37th railML Conference – the virtual conference!

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

The 37th railML Conference took place on the 16th of June 2020 in a virtual conference room! This was the first conference of its kind and was a great success. It was dedicated to the German-speaking community, attracting over 70 participants from multiple companies and countries. They were able to come together and present their different projects within the railway sector and their work with railML ®.

The morning

One of our main and governance coordinators, Dr. Nadia Hürlimann, opened the conference and this was followed by a presentation from Milan Wölke, railML.org’s Timetable coordinator. He gave an update of the development and the steps to be taken about the work done together with Infrastructure in the ITMS use case.

As is customary, industry professionals were also invited to talk about their experiences and developments with railML ®. We had the pleasure of welcoming Torben Brand, representing Jernbanedirektoratet. The presentation encompassed a look at the joint development with Bane NOR to develop a common format for data exchange in the Norwegian railway sector. This project shall be aided by railML 2.4 by using it as a basis.

After a short break, it was time for an update form Common coordinator, Thomas Nygreen. The news focused on how changes within minor versions will be handled in the future and the extended use of <designator>. More information on the first point can be found in the May news article and all users are asked to provide feedback under the forum post.

Torben Brand took the stage again to inform about the use of railML 2.4 as an inspiration to develop a new ISO-Norm: "NP 4398" and given the name of "railDax." More information on this can be found in the March news article. With all this information to be processed, all participants were sent on a one-hour lunch break and came back ready for the second part of the virtual conference.

The afternoon

This year there was an informative presentation from Siemens, where a representative gave an introduction into the ETCS use case and expected modifications and extensions in railML 3.2. The participants were also informed about the release plan for the use case and encouraged to participate in the development work.

The Infrastructure and Interlocking coordinators, Christian Rahmig and Jörg von Lingen respectively, shared information about the creation of use cases and the work within the development groups. The coordinators also talked about new features and changes proposed in multiple trac tickets and forum posts. An update on the first version of an advanced example in interlocking was also given.

Following this, governance coordinator, Vasco Paul Kolmorgen, shared some organizational news. The most relevant being that there is a membership model expected to be implemented in July. 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 February news article. It’s also worth mentioning that the railML wiki has been split into railML versions 2 and 3.

Despite the initial confusion and difficulties caused by the current situation, we were able to find a solution, which allowed us to hold the conference nonetheless, even if it was slightly delayed. For this, we have to thank the creativity, ingenuity and hard work of our coordinators, stakeholders and community members!

Next conferences

The next English-speaking conference is expected to take place in Gothenburg, Sweden on the 18th of November 2020. More information as well as well as the registration can be found on the 38th raiML Conference event page. The next German-speaking conference is planned for the Spring of 2021.

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.

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