Utilization of reliability, availability and maintainability, RAM, as indicators for system performance appraisal has received growing attention in the railway industry to support decisions with regard to both quality assurance and maintenance planning in addition to more conventional applications such as type testing and procurement specifications. A RAM database populated with RAM information, extracted from field data, for typical railway systems can best assist from this perspective but a literature survey did not reveal any such systems in use. In contrast, other similar industries have developed and maintained RAM databases for some time. Notably the Offshore REliability DAta, OREDA, system, for the oil and gas industry is found to be the most comprehensive. It has been used as a basis for developing a database framework for the rail industry. The framework has been implemented in a web-based prototype system. Initial trial of the system has been conducted by using data on points machines provided by one rail organization. A full-scale implementation requires joint efforts of the railway industry, including revisions to data recording approaches at the organisational level.