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Applying IFC 4.3 for Rail Project

Project Overview

The need from the appointing parties is to require the usage of IFC 4.3 in the contracts where a railway BIM model is to be delivered. One of the necessary (but not sufficient) conditions to address this need is the capability of software solutions to import/export data in IFC 4.3 format, where the data produced by the appointed party meet the requirements of the appointing party.

To address above mentioned industry expectation, the bSI RailwayRoom sets up the Applying IFC 4.3 for Rail (aIFC4Rail) project, as the subsequent project of IFC Rail Phase 2. This project aims to expedite the availability of IFC 4.3 in software solutions. It expects to:

  • Continue the established cooperation and collaboration with software vendors
  • Enable business-case-driven implementation and validation processes to:
    • formally deliver requirements about IFC 4.3 usage from appointing parties that can be used in contracts;
    • formally deliver requirements for software capabilities from appointed parties to software vendors to implement.
    • check the IFC data quality that can be produced from software;
    • validate the requirements by railway experts (including requirements from appointing parties and requirements from appointed parties to software).
  • Execute prioritized business cases following the implementation and validation process.

The set of processes and solutions, together with the lessons learnt by their usage for prioritized business cases, will be documented as the project’s results. They should be a general approach that is not only applicable to prioritized business cases in this project but also can be used by stakeholders for other business cases in the future.

Project Organization and Execution

The aIFC4Rail project is under the governance of the project steering committee in bSI RailwayRoom. This committee has representatives from SBB, CRBIM, Trafikverket, FTIA, MINnD, SNCF, and RFI, who are also project stakeholders of IFC Rail Project and Phase 2.

The work of this project is organized by work packages, each of which focuses on one aspect or one step in the project.


Project management office that leads the project.

WP2: Solutions ecosystem

Provides solutions and procedures to execute WPs

WP3: Requirements collection

Derives and categorizes requirements from business cases

WP4: Tests creation & Rules definition

Defines test cases and specifies requirements using formal rules

WP5: Software implmentation

Platform tests to demonstrate fulfilment of requirements

WP6: Validation

Validates results of test cases

Railway Room aIFC4 Rail Project Stakeholders
Railway Room aIFC4 Rail Project Stakeholders
Work Packages of aIFC4 Rail Project
Work Packages of aIFC4 Rail Project

Prioritized Business Cases

BC-001: IFC Model Federation

IFC Model Federation

A modelling activity usually involves multiple modellers work collaboratively, who need to produce several IFC models that can be federated in a multi-disciplinary railway model and that also must be federated with infrastructure models like bridges, roads, tunnels, earthworks, drainage, utilities, geotechnics, etc … and building models as well.

This business case aims to define requirements A) for the appointed parties to guarantee that the models they produce can be federated, and B) for the software vendors so that they are able to federate IFC railway models and to generate relevant views to control and analyze the federated models. It requires tackling all the relevant topics including model setup and georeferencing, spatial structure, alignment and linear positioning and relevant views of the federated models.

BC-002: Stationing on Alignment

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Railway experts often refer to an element's location through its mileage, which is further directly related to the alignment. The purpose of this business case is to establish the relationship between mileage and its corresponding position information, so that it becomes possible for the experts to retrieve the information about an element’s mileage, obtaining the location information of any mileage point or get the mileage of any location on the line.

To address all these needs, this business case requires agreeing on the information required by appointing parties and software capabilities that should be implemented. This business case applies to all domains in the railway, and it is relevant, especially during the construction and maintenance phases of the railway asset.

BC-003: Cabling for Railway Infrastructure

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(Copyright Egis)

This business case mainly includes a cabling system, cable laying infrastructure and relevant elements placed along the railway. This requires managing the geometrical view for these elements including their positioning and offsets along an alignment, and a practical interface to specific cabling management systems that edit and maintain the network and topological view of cables.

This business case applies to several domain models (telecom, signal, and energy), and it is relevant, during detailed design, construction and maintenance phases and BIM uses. High-voltage cables are out of the scope of this business case.

Project Deliverables

The aIFC4Rail project expects to produce major deliverables as follows.

  • A document that defines the process with specific instructions on templates, methods and tools to requirement definitions, implementation and validation of business cases, produce results for a wide variety of business case requirements up to the business case test validation report.
  • A representative list of business cases. This list is decided as described in
  • Prioritized Business Cases.
  • For each business case, produce the following deliverables:

    • A requirement report (of all kinds of requirements)
    • Test cases with datasets and formalized rules and validation criteria
    • IFC 4.3 files and evidence of implementation provided by software vendors
    • A validation report that reports the result of the implementation of the business case

Call for Participation

buildingSMART International and the stakeholders of the aIFC4Rail project are inviting railway companies, software vendors and software developers to join. In the year 2022 and early 2023 the major rail operators expects IFC 4.3 to be available in software products and can prove to support key capabilities required by the prioritized business cases.

What is your advantage and why should you join this initiative to make the IFC 4.3 standard available in software products?

  • Addressing a future multi-billion market which is forced to be digitalized in the next 5 years at the source of digitalization
  • Getting important business-know-how from the rail experts in your future or actual customer base
  • Using SPOC’s in an existing well-doing worldwide collaborating team in the major rail assets owner
  • Immediate understanding of the priorities in the rail infrastructure standard
  • Getting information and a test base for the IFC Infrastructure 4.3 Standard
  • Be assured, that the members of this group wants to achieve quick results and therefore the duration of this project is limited. (No never-ending stories!)

Contact us below to be in touch with the Applying IFC 4.3 for Rail project team.

Fill out your details below to be in touch with the Applying for IFC 4.3 for Rail project team