblies are autonomous in the organisation of their activities. There are currently three Service Assemblies:

  • ISR Assembly, chaired by Petr Červinka (ČD Cargo) since 2017
  • ORFEUS Assembly, chaired by Lothar Schneeman (DBCDE) since 2012
  • CoReDa Assembly, chaired by Christian Kühnast (DBCDE) since May 2019

All Assembly chairmen and the RailData vice-chairman are elected for a period of two years.

Ongoing management of RailData is ensured by the Executive Committee (RDx). The Executive Committee (RDx) is composed of the chairman and the vice-chairman of the General Assembly and the chairmen of the core IT Service Assemblies. The RDx reports to the General Assembly and is presided over by its chairman.

Each Assembly can establish one or more expert groups. Expert groups consult with the IT Service Assemblies by approving the proposals of the user support centre for change requests. The expert group connects the various inputs and ensures coordination from a functional, technical and data quality viewpoint among all users. If required, ad hoc working groups can be set up to deal with specific topics.

There are currently three expert groups:

  • ISR expert group for coordination of the ISR system, including RTIS, WDI, and mileage functions
  • ORFEUS expert group for coordination of the ORFEUS system
  • TAF TSI expert group for TAF analysis and sector handbook specifications

The day-by-day production of the applications is supported by the user service centre (USC) in Basel. USC also participates in changes to the applications and plays a major role in managing new implementations.

The current user service centre team is as follows:

  • Mr Oliver Kundt, who provides application support (mainly for ISR) – since 2015
  • Mr Alexander Martinez, who provides application support (mainly for ISR) – since 1995
  • Mr Ralf Gutbrod, who provides application support (mainly for ORFEUS) – since 2011
  • Ms Edith Waldvogel, who keeps the Raildata accounts – since 1995

Participating users are responsible for the development, operation and maintenance of railway undertakings’ applications and communicating with the RailData IT service.

Membership

Any active freight railway undertaking can submit an application to the General Assembly for membership of RailData by means of a written request addressed to the RailData chairman. The General Assembly then decides whether to accept the application.

Non-UIC members may become members of RailData under the same conditions in accordance with UIC Internal Regulation 3, Arts. 4.1 and 4.2.

Conditions for RailData membership:

  1. The applicant must be a freight railway undertaking (exceptions may be agreed by the General Assembly)
  2. The Terms of Reference must be observed
  3. The applicant must contribute to the annual RailData General Assembly budget
  4. The applicant must be a current user of at least one core RailData IT service
  5. Members are co-owners of RailData assets, including IT applications and IP rights
  6. Members can attend and vote in the RailData General and IT Service Assemblies

As all members must be users of at least one core IT service, new members are obliged to fulfil conditions for users for one year following their acceptance as members. If this condition is not fulfilled, membership may be withdrawn.

RailData currently has 13 European railway undertaking members. For a current list of RailData members, please see https://www.raildata.coop/members.

Users

Conditions for users of RailData IT services:

  • Active as a freight railway undertaking
  • Uses (in any way) RailData IT system(s)
  • Accepts and signs the relevant IT system user agreement
  • Meets the conditions of the IT system user agreement
  • Pays the IT system usage fees
  • Provides at least the minimum required data to the IT system
  • Can participate in IT system expert meetings

Companies that wish to become RailData IT system users must send a written request to the RailData chairman. The relevant IT Service Assembly or General Assembly then decides whether the application is accepted.

Customers of railway undertakings cannot have direct access to RailData services as users.

Funding

Users are charged for use of IT services on the basis of a cost distribution system specific to each IT service and adjusted for each year. The fees are proposed by the RDx and agreed by the IT Service Assembly concerned.

Fees are fair for users as they take account of actual levels of usage by individual users. They can thus include fixed fees (equal for each user with the same type of technical interface) and variable fees (based on number of messages or events during the previous year). Specific initial fees may be collected from new users if so decided by the IT Service Assembly.

Costs which are general to the RailData organisation and cannot be charged to any particular IT service are treated as RailData overheads and are charged to the common budget. Each RailData member contributes equally towards the common budget.

History

RailData was established at its first (constitutional) meeting on 23 March 1995 in Bern. The most efficient way to learn about the history of RailData is to see the overview presented by Petr Cervinka at the RailData 15th anniversary celebration. It provides a summary of the background and milestones of both the organisation and its applications. It also provides an overview of the RailData team, listing all the great people who have contributed to the success of RailData.

Partners

RailData has partnerships with several other international organisations or service providers involved in international information and communication technology for European railways:

  • RailNetEurope (RNE) – European rail infrastructure managers’ association
  • Hit Rail – Hermes VPN and interoperability provider
  • CIT – International Rail Transport Committee
  • LUSIS – software development and operations support
  • UIP – International Union of Wagon Keepers
  • Xrail – production cooperation platform for single wagonload transport
Share this