36th railML conference in Belgium

by Joyce Dillon (railML.org) (comments: 0)

The 36th railML conference took place on the 6th of November 2019  in Brussels, Belgium - its modern and international character a great representation of what the railML.org community is. As is customary, this autumn conference was dedicated to the English-speaking community and attracted about 40 participants from all over Europe. They were able to come together and discuss their different projects within the railway sector.

After some opening words by our governance coordinator, we had the pleasure of welcoming a representative from the East West Railway Company, who gave a most exciting presentation about a current project. He detailed the challenges that come with building railway connections between cities and the aspects involved in the process of such an undertaking.

The infrastructure and interlocking coordinators, Christian Rahmig and Jörg von Lingen respectively, shared the current development status of railML 2.5 and 3.2. Version 3.2 focuses mainly on the use case ETCS track net. In this use case, interlocking aspects must also be considered. The first version of an advanced example in interlocking was presented, whose scope expanded past the elements included in the simple example.

This was followed by industry professionals who were invited to talk about their experiences and developments with railML. This year there was an informative presentation from TÜV Süd, where they gave an insight into the ETCS requirements for future railML 3.x versions so that it may be able to fulfill the requirements in preparation and planning data. Another memorable presentation was given by NEAT, showcasing the implementation of a real-world example into railML 3.1 using the company’s RaiL-AiD tool.

To round off the presentations directly related to railML development, our timetable coordinator, Milan Wölke, talked about the ongoing work in the area of traffic management system based on railML 3 and the current goal that a new timetable version for railML 3.2 will be able to be released by autumn of next year. Regarding railML 2.5, the current work focuses on passenger information. The common coordinator, Thomas Nygreen, discussed challenges and solutions for cross-referencing between the sub-schemes. Furthermore, he presented a common glossary project for railML.

After a last coffee break, we neared the end of the conference and it was time for some updates and news from railML.org to be shared with the community.

Representatives from Jernbanedirektoratet took this chance to give a milestone report on the ongoing process of developing an ISO standard on the basis of railML. We are happy to say that everything is going smoothly and there will be more information regarding this process in early 2020. Following this, our governance coordinator, Vasco Kolmorgen, shared some organizational news. The most relevant being that there is a membership model currently being developed. It's important to make clear that railML will remain public and free and all current services and benefits that members enjoy will remain the same at no extra cost - more information is available on the presentation found on the event page (linked below). It’s also worth mentioning that the railML wiki has been split into railML versions 2 and 3.

Despite some initial hiccups regarding the location, it was an overall success and we would like to give a heartfelt thanks to Infrabel for being this year’s host. We would like to give special thanks to Nicolas Gatez – the contact person at Infrabel – whose help made this conference possible!

The next German-speaking conference is expected to take place in Karlsruhe, Germany on the 22nd of April 2020 and the next English-speaking conference sometime in the Autumn of that same year. We look forward to seeing you at the next event!

As always, feedback from the community is highly appreciated. The slides of the conference are available for download on the event page.

Go back