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The Residual World::Tag = 'Strategy'

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RSSB - Research and Development - The (UK) Railway Functional Architecture (RFA)

by Nic Plum on Thursday 23 December, 2010 - 22:57 GMT

Posted in Architecture FrameworkTRAKNews

Tags: researchrssbseastrategytraktsaguk


Research streams are managed by the RSSB on behalf of the UK Technical Strategy Advisory Group (TSAG). An idea of the context for both organisations is provided within the demonstration architecture description on this site.

From the UK Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) - Research & Development e-Newsletter - Issue. 66 October 2010.

Research in Progress. T912 The Railway Functional Architecture

The Railway Functional Architecture (RFA) research project was commissioned by RSSB on behalf of the Technical Strategy Advisory Group (TSAG). It is intended to identify, at a fairly high level of abstraction, the technology-based functions that must be performed for a modern railway to operate.

The output of this work will be a model that builds on the rail architecture framework (TRAK), which was developed for generic use within the rail industry. In early 2011 we will publish the RFA on the RSSB/TSAG website. A master copy will be retained by RSSB in an enterprise architect project file (.EAP) to be made available on request for organisations that want to manipulate or further develop the model.

An architectural framework (ie TRAK) was used to ensure the creation of a model that is well structured and governed by documented rules, so that it could be maintained and extended without undue effort. Architecture frameworks are commonly used in information technology and information system governance. Because, like the railway, these disciplines are so broad and because the enterprises in which they are engaged can be large and complex, the models associated with the discipline also tend to be large and complex.

The RFA has been subject to iterative improvements as a consequence of discussions both with individual industry experts and with stakeholders in workshop sessions. We acknowledge the input of the following organisations: ATOC, Network Rail, Birmingham University Centre for Rail Research, RFG, LUL, DfT, RIA, Transport Scotland, Crossrail.

The work may aid in: identifying where commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and ‘plug and play’ technologies may be employed; where ‘open systems’ architectures and ‘lean’ systems may be introduced; eliminating systems which duplicate functions; and shortening product development cycles by putting a standard architecture in place. Several other uses have become apparent as the model has been developed and those will be described in more detail when the finished product is published.

An overview of this work was presented at the INCOSE UK Annual Systems Engineering Conference (ASEC) 2010 by Andy Prior (Systems Engineering and Assessment Ltd.)

Work is underway to investigate the feasibility of releasing the architecture description for the railway functional architecture as open source in early 2011.


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    Inaugral TRAK Steering Group Meeting Planned

    by Nic Plum on Friday 16 July, 2010 - 13:13 GMT

    Posted in Architecture FrameworkTRAKNewsStandards

    Tags: londonmeetingstandardstrategytrak

    TRAK LogoAs TRAK gains traction and chuffs its way into the daylight .... [groan]

    As a standard for an enterprise architecture framework TRAK is in its forming phase wherein we try to set out the mechanisms to control the releases of the formal documentation and to involve people. The very first part of this is to try and get the TRAK Steering Group established so that it can subsequently co-ordinate proposals made by TRAK Working Groups (remembering that it is being run along the lines [snuck another pun in wink ] of the Internet Engineering Task Force).

    The TRAK Steering Group will be chaired by the UK Department for Transport and the first meeting is to be held on the 29th July 2010 at Great Minster House, London 11:00 to 13:00. The main subject is concerned with getting the necessary governance mechanisms/instruments in place.

    Part of this will involve developing a strategy for which an trakmetamodel and trakviewpoints documents that form the logical definition of TRAK.

    It is still being worked on and is far from complete but the thought was to try and get it out into the open to promote discussion, attract suggestions in terms of the points it should make and provide some of the reading material for those attending the meeting.

    The outline strategy is being worked on.

    If anyone has constructive suggestions for what should be in the document now is the time to say so!


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      Demonstration Repository - TRAK - UK Rail Research, Strategy & Regulation, et al

      by Nic Plum on Sunday 06 December, 2009 - 15:13 GMT

      Posted in Architecture FrameworkTRAKArchitecture Modelling

      Tags: architecture descriptiondemonstrationmodelrailresearchsparx systems enterprise architectstrategytrak

      A demonstration or sample repository has been created (and is ongoing) with the following aims:-

      • testing the framework out - is it capable of representing the types of thing and relationships/dependencies in the rail and other industries (TRAK is a generic framework)?
      • testing the plugin for Sparx Systems’ Enterprise Architect - see also Sparx Systems
      • developing the higher levels of a modelling repository - enterprise/capability, operational and the major projects and organisations
      • providing a set of objects that can be re-used
      • personal learning - interested to understand where everything fits
      • example of modelling using the framework so that others can get a feel for types of views, contents and organisation of models for easy navigation/understanding [not easy!]

      It contains a partial description of UK transport strategy together with elements of the technical research and regulation of the rail sector. It also contains views attempting to place the UK anti-/counter-terrorist (CONTEST) in context. It is a (slowly!) evolving thing.

      Demo Repository

        Sample model

      The demo repository is at


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