The data on the Finnish rail network can now be converted to the standard RailML (Railway Markup Language) format with the tool released by Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA).
The tool is open source, and it makes the digitalisation of tasks related to modelling the rail network possible, among other things. The end result is that manual work is reduced considerably, and it is easier to keep the information on the rail network up to date.
Standards ensure the usability and interoperability of rail network data
The planning and control of rail traffic and operating the trains themselves require accurate information on the rail network. In Finland, the rail network data has been described using a national data model, the content of which is available as open data in the Digitraffic service of Traffic Management Finland. Digitraffic also acts as a data source for the recently released tool.
For rail traffic planning, control and simulation software, it is essential that the rail network description is available in an internationally recognised standard format. RailML (Railway Markup Language) is a standard that makes data transfer between information systems related to railways easier.
Enabling data transfer in the RailML format makes life simpler for rail network modellers. Previously, many types of rail network data have been transferred manually to various information systems. This has been a laborious process with a high risk of human error. The new tool reduces manual work considerably and makes it easier to keep the information on the rail network up to date.
In addition to rail network modellers, rail network infrastructure model developers and users utilising the infrastructure models will benefit from the new tool.