Total Project Value:
€ 5 216 494,26
from 01/12/2019 to 30/11/2022
S2R (Of H2020) co-funding:
€ 2 155 092,15
Pierre-etienne Gautier


The railway sector is currently acting in a fragmented way and in silos corresponding most often to physical or functional subsystems or use cases, and the different owners/managers of the overall infrastructure at regional/national level, without global extensive view or full control of the global system involved by rail operations.

With the progress of digitization, analogue devices based on relays were progressively substituted by digital ones, and it is more and more evident that enabling the communication between already existing digital tools for various subsystems can be beneficial. What is missing is an efficient, automated and standardized way for these integrated and interplaying systems to act as one ecosystem: sharing, integrating, identifying, correlating and exploiting the right data at the right time.

In order to meet these challenges, the objective of LinX4Rail is to develop and promote a common Functional Rail System Architecture for the Rail sector, as requested by EC. It will be supported by a widely adopted Shift2Rail Conceptual Data Model (CDM) that will, with the commitment of the Shift2Rail members, establish the standard for interactions between legacy and new systems, thus ensuring sustainable interoperability between systems.

The ambition of LinX4Rail is to achieve a comprehensive approach for the CDM, as a models’ federation, global system modelling specification and the strategy for implementation of technological breakthroughs.

Description of objectives - WHAT?

Expected main OUTPUTs


Link with the WP
Build a Common Rail Dictionary (object model library), in collaboration with current initiatives (IFC Rail, EULYNX, RTM, railML, Ontorail). A common formal Rail Dictionary, suitable for use by concerned experts and by applications. The challenge is to reach a consensus with all the existing initiatives about the same understanding of terms. A common formal rail dictionary must cope with numerous terms that may be context-sensitive (esp. in signalling and operations). The challenge is to reach a consensus with all the existing initiatives about the same understanding of terms. 2, 5
S2R-CDM Modelling design Unified hierarchical and modular structure and data model. Continuous evolution and enrichment of CDM according to other S2R project requirements. 3
Proof of concept through at least 3 use cases
  • Analyse a selection of use cases groups to identify the need and from each use case derive:
    • the requirements on each system/sub-system: Objects and properties (semantics, ontologies, relations, …);
    • related performance indicators;  
  • Analyse the technical modelling principles and methods for best practice and derive requirements.
Set up Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and prove the impact of use of CDM
  • Synchronize the use case with other domain models for joint understanding of data model / data exchange issue;  
  • Design the CDM data model based on the use-case in accordance with defined design patterns;  
  • Implement the model and perform a proof-of-concept demonstrator;  
  • Verify & validate the CDM core model against the use cases.
Strategy for implementation of technological breakthroughs (including RCA)
  • Road map for implementationof technological breakthroughs; 
  • Recommendations for the governance.
  • Integration of ongoing initiatives and future ones; 
  • Agreement of each railway actor; 
  • Time to set up standardisation.

Project Structure

The technical work is structured around 5 work packages, aiming at:

  • Putting a “railway semantic dictionary” at disposal of all stakeholders, with the functionalities that are necessary to fulfill the above aims and requirements.
  • Creating a Conceptual Data Model (CDM) specification and formal definitions covering modelling requirements from S2R projects and external initiatives.
  • Developing three use cases in order test and refine the proposed CDM solution, and to prove the applicability.
  • Developing a vision and concepts for a common Rail Functional System Architecture, combining top-down and bottom-up approaches: starting from ongoing initiatives inside and outside Shift2Rail, producing successive releases of the Architecture and integrating it into Shift2Rail initiatives by triggering and carrying out a change management process.

WP01 - Management of project, coordination with other projects and IPs

WP02 - Definition of common data dictionary (Semantics, Ontologies)

The objectives of the work package are:

  • Development of the definition of concepts and their semantic, that can be used by other dictionaries, ontologies, data repositories, applications;
  • Integration of output coming from previous works or similar projects to update the dictionary.

WP03 - CDM/ global system modeling specification & development

  • Creation of S2R-CDM (Conceptual Data Model) as a consistent federation of data railway system models, based on existing ones coming from RTM, EULYNX, railML and IFC.Rail and not only railway related ones, such as the ones from the OGC Sensor Web Enablement suite for the diagnostic data and processes and so on.
  • Evolution and enrichment of CDM according to other S2R project requirements.

WP04 - CDM Demonstration

  • Development of three demonstrators in order to test and refine the proposed CDM solution, and to prove the applicability to other S2R projects on which the WP3 work has been based.
  • Definition of the quality indicators and consequent evaluation of the performances of concepts proposed with respect to the developed use cases.

WP05 - Strategy for implementation of technological breakthroughs (including RCA)

This WP will work on a first comprehensive architecture, mapping the technologies for the implementation of a new integrated railway system approach.
In order to do so, we will develop a vision and concepts for a Functional Railway System Architecture
  • from ongoing initiatives inside Shift2Rail
  • from RCA, OCORA and other rail initiatives (e.g. IFC, RTM, …)
  • from benchmark from other sectors

This WP will produce successive releases of the common Functional Railway System Architecture and will integrate it into Shift2Rail carrying out the change management process.

This structure aims at streamlining the inputs (“subjects”) from running projects and other initiatives outside Shift2Rail and analysing them. The Programme Board will approve or not the proposed subjects. LinX4Rail will provide specification requests, the projects will execute the technical impact assessment. LinX4Rail will present the technical impact assessment to the Programme Board. Based on the recommendations, the decision of an integration into the project is taken at the Programme Board level.




Results and Publications

White Paper: Harmonisation of Operational Requirements


All deliverables, results and publications herewith provided reflects only the author's view and the S2R JU is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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Pierre-etienne Gautier

Project Coordinator

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No: 881826