RailML (Data Exchange)

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Overview
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Very closely related to the evolution of the RailTopoModel is the work done by members of railML.org. railML® is an open-source XML-based data exchange format for IT applications in railways. railML® is developed and maintained by the railML.org initiative and it has been published so far up to version 2.2. Currently, railML.org is actively contributing to the UIC RailTopoModel Expert Group with the objective to base its new version, railML® 3.0, on the fundament of the RailTopoModel. Thus, railML® 3.0 can be considered to being the exchange format for any infrastructure data base following the RailTopoModel concept. The current state of development of railML® 3.0 is described on the website Besides infrastructure, railML® is also able to handle information about timetable, rolling stock and interlocking. Thus, being a widely applicable data exchange format, railML® is used by many railways, manufacturers and other institutions for internal and external data exchange. Further information on railML can be found at http://railml.org.

Considering the work done by the railML® initiative project in co-operation with this modelling work, there are currently two products available to facilitate the exchange of data in the domain of railway infrastructure.

Logical model The RailTopoModel is a generic railway data model designed to support current and future business needs. It is particularly useful for:
  • Engineering activities - mainly based on installations and components, and
  • Circulation activities - mainly based on routing and scheduling.
railML® railML®3 is the latest evolution of the format created by railML®.org. RailML®3 was specifically developed to compliment the UIC's RailTopoModel.

Thus, railML® can be viewed as the first benefit of RailTopoModel. Figure 2 summarises the role that RailTopoModel and railML® would play when fully integrated in existing systems.

Investing in a standardised railway data exchange format will provide multiple benefits for the sector, including:

  • Improved data quality,
  • More efficient business performance,
  • Streamlined and re-usable development,
  • Integrated IT systems, and
  • Return on investments.

Detailed Information about railML® can be found on the railML® website at www.railML®.org.


What you should have learned

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