State of development


The exchange of railway infrastructure data for projects like RINF, ETCS or planning purposes costs railways a lot of time and money and is stressed by redundancies and misinterpreting today. So far a current problem in the railway sector is the absence of a common model and standard. “We need to create a larger sector approach as the data exchange is one of the rare levers where important savings are still feasible without major investments.” stressed Mr. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, in his opening statementon the ERIM Conference on September 17, 2013 at UIC in Paris.

Regarding these requirements an feasibility study was done by UIC’s ERIM-workgroup. The results of the study were presented at the conference in Paris, where UIC brought together over 60 representatives from 17 countries to discuss the joint UIC-ERIM/railML initiative.

The central result of this ERIM feasibility study is a standardized data exchange format, based on two components:

  • Topological data model (RailTopoModel)
  • Data exchange format (railML® 3)

This proposal was approved from the audience on September 17, 2013 which consisted of representatives from railways, CER, EIM, ERA, EU-JRC, signaling and IT-industry, geographical institutes, universities and railway service providers. A continuous working group (RailTopoModelExpertModellIngGroup) is working since this time to fulfill these promise.

First results

Ensuing from the presented feasibility study, the RTM Expert ModellIng Group developed a RailTopoModel within the last months. This RailTopoModel, as the base for a common exchange format, is a systemic model describing the railway infrastructure per its nature (and no longer for such or such usage). This Data Model aims at supporting all railways identified business needs, including the following concepts:

  • Topology: The logical representation of the iron network as a graph model
  • Objects & events location: Spot (e.g. signal), Linear (e.g. limited speeds, platforms …), Area (e.g. locally controlled areas, tariff zones …)
  • Paths: The possible movements on the track and nodes
  • Referencing systems: Geographic and screen (schematic) coordinates, Linear referencing, mileage posts and “rail addresses”
  • Multilevel aggregation: Tracks, Lines, Corridors, …
    (UIC RailTopoModel is designed to have the same structure at each level) 
  • Track Geometry

This developed RailTopoModel will be the base for railML 3, a new version of the data exchange format. This new version will be an enriched version which is able to fulfill amongst other things the needs for RINF and Network Statement. Moreover, firstly IT tools (Viewer, Validator, Translator, ...) have been developed to support the standardized data exchange format.

Download area

You'll find here documents related to the railML-3 development for download:

Feasibility Study RailTopoModel and data exchange format

Feasibility Study 'RailTopoModel and data exchange format' (2.092 kByte)

Author: trafIT solutions gmbh Zurich (Switzerland)
Language: English
Date: September 27, 2013
Status: Final Version / Released

RailTopoModel / IRS 30100:2016

Author: ERIM working group for UIC Paris (France)
Language: English
Date: April 18th, 2016
Status: Released for productive use (only Format has been changed in September 2016)

Please fill in the form below to get the RailTopoModel / IRS 30100:2016 for download.

Download Form for IRS 30100

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