Core elements

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The RailTopoModel is described in UML notation. Like in UML the modelling concepts of RailTopoModel are grouped into language units. A language unit consists of a collection of tightly coupled modelling concepts. Each language unit deals with a specific aspect of the model.

Colours in the UML-Diagram

Language Units

The Model is formulated in Terms of UML. The Sections of this Chapter correspond widely with the Colors in the UML-Diagram:

  • Core elements: white
  • Referencing: dark green
  • Topology: yellow
  • Location: light green
  • Aggregation: Grey

The complete RailTopoModel is available at
Language units are depicted using specific colour codes and are centered around core elements.

Building the Model

Model Part 1 (© railML)

The first thing to be done is to list the elements comprising the core of the network.
Each of those elements must have some basic characteristics: a unique identifier, a name and a validity range. So the first step is to create a generic class containing those data. According to the view level the network is composed of

  • parts of rail tracks, switches, buffer stops, etc. or
  • parts of tracks and operational points, or
  • parts of lines and major operational points or
  • ...

Each of those being uniquely identified (ideally with an UUID, but any unique national identifier is allowed) and given a temporal validity range. This validity range is the first step in time dimension and versioning management, which will be extended in future versions of this model. As the model aims to be valid through all detail levels, a neutral name has to be given to those elements forming the network: the “NetElements”.

The common point between all those levels is that two types of NetElements have to be considered:

  • Linear elements, that have a direction (a start point and end point ) and length,
  • Non-Linear Elements, which do not have a clear orientation, or length. In the model, all those non-linear elements will be considered as points.

Up to now, the model makes no distinction between those two types of elements, because they share so many characteristics.

What you should have learned

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