RailCOMPLETE® with EULYNX DataPrep – looking deeper

EULYNX DataPrep (DP) is an abstract data model whose purpose is to enable text-only data exchange between stakeholders in the railway signalling industry. Its UML model contains the constructs needed to describe the main European signalling systems in a common, formal way. It contains modelling mechanisms for virtually every aspect of existing and future interlocking types and their trackside physical components.

Numerable components from adjacent disciplines, notably track and to some extent the overhead catenary system, have been modelled. The EULYNX DP model has been expressed formally as XML Schema Definitions, a set of XSD files. The UML is also converted and made available as an Object Oriented code library that software builders can plug into their product. Each software supplier is free to incorporate this library in their software product, be it an authoring tool, a data viewer or a validation tool.

The existence of a well-documented and managed code library (DLL) ensures that two different software suppliers will understand and express concepts in the same way during data exchange. The depth of modelling is adequate for expressing interlocking requirements and electrical connections, depending on the tool and the scope. EULYNX DP is based on RSM, the Railway System Model brought forward by UIC. The RSM models a very basic level where linear placement (kilometer, lateral and vertical offset) as well as direct positions (coordinates) and topology (nodes and edges) are available concepts for software designers to use.

EULYNX DP is not a storage format for authoring tools, partly because EULYNX DP does not represent graphical symbols for the various equipment types, or tool-dependent information such as CAD layers. A EULYNX DP file is more like a snapshot – a photograph – of a complex system in a given state. On the other extreme, an authoring tool such as RailCOMPLETE stores not only multiple states of the modelled system, but also automation methods for creating and manipulating data inside the model, much in the same way that an Excel™ spreadsheet contains VBA code to automate tasks. An authoring tool must also take care of all the nitty-gritty information needed for the user to interact with the data model, i.e., an efficient user interface as well as import/export functions towards Excel™, LandXML™, railML™ and other relevant exchange formats.

This RailCOMPLETE release provides an import and an export script for the object types contained in DNA for which a data exhange need with EULYNX DP is anticipated. When RailCOMPLETE reads a EULYNX DP file, the import scripts for the various EULYNX DP object types will control how RailCOMPLETE creates and configures corresponding national railway objects, according to the railway administration’s DNA. When RailCOMPLETE exports a national design to the EULYNX DP format, it does so by using an export script for each relevant DNA object type to translate from its RailCOMPLETE formulation to its EULYNX DP formulation.

We recommend our readers to consult the well-illustrated documentation on the EULYNX DataPrep web pages.