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Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
ITS Joint Program Office

Application Areas

Rail Coordination


This center-to-center application area covers the interface between a traffic management center (TMC) and a rail operations center. The interface supports the following exchanges:
  • From the rail operations center to the TMC - information about train movements and maintenance activities that could impact highway-rail intersections
  • From the TMC to the rail operations center - information about conditions at or near the highway-rail intersection (HRI), including obstructions or equipment failure, that might interfere with passing trains.

This graphic shows the scope of the Center to Center Rail Coordination application area.  This scope is described in the preceding text.
National ITS Architecture Interface
This application area includes the interface between Rail Operations and the Traffic Management Subsystem (TMS). Rail Operations provides the TMS with train schedules, maintenance schedules, and other information concerning upcoming highway-rail intersection (HRI) closures. Rail Operations uses this interface to notify the TMS when a rail incident, stalled train, or some other obstruction may impact vehicle traffic. This impact could be the blockage of an HRI or it could be something happening near a roadway that may impact traffic. In turn, the TMS provides information to Rail Operations concerning HRI equipment failure, intersection blockage, highway incidents, or maintenance activities at or near an HRI that might interfere with the safe operation of passing trains. Finally, the health and/or status of the wayside equipment and field equipment can be shared between the centers.

Applicable Standards

In general, the following standards are applicable to Rail Coordination deployments. To determine which specific standards are applicable for a deployment you will need to determine which architecture flows will be needed for the Rail Coordination piece of your deployment. Contact your local FHWA ITS Division Specialist or an ITS Standards Program Field Support Team contact

Standard Development Status
NTCIP 1102 Octet Encoding Rules (OER) Base Protocol; Published
NTCIP 1104 Center-to-Center Naming Convention Specification; Published
NTCIP 2104 Ethernet Subnetwork Profile; Published
NTCIP 2202 Internet (TCP/IP and UDP/IP) Transport Profile; Published
NTCIP 2303 File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Application Profile; Published
NTCIP 2304 Application Profile for DATEX-ASN (AP-DATEX); Published
NTCIP 2306 Application Profile for XML Message Encoding and Transport in ITS Center-to-Center Communications (C2C XML); Published
NTCIP 8003 Profile Framework; Published
NTCIP 9001 NTCIP Guide; Published
SAE J2266 Location Referencing Message Specification (LRMS); Published
Deployment Resources
Deployment resources can be found in the deployment resources section.