Erika Nissi, from the International Union of Railways, spoke about their particular situation regarding this European Directive. They want to move on that direction, and they will comply eventually, but railways have a lot of other Directives and Regulations to which they must comply too, they will be focusing primarily on their business needs.
In particular, they have to create by the end of 2015 a full European dataset with the railway infrastructure information from each country, and geo-spatial location is only part of it. They face problems similar to the other economic sectors of quality of data, granularity (for example the junction information foreseen in Inspire is not detailed enough for their operational needs) and on top of that, the lack of means because of the economic crisis.
In the future they will contribute with a unified technical infrastructure dataset, but also consume many of other available cross-border information, like land leveling, city layouts or vegetation information when the train crosses a forest. Knowing urbanization plans would help them plan new lines; traffic density will help adjusting to the needed train capacities; weather forecasts will improve the estimated time schedule, improving customer satisfaction. They could also evaluate the economic impact of new TGV lines…
I’ll just stop here, if you can imagine more possibilities, please leave them in a comment 🙂