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Eclipse Signalling Engineering Toolbox

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 05:41 by Reiner Brödel
This proposal is in the Project Proposal Phase (as defined in the Eclipse Development Process) and is written to declare its intent and scope. We solicit additional participation and input from the community. Please login and add your feedback in the comments section.
Parent Project
Proposal State

An important part of the railway infrastructure is the signalling technology of the interlockings. This technology is planned by the railway infrastructure manager prior to installation by the manufacturer. Todays planning data is still exchanged as printed-on-paper plans (tables, maps, ie.). 

In the interest of data-based planning, an object model for the signalling systems was created as an XML schema provided under a custom copyleft license (PlanPro model under RailPL, see This was done by a joint working group under lead of DB Netz AG.

The goal is to exchange all future planning data in this common file format. This requires all software involved in the process of railyway signaling system planning, to adapt the new model and file format. This includes, among others, the planning software used by railway infrastructure manager for creation of plannings but also the custom toolset of the railway signaling manufacturers for importing and further processing the planning data at the time of manufacturing a planned interlocking.

Whereas the creation of new custom planning software and toolsets for the manufacturers are not done by the joint working group itself but by its members and interested parties, there was quickly identified a urgent need for a common tool set.

This tool set for the new file format shall include in a first step means for:

  • initialization
  • managing 
  • testing
  • validation
  • visualization
  • creation of official planning documentation
  • merging

of instances of the object model for the railway interlocking signalling technology.

Therefore the development of the Signalling Engineering Toolbox was started to fullfill these requirements and to make it available to the joint working group and interested parties.


Eclipse Signalling Engineering Toolbox provides essential components of the tool chain to manage initialization, testing, validation and visualization of the object model for the railway interlocking signalling technology.


The main purpose of this project is the ongoing development and maintainance of the Eclipse Signalling Engineering Toolbox (in the following simly called toolbox). 

The toolbox, as aforementioned, provides means for initialization, managing, testing, validation, visualization, documentation and merging of instances of the object model for the railway interlocking signalling technology.

The toolbox itself is a Eclipse E4 RCP application built around Eclipse Modelling Technologies. It relies heavily on a EMF model and associated model based technologies, like Xtend transformations, EMF Forms and others.

The toolbox and its technology shall be available to all members and interested parties. The goal is to have a common technology core for using the toolbox as widely accepted standalone product as well as the possibility to use its technology, ie. emf model, in derived custom solutions.

Why Here?

The Toolbox has so far been licensed under EPL to ensure multilateral usability and further development. It relies heavily on Eclipse technologies. While other industrie sectors are already covered by Eclipse projects and working groups this project would introduce the railway infrastructure sector to the Eclipse community. We would like to benefit from the existing processes and infrastructure of the foundation to foster a growing community in the railway infrastructure sector.

Project Scheduling

The developement version of the toolbox is currently under testing and should be productive by the end of 2018 based on PlanPro data model version 1.8.0.


Future Work

The Planpro data model version 1.9.0 will be released in early 2019. Subsequently the toolbox will adapt the new version.

Interested Parties
  • Railway Infrastructure Manager (DB Netz AG and others)
  • Manufacturers of interlockings (Scheidt & Bachmann and others) 
  • planing engineers (WSP, Signon, Graband & Partner and others) 
  • safety authorities 
  • other parties of railway applications (simulation, timetabling, visualisation...).
Initial Contribution

The active contributions are made by Scheidt & Bachmann Systemtechnik GmbH Kiel, Technische Universität Dresden and Deutsche Bahn (particular DB Netz AG).

The initial contribution can be done as soon as the project proposal is accepted.

Source Repository Type