Upgrading Train Path Request procession, using MuleSoft & Azure

The Client

Owns, operates and develops most of Great Britain’s railway network and infrastructure. It maintains 20,000+ miles of railway track, 30,000+ bridges, tunnels, viaducts and thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. It also manages 20 of the UK’s largest railway stations, while the others (2,500+) are managed by the country’s other train operating companies.


As part of their Digital transformation process, the client decided to upgrade their data management and data processing capabilities. They wanted to adopt the new International Industry Standard data formats and move away from their legacy data file formats. With this upgrade to new systems, the old format of their Train Path requests named ‘PEX’ (similar to the .CSV format), must be converted to the International Standard TAFTAP format (XML format). This new XML format data must be stored and made available in Data Warehouse DB.


Getting the detailed train movement data, and mappings was becoming a challenge for the client. The old format data was unstructured and was difficult to understand, and reuse. A few external consultants tried to understand the older structures and solve the problem, but their efforts were unfruitful.

The Solution Delivered

Atkins & AdfarTech collaborated on the project. The first challenge we solved was to understand the older data processing processes, and then clearly draft the project requirements and business cases. Subsequently the solution was developed using the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform in its centre for System Integration; Azure Cosmos DB for data lookups, audit and logging; Azure Synapse for persisting both XML & JSON data and for Analytics. The solution was successfully deployed, and the customer is now able to easily use the newly formatted data. This data is now being used to generate all the required operational reports and analytics around the train movement.

Technologies used:

The integrated toolset that enabled this:

  • Business Processing Implementation – MuleSoft AnyPoint Platform
  • Visual representation of mappings – Microsoft Visio
  • Master/Reference Data – Azure Cosmos DB
  • Data Warehouse DB – Azure Synapse
  • File Storage – Azure Storage Account
  • CI/CD – Azure Repository

Key benefits:

  • Automation of the conversion of conventional Train Path Request files format from PEX, to industry standard XML formats. Hence delivering efficiency and saving a lot of time.
  • The data is classified/segregated and stored appropriately, so that it is easy for users to consume the data easily as and when required.
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