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Unity x GATX joining forces to achieve EU directive challenges

The ongoing process of digital transformation in the railway industry is reaching the final hurdles. GATX leads the way for global rail leaders.

At the beginning of this year, Unity Group began cooperating with GATX Rail Europe, a global railcar leasing leader headquartered in Chicago.

Our shared goal is to implement European Union recommendations addressing a shared IT system for all railroad providers and users. The official directive, the TAF/TAP TSI, aims to define the data exchange between individual Infrastructure Managers (IMs) and IMs and Railway Undertakings (RUs).

The challenge is to share individual logistics information in the communal data exchange interface for the whole group while keeping sensitive business information safe and compatible with the entire rail network. This unification is needed to ensure transparent and accessible flow of data between all stakeholders.

This EU initiative started back in 2001, and four years ago moved to the implementation phase, which will be completed in 2021. At the moment, the rail sector already exchanges several million messages within the TAF/TAP/TSI framework every month. It means that the solution we design for GATX must be aligned with existing frameworks. The deadline, which is less than two years from now, means that work on the solution must go at a rapid pace.

This is a step we have to take as the main railcar provider in Europe. First, we need to ensure that our internal data are secure and can be shared safely within all collaborators in Europe’s rail industry. We’re positive that the partner we’ve chosen for this project will help us achieve this objective.

 

Hubert Gołębiewski, GATX

Unity delegated a team of experts for this project. The team members have significant experience in the implementation of integration projects based on the technologies selected for GATX. This diverse set of competences allowed us to conduct a thorough analysis that served as a roadmap for future action. This analysis also identified the most appropriate toolset and technology stack to deliver value and meet business and technology goals. For instance, Unity decided to use Mule ESB as a very versatile and reliable integration middleware.

Our cooperation begins with the construction of a Common Interface (CI) as part of GATX’s Cross-border TAF TSI Telematics investment initiative that is co-funded by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility. The Common Interface enables GATX and its partners to exchange relevant rail messages, based on Web Services and XML. Such unified communication is recommended by the ERA as one of the key factors in rail interoperability.

GATX Rail Europe operates a fleet of more than 23,400 tank and freight cars in Europe. By focusing on full-service leasing, extensive maintenance services, engineering solutions and attentive customer service GATX built a strong market position and is among the top three railcar leasing companies in Europe.

We’re excited about this partnership, and our large team of experts aims to deliver a functional, innovative and high-quality solution allowing GATX to lead the way for other railroad suppliers and users.

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