Thursday 16 July 2020

UIC published the IRS 90940 proposing the new SFERA protocol for data exchange with Driver Advisory Systems (DAS)

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Driver Advisory Systems (DAS) are key tools in improving performance in the short term without tremendous investment.

A common solution is necessary to make this improvement potential available now to the largest number of trains, including in the context of international operations.
Therefore, UIC Members met in the context of the SFERA project (Smart communications For Efficient Railways Activities) to create a universal DAS messaging protocol for operators and infrastructure managers to enable DAS’s potential.

This resulted in a new International Railway Solution (IRS) introducing the SFERA protocol and specifying technical guidelines to handle data exchange with DAS. It will help operators to work seamlessly across borders and speed up the implementation of advice to driver connected to real-time traffic management (Connected DAS or C-DAS).

The SFERA protocol also accommodates Automatic Train Operations (ATO) and other DAS applications, working both over the European Train Control System and other train protection systems.

By using this harmonised DAS protocol:

  • Railway Undertakings (RU) can choose their preferred DAS products and increase their energy savings
  • Infrastructure Managers can offer a single interface to all RUs regardless of the DAS supplier
  • migration between products is facilitated, e.g. to other train protection systems or to other Automatic Train Operation systems
  • RUs and IMs ensure more consistency and compatibility in the solutions they invest in

We are happy to announce that the IRS is now available to download for free by heading to UIC online ETF shop:
(Complete the purchasing process and you will be offered to download the IRS as a compressed file)

If you would like to know more about the SFERA project and the IRS’s publication, you will find on the 4 June Launch webinar’s event page:

Also, the SFERA success story is continuing with the second stage of the project as the SFERA maintenance and DAS experts group that will continue to bring together UIC Members in a “maintenance group” and both UIC Members and DAS stakeholders as the “users’ group”. By considering the feedback of the users’ group, the maintenance will take care of:

  • IMs or RUs’ needs that cannot be fulfilled by the current version of SFERA
  • new legislations that demand adaptations
  • technological developments or threats (e.g. cyber security) that require changes
  • future international standards
  • new versions of AoE SUBSET-126 that are published, etc.

Railways and stakeholders are warmly invited to participate!

For further information please contact Philippe Stefanos, Energy Environment and Sustainability Advisor – Sustainable Development Unit:

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