Ten-year SaaS contract gives Dutch infrastructure manager connectivity for infrastructure, freight and passenger services in line with EU TSI specifications
Utrecht, 27 January 2020 – ProRail, the Dutch railway Infrastructure Manager has awarded Hit Rail B.V., the European rail industry’s IT specialist, a ten-year contract for the hosting and operation of the Common Interface (“CI”). With effect from October 2019, Hit Rail has installed and is now hosting and operating the CI by providing it to ProRail as Software as a Service (SaaS) on its cloud IT platform, hosted at Amazon AWS. Connectivity with ProRail’s internal systems and railway partners will be established either over Hit Rail’s secure Hermes VPN or the Internet.
The Common Interface is the standard solution for interoperable connectivity for the European Union’s TAF (Freight) and TAP (Passenger) Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) and is recommended by the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA). In order to help support the industry’s efforts to achieve compliance, Hit Rail is able to offer to host and operate the CI software on behalf of railway companies.
The contract follows Hit Rail’s recent IT infrastructure changes including last year the completion of the migration of its IT platform to the public cloud. The move to AWS public cloud was a response to the changing landscape in the railway industry with ever faster digitalisation of services and products, and the drive towards greater operational efficiencies. Hit Rail’s cloud platform is a robust, reliable and scalable IT infrastructure on which to offer new, innovative IT services to railway companies.
Antonio Lopez, general manager of Hit Rail, said: “The CI cloud-based services Hit Rail is providing to ProRail are critical for ProRail’s mandatory exchange of TAF/TAP TSI messages with other Infrastructure Manager and Railway Undertakings at national and cross-border levels. This will help to improve the efficiency and transparency of services and we are delighted to be able to support them in taking the next step in pan-European compliance.”
Martijn Wagenmakers, project manager at ProRail: “The speed, competence and dedication of Hit Rail to deliver the offered solution was a pleasure to witness. The people involved are proactive and always available to answer any questions, also very knowledgeable about the services they provide.”
Mike Levy, product manager at ProRail: “Hit Rail provides us with a reliable, professional and compliant service from a technology and security standpoint, that makes it possible to cut down our overhead costs, and lets us offer a reliable 24/7 solution for communication with other infra managers and our railway undertakings."
ProRail is responsible for the Dutch railway network. Together with railway undertakings, we are committed to get travellers and goods to their destination safely and on time 24/7. We want to run more trains, in a safe way and with less disruption, now and in the future. We always do this with attention to our influence on the environment and society.
ProRail is the manager of the main railway network in the Netherlands, which relates to the following activities:
- the maintenance of the main railway network,
- the preparation and performance of the expansion of the main railway network,
- the fair, non-discriminatory and transparent allocation of capacity of the main railway network,
- control of the traffic on the main railway network,
ProRail also carries out work for third parties, which is linked to the aforementioned management tasks or to mobility issues in the broader sense of the word.
About Hit Rail B.V.
Hit Rail B.V. is a private Dutch company created in 1990 and owned by European railway companies. Its purpose is to help European railway companies to carry out international projects in the related fields of data communications and information technology.
Hit Rail B.V. provides secure telecommunications and IT services to the growing and rapidly changing European Railways community. It connects more than 50 railway companies from 23 countries through its secure IP-based Hermes virtual private network (VPN). The company also provides a range of IT services based on a cloud middleware platform directly connected to the Hermes VPN.