ST4RT project aims to significantly improve mutual understanding between heterogeneous rail data systems, contributing to better European rail interoperability
Utrecht/Brussels, 21 June 2016 – A new project aimed at harmonising the language and data formats used by different railway operators in their systems has been granted initial approval towards funding by the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking, a European rail initiative promoting research and innovation into new rail product solutions. The project, titled ST4RT (Semantic Transformations for Rail Transportation), was submitted by an eight-member consortium, coordinated by UNIFE. In addition to Hit Rail, which has one of the largest budget shares, the project also brings together partners like Trenitalia, Oltis Group, CEFRIEL, UIC, Politecnico di Milano and D’Appolonia.
The announcement was made following an evaluation process by independent experts and is a significant step towards achieving the €1 million grant that will enable work to commence later in the year. It gives the ST4RT consortium the go-ahead to prepare final grant documentation within 6 weeks, with a final decision expected around October.
The ST4RT project is expected to contribute significantly to Shift2Rail’s Horizon 2020 initiative and more specifically to the 4th Innovation Programme (IT Solutions for Attractive Railway Services), aimed at developing interoperability technologies for multimodal travel solutions towards the goal of achieving the Single European Railway Area (SERA).
ST4RT will make use of components from the Shift2Rail Interoperability Framework (IF) developed in the IT2Rail “lighthouse” project, extending it for use in related Shift2Rail projects under the “Shopping, booking and ticketing of multimodal travel solutions (S2R-CFM-IP4-01-2015)” and “Travel companion and tracking services (S2R-CFM-IP4-02-2015)” IP4 calls. The project will additionally provide a use case scenario for exercising the Governance and management structure developed under the related “IF Governance (S2R-OC-IP4-01-2016)” IP4 Open Call. The participants, some of which are also involved in the original consortium of designers for the IF in IT2Rail, will perform work organised in specific work packages focused on fundamental industrial research in semantic web technologies.
A cornerstone of the project will be Work Package 5 “Pilot demonstrator of IF Converters,” where a demonstrator will be used to prove the validity and effectiveness of the semantic analysis conducted in the previous work packages. The demonstrator will make use of the HEROS platform provided by Hit Rail, a tool presenting a web services interface capable of exchanging XML booking messages, and of converting them into the formats defined by Technical Document B.5 of TAP TSI.
Antonio Lopez, General Manager of Hit Rail, said: “This is a major step forward and validation of our efforts as part of the ST4RT consortium and we look forward to working on the final documentation for Shift2Rail and also to the project work itself hopefully later in the year. The Hit Rail team will be working hard alongside our partners to make this a positive outcome.”