In recent years, the railway system has been facing the various challenges of the "digital age". To increase its attractiveness, capacity, sustainability, and security, it needs to improve its' everyday operational and planning process. This can be enabled using new generation digitised and automated Traffic Management Systems (TMS). Nowadays, railway dispatchers need a TMS that offers precise and real-time traffic information as fundamental condition for effective traffic management, and whose performance can be further improved by increasing availability and diversity of sources and data, for which an effective data management platform is required. The EU-funded OPTIMA project is designing and developing a communication platform to manage the connection between several services supporting TMS applications, also enabling their testing. It represents one of the steps required for the development and implementation of a new generation of TMS. This paper describes the concept for the OPTIMA platform which will link TMS applications used by railway dispatchers with infrastructure systems such as signalling and interlocking systems, maintenance, and energy management, as well as with data services (such a weather information) with the aim of providing standardised interfaces and common data structures as basis of a common and standardised communication.
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