Why OpenRail Association?

Over the years, many private or commercial initiatives have resulted in valuable, but mostly "in- house" applications or frameworks. These disconnected initiatives necessarily overlap, within a context of constrained IT development resources.

Efficiency and Rationalization of efforts

The objective of the OpenRail Association Initiative is to provide an open space to foster innovation and software development in the railway sector.

Software development activity is now an inherent part of rail operations, and all players have IT teams working on internal projects. Often using tools provided by private software publishers, these teams continually create value. They know the needs and constraints of the business. They can innovate and propose reliable technical solutions. They are already doing this, but in isolation.
OpenRail Association wishes to federate all the efforts that are made by IT teams around the world in open, collaborative, scalable and robust software projects.

IT projects by the railways and for the railways.

Meeting Basic Needs

The rail industry collectively needs a set of affordable, well-understood, reliable, and maintained software tools to perform basic analyses of their customers' needs, business assets, or environmental impact of their operations.

The choice of Open Innovation through Open Source

"no matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else"

According to Joy's Law, attributed to Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy, the brightest people - at the heart of corporate innovation - often work for others.

To face this situation, the largest companies in the world are adopting so-called open innovation strategies. Open innovation allows both to foster internal innovation thanks to the contribution of resources outside the company (flow called outside - in); and to stimulate innovation within the broader ecosystem by allowing the development of ideas outside the company's borders (flow called inside - out).

Open source is a form of open innovation designed for software development and complex systems.

From Microsoft to IBM, Tesla to Airbus, open-source methods and solutions are no longer in question. Open source consists in opening the source code of a software so that everyone can read it, use it, and suggest improvements. Everyone can adapt the software to their own requirements and needs, while sharing their innovations with a large community. Development issues are therefore shared. Bugs, their resolution and the efforts made to fix them are public, as well as the progress of new features.

Reliability / Security / Interoperability


The organisations listed below have agreed on the principles and believe in the benefits of an Open Source foundation for the railway sector. They have founded and joined the OpenRail Association, and firmly believe that Open Source is a great opportunity for this industry.

UIC logo


Deutsche Bahn logo

Deutsche Bahn

SNCF logo




Entur logo


And how about you?

We are looking forward to accept new members and make our community grow.

Learn more about how to join

Get in touch

You can reach us by sending an email to

You are also welcome to join the OpenRail mailing list for general discussions and announcements. This is the best way to be informed about updates.