What is NeTEx for?

NeTEx provides a means to exchange data for passenger information such as stops, routes timetables and fares, among different computer systems, together with related operational data. It can be used to collect and integrate date from many different stakeholders, and to reintegrate it as  it evolves through succesive versions.

What are the NeTEx deliverables?

The NeTEx deliverables comprise:

  • CEN Specification document in three parts;
  • A data model presented in UML notation and available in electronic form that can be viewed with design tools:
  • W3C XML schema providing a formal electronic description that can be used by data processing software.  Some example XML documents encoding different transport data sets are also provided with the schema.

What Sort of Information Does NeTEx Exchange?

All three parts covered by NeTEx use the same framework of reusable components, versioning mechanisms, validity conditions, global identification mechanisms, etc., defined in a NeTEx framework in Part1.  NeTEx also includes, container elements called “version frames” to group data into coherent sets for efficient exchange.

NeTEx schema can thus be used to exchange:

  • Public Transport schedules including stops, routes, departures times / frequencies, operational notes, and map coordinates.
  • Routes with complex topologies such as circular routes, cloverleaf and lollipops, and complex workings such as short working and express patterns. Connections with other services can also be described
  • The days on which the services run, including availability on public holidays and other exceptions.
  • Composite journeys such as train journeys that merge or split trains
  • Information about the Operators providing the service.
  • Additional operational information, including, positioning runs, garages, layovers, duty crews, useful for AVL and on-board ticketing systems.
  • Data about the Accessibility of services to passengers with restricted mobility.
  • Data is versioned with management metadata allowing updates across distributed systems
  • Fare structures, (flat fares, point to point fares, zonal fares)
  • Fare products (Single tickets, return tickets, day, and season passses etc)
  • Fare prices that apply at specific dates

How is NeTEx used?

Data in NeTEx format is encoded as XML documents that must conform exactly to the schema – conformance can be checked automatically by standard XML validator tools. The schema can also be used to create bindings to different programming languages to assist automating part of the implementation process for creating software that supports NeTEx formats.

A NeTEx service need only implement those elements of relevance to its business objectives – extraneous elements present in the binding can be ignored. Parties using NeTEx for a particular purpose will typically define a “profile” to identify the elements that must be present and the code sets to be used to identify them.

How is data exchanged between systems?

Documents in NeTEx format are computer files that can be exchanged by a wide variety of protocols (http, FTP, email, portable media, etc). NeTEx publication documents can be used to define files suitable for the bulk exchange of XML documents representing whole data sets (for example all the timetables for an operator).  In addition, a SIRI based NeTEx protocol is specified for use by online web services. It defines NeTEx request and response messages that can be used to request and return data in NeTEx format, and also publish/subscribe messages for push distribution. The responses return a NeTEx XML document that satisfies the request criteria (and also conforms to the NeTEx schema). There is a WSDL binding for this NeTEx service to make it easy to implement services.

NeTEx XML thus serialises complex PT models into a standard flat file format that can be processed cheaply and efficiently using mainstream modern computer technologies.

Model  documents and UML Diagrams