Shaping the future of Driver Advisory Systems: a journey with railML 

by Gulruh Farmonova ( (comments: 0)

The adoption of Driver Advisory Systems (DAS) for energy saving in the railway industry over the last decade has led to a significant shift in the contribution of the rail sector towards more sustainable and efficient rail traffic. Since 2020, Knorr-Bremse has been collaborating with to advance the integration of standardised data interfaces for DAS.

What is a Driver Advisory System and how does it save energy?

The system is a tool that provides real-time advice to support train drivers to achieve better punctuality in the most energy-efficient manner. DAS can work on its own or be linked to Traffic Management Systems (TMS). By following the system recommendations traffic flow can be optimised and energy consumption can be reduced by up to 15%.

Optimising DAS with railML

Knorr-Bremse has been able to improve the efficiency of its DAS with the use of railML, a widely available and easy-to-use markup language, which has facilitated the streamlining of its operations as well as fast and efficient infrastructure- and timetable data exchange.

Through this collaboration with, Knorr-Bremse has developed highly innovative DAS and Automatic Train Operation (ATO) solutions, which are being implemented on the Betuweroute, a double-track freight railway connecting the port of Rotterdam with the Ruhrgebiet in Germany.

Eva Lohmeier from Knorr-Bremse remarked that by introducing Driver Advisory Systems, the maturity of digital ‘twins’ (virtual representations of a system) is continuously being pushed: digital maps and real-time traffic data are continuously improved, ensuring reliable data tracking, and GPS use. This incremental improvement process allows for the future development of ATO solutions with higher automation levels such as GoA4 (Grade of Automation 4), whereby the train is automatically controlled without any staff on board, making rail more efficient, accurate and reliable.

A sustainable partnership

Rail offers the most sustainable form of mass and freight transport in the fight against global warming. Strategic partnerships like these pave the way for improving rail services and optimising rail efficiency, contributing towards achieving net zero goals and making a strong business case for increasing rail’s market share and ensuring a bright future for rail transportation.


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