Digitalization is a reality of the railway sector. In almost all areas of operation, computerized systems are available, ranging from computer-based interlockings to systems for analysing asset diagnostics which have emerged over the last few years. We have computer systems for timetabling, traffic management, energy management, asset maintenance, rolling stock inventory, crew rostering etc. What is missing is an efficient, automated and standardized/agreed way for these systems to act as one ecosystem, sharing and integrating or give meaning/correlate to their data and making use of the sum of this information. Hereby improving existing services, in terms of time-to-market and maintainability, or to offer innovative solutions, new type of services, also taking advantage from integration of not purely railway data source (e.g. intermodality).
The sector needs to overcome its current “data” and “systems” fragmentation, the “silofication”, and produce within S2R a system of systems approach and one Shift2Rail Conceptual Data Model (S2R- CDM) that, with the commitment of the S2R Members, will become the standardised way for legacy and new systems to interact, thus ensuring interoperability between systems.
The system of systems approach and the S2R-CDM are not meant to model the whole railway system and it should not have the expectation to model everything. Its objective is to define a unified conceptual structure representing the components of the railway system, identify the relations between them and provide a common language and data dictionary to describe them. They can be used as a foundation for new products or for exchanging/giving interpretation to data between different railway systems (or different components within a railway system).
The challenge consists in defining a system of systems approach that is widely accepted by the sector, starting with the RCA initiative, and the Shift2Rail Conceptual Data Model (S2R-CDM) to be used without license fees as free and open standard like LINUX in the world of operating systems. The S2R- CDM structure should allow the inclusion of complementary modelling initiatives in a collaborative effort (e.g. BIM, RTM, Eulynx, railML, TAP/TAF, , IP4 ontology based modelling approach), avoiding competing and overlapping models, and creating new business cases.
The core model will be such that no limitations are created related to the implementation of the model, i.e. the model must support different ways of implementing an interface with today well- known formats and protocols but also non-restrictive for future formats and protocols.
S2R partnership will have to develop governance in order to ensure the consistency and scalability of the system architecture and the S2R-CDM in the future.
Different ongoing S2R projects (IN2SMART, X2RAIL2, CONNECTA, CONNECTIVE, FR8RAIL, IMPACT2) are already dealing with the concept of data standardization and data integration, confirming that a common understanding of data is a need to be addresses more broadly.
Having regard to the Union policies and targets on decarbonisation, taking into consideration that automation and digitalization are key enablers of a drastic railway system transformation, in order to address the challenges described above, the proposals should address all the following work streams, in line with the S2R MAAP.
Work Stream 1:
- Harmonisation of modelling chains, description methods and tooling selection for CDM
- Definition of a conceptual and structured representation of data that need to be shared
between systems; not to define rules of data exchange but limited to the definition of the conceptual structure. The structure should allow the inclusion of complementary modelling
initiatives in a collaborative effort (e.g. BIM, RTM, Eulynx, railML, TAP/TAF, IP4 ontology based
- An active collaboration governance process aiming at avoiding overlapping areas among
models (in particular of existing initatives) must be developed and coordinated.
- Existing integration and exchange facilitiation type of activities (including ontology approach
of IP4) in the considered domains must be taken into account.
- Clear rules for model integration and model extension, both for core model extension and for
customization extensions, must be defined.
o It should also provide (identify) mechanisms for overall uniqueness of identifiers for
objects within the model (naming conventions, etc...).
- Definition of the domains to be included and its growth should be use-case driven taking into
account existing use cases already produced by existing projects
o and providing a methodology, a process, that will allow to take into account needs of
incoming projects and allowing the extension of existing model
o and the use case driven should not define use cases but receive use cases from
- The interaction with other initiatives shall take into account Business Cases related to the
usage of the S2R-CDM and to data exchange and Licenses topics (between different initiatives). Ownership of the CDM and extensions to it must be thoroughly specified
o To the extent that CDM is based on independent models, an agreement of license and non-restrictive use must be settled.
- A clear and robust governance model for the S2R-CDM must be defined. The research results and work already conducted on the IP4 possible future governance should be looked at and synergies considered. In particular: implementing a methodology to guarantee unified development on S2R-CDM among all current and future S2R projects independent from project running times
- The CDM definition process must be aligned with ongoing S2R developments and possibly with the identified relevant developmnets outside S2R: that means that use case should come from S2R projects and that a process for helping projects in their implementation should be defined
Work Stream 2:
- Setting the ground for a comprehensive railway system approach, bringing the IP2 Reference CCS Architecture into a broader system level context, ready for S2R Europe
- Map the implementation of the S2R innovations and any other relevant technology in the new rail system approach and assess the interdependencies
- Analyse which system/subsystem and related operation/maintenance procedures will be affected and how
- Analyse its business case and produce a business plan, analysing who bear the costs and who will benefit from it. Provide recommendation for improvements of the business cases
- Define a strategy for implementation, dissemination and communication, considering possible sectorial resistencies and propositing mitigation actions
- Draft a first migration plan, taking into account the above
The output of this action should be:
- a S2R-CDM conceptual model, defining a unified hierarchical structure representing the components of the railway system, identifing the relations between them and providing a common language and data dictionary to describe them
- a Governance Model of the S2R-CDM which guarantee a unified development of the model
- a first comprehensive model/architecture, mapping the technologies and strategy for
implementation of a new comprehensive railway system approach
Wherever relevant, this activity in Work stream 1 should be aligned with the planned tender on “Technical solution for intermodal information exchange for freight”.
Considering the “18C044-0C WHITE PAPER REFERENCE CCS ARCHITECTURE (RCA) BASED ON ERTMS” developed by the ERTMS Users Group and the EULYNX consortium and provided to S2R in July 2018, and following the ongoing collaboration initiated with the promoters of such initiative for the integration of the RCA in the S2R Programme, a final high level decomposition of RCA is expected be delivered to S2R by April 2019. The S2R Members should firstly verify the impact that the RCA would have or potentially have on the content of each work streams activities and subsequently each CFM proposal should be aligned, as far as possible, against the latest progress on the Reference CCS Architecture, in particular the system approach and interoperability of solutions must be ensured across S2R IP/CCA activities and for future developments.
As specified in section 2.3.1 of AWP 2019, in order to facilitate the contribution to the achievement of S2R objectives, the options regarding 'complementary grants' of the S2R Model Grant Agreement and the provisions therein, including with regard to additional access rights to background and results for the purposes of the complementary grant(s), will be enabled in the corresponding S2R Grant Agreements.
The action that is expected to be funded under this topic will be complementary to the actions that are expected to be funded under the following topics:
S2R-CFM-CCA-01-2019: Integrated mobility management (I2M), Energy and Noise & Vibration.
S2R-CFM-IP2-01-2019: Completion of activities for enhanced automation systems .(including Freight ATO GoA4), train integrity, object controller.
S2R-CFM-IP3-01-2019: Intelligent asset management finalisation.
S2R-CFM-IP5-01-2019: Smart data-based assets and efficient rail freight operation.
The action stemming from this topic will also be complementary to actions carried out within the following projects:
X2RAIL-2 (GA 777465)
CONNECTIVE (GA 777522)
IMPACT-2 (GA 777513)
S2R-CFM-IP5-01-2018: Technology demonstrators for competitive, intelligent rail freight
S2R-CFM-IP1-02-2018: Implementing new technologies for the TCMS
The action shall actively contribute to the S2R standardisation rolling development plans wherever relevant.
The action shall actively contribute to the S2R KPIs development. This shall lead to publicly available deliverable, quantified indicatively on a semi-annual basis.
The planned activities of the action should take into account the revised MAAP part A. The S2R JU will only fund one proposal under this topic.
Benefits of adoption of a System Architecture and Conceptual Data Model, in general, are:
System of Systems approach integrating digitalization and automation
Increase scalability and extensibility of existing systems
Reduce development effort and consequently time to market for new applications
Improve system maintainability
increased cooperation between systems by making use of integrated data
Adopting a S2R-CDM, at S2R level, will alleviate ongoing and upcoming projects from the need to reinvent another different way to represent common objects but to concentrate only to extensions.
Furthermore, the adoption of a common language between projects will foster data integration across projects and across IPs.
Type of Action: Research and Innovation Action (RIA)