A single, integrated database to store inputs from multiple, and multidisciplinary wayside systems is a pre-requisite for cross-correlation of data, and the development of intelligent algorithms to determine alarm levels and automate decision making. Australian rail operators run on three track gauges, operate a mix of American, European and uniquely Australian rolling stock, and lack a unified set of interchange standards, making the development of operational and condition monitoring rules a complex task.
Over the years, Wayside Equipment vendors have adopted different database architectures and data structures for their proprietary systems. Recognizing the need for an industry-wide standard, Pacific National and Track Owners in Australia have initiated a project to develop the architecture for an integrated, open database to capture and store data feeds from multiple wayside systems, from different suppliers. This paper describes the objectives, constraints, challenges and projected benefits of the project for the track owner and the rail operator, and the planned implementation of an integrated condition monitoring database in the Australian rail environment.