The main purpose of RailData is to develop, implement and run centralised IT Systems, designed to ensure data exchange between European freight Railway Undertakings, as well as with Wagon Keepers and other relevant companies.
Our mission is to support, promote and improve rail freight traffic in Europe through our digital platform, in order to enable our Railway Undertaking Users to provide best quality services to final rail transport customers. Use of shared central tools with standardized interfaces saves costs to our Users. Finally, improved competitiveness brings more goods on rails instead of road transport which contributes to saving of the environment, which is objective of the EU’s Green Deal initiative.
RailData is a Special Group of the UIC (International Union of Railways). The highest instance of RailData is the General Assembly in which all RailData Members are represented. General Assembly elects its Chairman and Vice-Chairman, who represent RailData and lead the organisation. Day-by-day management is ensured by the RailData General Manager.
Specific IT Service Assemblies are responsible for operation, maintenance, and further developments of a RailData IT Services and for coordination if their usage. Currently there are:
On-going management of RailData is ensured by the Executive Committee (RDx).
Each assembly can establish an Experts Group. Expert groups, aside of other tasks, coordinate usage of the systems from a functional, technical and data quality view point among all users. Expert group can be also created for specific task. Today there are following Experts Groups:
ISR Experts Group
ORFEUS Experts Group
TSI TAF Experts Group
The day-by-day production of the systems is supported by the RailData Team. It also takes part in the projects for the evolution of the applications and supports new implementations. Current RailData Team compounds from:
Development, operation and maintenance of Railway Undertaking's applications and communication with the RailData IT services are in the responsibility of participating Users.
Freight Railway Undertakings can ask the General Assembly for membership in RailData. In case of interest, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following conditions apply for RailData member:
RailData was founded at its constitutional meeting on 23.3.1995 in Bern. Formally, the Special Group was established at the 175th UIC Board of Management Meeting in October 1995.
RailData evolved from previous two ambitious UIC IT projects: HIPPS (Hermes International Production Planning and control System) and DOCIMEL (DOCument CIM Electronique).
HIPPS was aimed to create international transport plans for wagons, but it was far ahead of capabilities of the rail companies that time. HIPPS was terminated in 2001, when only its 1st phase (theoretical trip plan) was implemented.
Project DOCIMEL was replaced with ORFEUS, less complex tool with same objective: exchange consignment note data between collaborating railway undertakings, and enable paperless transports. ORFEUS went life first in 1996 and since then it is continually improved and upgraded to latest IT standards. Since 2013 it is used also for transports with electronic consignment note. In the meantime, many railway undertakings joined and use ORFEUS in daily operation.
ISR project has been launched in 2000 by 3 DB, FS and SNCF. Its objective was to track & trace freight wagons across Europe. First information source were copies train consist pre-advice messages. In 2004, RailData took over ISR, modernised it and extended it into system, which monitors status and position of monitored wagons at rapidly growing number of railways. Step by step additional functions were added around the ISR core.
As usual, there are dedicated people behind any success story. So it needs be mentioned at least some of them, RailData chairman were: Bo Sandberg (1995-99), Olivier Maurel (2000-06), Martin Rühl (2006-07), Rainer Wilke (2007-13), Francis Bedel (2013-16), Maarten Kesselaers (2017-18), Michael Pfitzner (2018-19), Mark Verhulst (2019-2021) and Tommy Ransmark (2021-now).