The Georail project is based on the decision of the Track Expert Group to opt for a geodetic support of the track construction and the net wide track maintenance in order to increase the economic efficiency and the technical quality of track work.
Georai project (Phase 1 – Feasibility) has specified the requirements for the co-ordinate reference based on the unique European Terrestrial Reference System (ETRF89), data structure and standard interfaces.
The knowledge has been the basis for elaboration and approval of the UIC leaflet 728-R.
In this leaflet, minimal basic rules are fixed to assure the full benefit of this working method for the track in terms of position during the track life cycle, temperature changes of the track and electronic support of the track data management.
These rules should guide the railway companies in their absolute co-ordinate based track work. It is intended both for railways that are introducing absolute co-ordinates, as well as railways which are in the process of updating their actual co-ordinate “systems”.
This work will guide to the application of the GIS standards (Geographic Information System) to railways with important impacts on the railway system maintenance and management and its compatibility with the terrestrial geographic systems in the new ETRS 89 reference.
It appears that best practice in this field and the increased needs for interoperability of the rail network numerical description should provide elements for the rail specific standards. Currently such standards are realised under the CEN for the road geodesy and for other systems which can take impressive advantage of the developments and efficient application of the new technologies of geographic survey and localisation, use of advanced satellite navigation and tracing, automation and remote dispatching and control.