Rail Day

“The future of the French and German Rail Systems”

The French and German rail systems are in crisis; not only that, as core components of the sector within Europe, their future will be decisive for everyone concerned.
Organised by UTP and German operators’ association VDV with the support of Fer de France and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), the Rail Day will bring together French, German and other European rail transport stakeholders to discuss the future of existing systems. International guests will be further broadening the picture, sharing experiences from their respective countries.




Opening ▼

Jean-Pierre FARANDOU, President, Urban and Rail Transport Union (UTP)
Oliver WOLFF, General Manager, Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV)


Railway network and train stations: safety, interoperability, competition and performance? ▼

Proposed by the European Commission in January 2013, the fourth railway package aims at creating a single European railway area. Its technical pillar, eagerly awaited in France, should remove the technical and administrative obstacles to trains’ access to European networks. However, will these structural and technical reforms allow a Europe of railways to emerge? Can almost 16 000 specific national features, some of which are not covered by European texts, continue to be maintained?

Josef DOPPELBAUER, Executive Director, European Railway Agency (ERA)
Jacques GOUNON, CEO, Eurotunnel Group
Patrick JEANTET, President, SNCF Réseau
Agnès OGIER, CEO, Thalys


Railway industry and engineering: how can these unite to be stronger in a globalised market? ▼

With its technological expertise (high speed, automatic trains, tramway, track devices, etc.), France is ranked third in the world, after China and Germany. France generates an annual turnover of more than EUR 4 billion, about a third of which comes from export activities. Faced with a diminishing European market of rolling stock and strong Chinese competition, what structuring strategy can ensure that the industry survives? What levers can be used, notably in terms of innovation and inclusion of SMEs?

Elisabeth BORNE, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Systra; CEO, RATP; Board Member, Fer de France
Benoit GACHET, Product Marketing Manager, Bombardier Transportation
Andreas KNITTER, Senior Vice-President, Alstom Europe
Martin LANGE, Board Member, Knorr Bremse
Louis NÈGRE, President, French Railway Industries Association (FIF); President, French Transportation Authorities Association (GART)
Karina RIGBY, Vice-President Business Development and Strategy, Siemens


Buffet lunch (Drouant restaurant)


Can railway freight be competitive? ▼

Alhough the French rail freight market seems to have stabilised since 2013, it has kept decreasing in the last 15 years. Given the domination of road transport which falls short of paying all costs of using the infrastructure, what urgent and fundamental decisions need to be made by players in the railway system to ensure that this mode, which in fact offers real advantages in terms of respect for the environment, is appealing?

Philippe BIHOUIX, International Director Rail & Intermodal transport, SNCF Logistics
Denis CHOUMERT, President, Freight Transport Users Association (AUTF)
Dominique DENORMANDIE, Chairman, Groupement National des Transports Combinés (GNTC)
Alain THAUVETTE, Board Member, West Region DB Cargo


Regional passenger transport: is competition the cure-all? ▼

One of the main objectives of the fourth railway package was to gradually open up rail transport to competition. According to the European Commission, competition serves to improve the quality and efficiency of passenger transport by rail.
Is competition really the solution for making the rail sector more appealing?
Can it boost the competitiveness of rail in the face of other modes of transport?
Or are there other alternatives?

Jacques DAMAS, Executive Vice-President Railways and Operations, Keolis
Richard DUJARDIN, Chief executive officer of Asian Pacific, Southern and Northern Europe, Transdev
Bruno GAZEAU, President, National Federation of Transport Users Associations (FNAUT)
Alexander KIRCHNER, President, Eisenbahn und Verkehrsgewerkschaft (EVG)
Philippe RICHERT, President of the transport commission, French Regions Association (ARF)
Manfred RUDHART, CEO, Arriva
Werner SCHREINER, Project Manager, Cross-border cooperation (Rheinland-Pfalz)


From transport to mobility: talking on the new competition ▼

The growth in saving through sharing has led to the rapid expansion of new modes of transport. Buses are also securing a market share in Europe. Can the rail sector withstand the fierce competition from transport modes that are not necessarily subject to the same legal, administrative and financial constraints? What strategy should the rail industry put in place to maintain, even increase their share in the market given this new context?

Key witness: Masaki OGATA, Vice-Chairman, East-Japan Railway Company; President, International organisation for public transport (UITP)
Pierre GOURDAIN, CEO, Flixbus
Florence PARLY, General Director, SNCF Voyageurs
Manfred RUDHART, CEO, Arriva

Organised by
With the support of
Gold partner
Silver partners