railML.org: adopting a bottom-up governance model

by Gulruh Farmonova (railML.org) (comments: 0)

How governance and decision-making processes work at railML.org: a bottom-up approach

railML.org e.V. is a recognised non-profit organisation which aims to serve the whole railway sector and is fully independent from railways, manufacturers, and authorities. The governance of railML.org is structured around a stakeholder teleconference, a thoroughly organised event that highlights the organisation’s commitment to transparency and collaboration.

The stakeholder community, consisting of ten member companies, is not only involved in the financial management of the organisation but also in its strategic direction.

The governance and decision-making processes prioritize inclusivity and a bottom-up approach:

  • Community Engagement: Input from the railML Community, users, and developers is actively sought before making any decisions, ensuring that the schema evolves in alignment with the stakeholders’ needs.
  • Stakeholder Feedback: Various perspectives and insights are meticulously reviewed to assess the feedback received from stakeholders.
  • Working Group Coordination: Working groups in the areas of Infrastructure, Interlocking, Timetable, Rollingstock and Ontology oversee the development and refinement of the railML schema, addressing developmental decisions.
  • Conference Integration: Major development decisions are shared and discussed during railML conferences, allowing for broader input and consensus-building among the community.
  • Consensus Building: A voting or consensus process during conferences ensures that final decisions regarding railML scheme development are based on identified needs and community consensus.

Conferences: platforms for collaboration

railML.org organizes hybrid or online conferences twice each year, bringing railML community together for important discussions and teamwork. These events, hosted by our stakeholders, are key moments for collaboration. Notably:

  • The 36th railML® Conference was held on the 6th of November, 2019 on invitation of Infrabel in Brussels.
  • The 40th conference was held in Sweden in 2021, hosted by Alstom Rail Sweden.
  • Oslo was the location for the 42nd conference in 2022, thanks to BaneNor’s hosting.
  • The 44th conference was held in Rome in 2023, hosted by NEAT
  • The 46th conference is planned for autumn 2024 in Prague, hosted by Správa železnic.

In addition to our traditional in-person events, railML.org conducts online conferences to share thoughts and agree on important matters on schema development and how to put plans in action. The upcoming 45th online conference is scheduled on June 6, 2024 and registration is open for all members of the railML community.

For further engagement, stakeholders, users and developers are encouraged to reach out to schema coordinators via e-mail to share their thoughts, feedback or suggestions.

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