About us

Who we are

WHO WE ARE

About our association
  • The Alliance of Passenger Rail New Entrants (ALLRAIL) is the European non-profit association of independent passenger rail companies, such as rail operators and ticket vendors.
  • Established in May 2017 in Brussels, ALLRAIL has the status of an official representative body for the EU rail sector since 2019.
  • We are ‘the’ NGO pushing for faster market opening in the national, European and global passenger rail market.
  • More competition has been proven to lower fares, improve service quality, increase frequencies and drive modal shift to rail, for the benefit of the environment.

MISSION

ALLRAIL seeks fair competition and market opening in passenger rail
  • The current modal share of passenger rail does not suffice to achieve Europe's climate goals
  • Passenger rail must become more innovative and attractive than other less sustainable modes of transport
  • For this, the only solution is to introduce non-discriminatory conditions and real competition
  • In the few occurrences of rail market opening in Europe, competition has led to positive results: better quality, reduced fares, new jobs, greater efficiency, and modal shift to rail

CHALLENGE

Passenger rail should be the backbone of a European multimodal network
  • Discrimination against independent passenger rail companies frightens desperately needed private investment away from the rail sector
  • Such discrimination mainly concerns the access to the neutral infrastructure of passenger rail (tracks, rolling stock, maintenance facilities, and ticketing systems)
  • All market participants should have equal access to these. Competition should be about which company makes the best use of them and make its rail offering the most attractive for consumers

VISION

We share a common vision: ‘rail transport as a service’ driven by passenger needs
  • Our vision resonates with the EU 4th Railway Package: encouraging competition and innovation in domestic and cross-border passenger rail markets
  • Our members have demonstrated that it has been possible to introduce new services, improve the rail ticket booking experience and consequently achieve modal shift to rail
  • Now we need to be able to roll out these examples on a truly European wide scale to achieve a true Single European Rail Area
     

For the Future of Passenger Rail

Staff

Nick Brooks

Secretary General
nick.brooks@allrail.eu +32 479 07 08 06
Nick has a background in trying to make passenger rail more competitive. Previously, he was Head of EU Affairs at the online rail ticket retail platform Trainline. Prior to that, he spent several years as Head of Sales & Business Development at the startup long distance passenger rail operator Hamburg-Cologne Express (‘HKX’) in Germany. Nick gained his first experience in competitive public transport by working for the low-cost airline Frontier Airlines in Denver, USA. He has an MBA from Purdue University, Indiana, USA and an MSc Finance from Colorado University in Denver.

Barbora Lovecká

Senior Policy Adviser
barbora.mickova@allrail.eu +420 724 017 801
Barbora advocates European and national public stakeholders for non-discriminatory and transparent regulation for customer-oriented, effective, and competitive rail.
  • Currently on maternity leave

Salim Benkirane

Policy Officer
salim.benkirane@allrail.eu +32 487 87 98 38
Prior to joining ALLRAIL, Salim gained knowledge and experience in European rail transport policy as a Schuman trainee at European parliament’s Committee of Transports and Tourism (TRAN). He studied in Morocco and Belgium. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in International Relations.

Katharina Dekeyser

Policy Coordinator
katharina.dekeyser@allrail.eu +32 479 07 07 73
Katharina has gained previous experience in European transport policies during her Bluebook traineeship at the European Commission's Directorate for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE). She studied in Poland and Belgium and holds a bachelor's degree in political science as well as a master's degree in international relations. Katharina speaks English, Polish, French and Dutch.

Marc Planas Blanco

Intern Policy Assistant
marc.planas@allrail.eu
Having recently earned an MSc in International Political Economy and holding a bachelor's degree in International Relations and Economics, Marc is a young graduate with a longstanding passion for the European passenger rail industry, in which he specialized during his dissertation. A dual citizen of Switzerland and Spain, Marc fluently speaks English, French, Spanish, and Catalan.

Arthur Kamminga

ALLRAIL Benelux Representative
arthur.kamminga@allrail.eu
Arthur is a legal expert who describes himself as a “market regulation activist” committed to the development of a fair and competitive European rail market. He gained experience with consultancy on public transport tenders and contributed to the opening of the long distance bus market, before shifting his attention to the opening of the Dutch and European rail markets and enforcement of the PSO Regulation. Arthur is a regulation expert, consulting for various companies in a competitive public transport market, and has master degrees in both Economic Geography and Dutch Law & Governance.

Board of directors

The Board of Directors is elected by a General Assembly of member company representatives. The Board meets four times a year and has ultimate decision-making powers for the management and administration of the Association.

Dr. Erich Forster

President ALLRAIL
former CEO of WESTbahn
Erich Forster, former CEO of WESTbahn Management GmbH and Executive Director of its parent company Rail Holding AG, started his career working for the Austrian rail incumbent ÖBB. He acquired extensive knowledge of the sector in different positions in freight transport, market research, marketing and as manager of long-distance passenger transport. Supervisory board activities and international projects enlarged his overall know-how. Erich Forster believes in competition in the railway sector in order to increase its attractiveness through affordable prices and excellent quality. On the European level he chairs ALLRAIL, the Alliance of Rail New Entrants. This union of private rail companies and ticket vendors aims at advancing the railway industry for the benefit of the customers and the climate.

Erik Hellners

Vice-President ALLRAIL
General Counsel MTR Nordic Group
MTR is regarded as one of the world's leading railway operators for safety, reliability, customer service and cost efficiency. MTR is active on the open access rail market in Europe through MTRX, which began its operations in Sweden in 2015. As a new entrant on a market with high barriers to entry, it is vital that the rules are transparent, reasonable and applied in a non-discriminatory fashion. MTR strives to achieve a level playing field in order to be able to compete with the old incumbent and often state-owned rail operators in Europe. To safeguard and promote MTR’s interests, it is necessary to join forces with others and through ALLRAIL actively work to enhance and secure an efficient and competitive environment as well as sound market conditions for the benefit of the rail passengers and tax payers. Erik Hellners is a corporate and competition law attorney with substantial in-house legal experience with a strong commercial focus. Erik has a background in the airline industry and in private practice both in Brussels and Stockholm.

Lord Tony Berkeley

Honourary Board Director
Tony Berkeley is a founder Board member of ALLRAIL, and recently retired director of the European Rail Freight Association and Chairman of the Rail Freight Group in the UK. He has worked on European rail issues for many years since helping to build the Channel Tunnel and is a member of the UK House of Lords. Tony was Vice Chairman of the Oakervee Review, set up by the Prime Minister in August 2019 to report on whether HS2 should be built or not. Tony is Honorary President of the UK Maritime Pilots Association and, in the UK Parliament, is a Vice President of the All Party Cycling and Walking Group. He is a member of the ‘Goods Sub-Committee’ of the House of Lords European Committee. He lives in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with his wife Marian.

Tom Buchhold

Board Director
EU Public Affairs Manager, Flix
Tom Buchhold has joined Flix in 2015 and held various positions within the group. He moved to the Brussels representation of the company in 2020, where he is in charge of legislative and regulatory topics concerning FlixTrain on the European level. Flix is driving the future of smart and sustainable travel and sees a strong need to foster the modal shift to collective means of transport in the EU. Flix is closely collaborating with ALLRAIL, supporting it in its work with the EU institutions to ensure fair and equal conditions for all market players. Consequently, Flix is convinced that ALLRAIL is key in developing common positions for the rail sector in order to increase the sustainability and attractiveness of railway services for everyone across Europe.

Ian Chaplin

Board Director
Senior Advisor at Omio
Omio's pioneering platform allows customers to find the fastest, cheapest and best travel options by train, bus and flight to thousands of cities, towns and villages across Europe and beyond. Being part of Allrail helps us to continue to provide and expand these services for customers by seeking to ensure fair market conditions for new railway companies and ticket vendors alike.

Alix Lecadre

Board Director
Bids and Railways Expertise Director at Transdev
From 2020 to April 2022 Alix served as Mobility and Infrastructures Advisor for the French Minister in charge of territorial cohesion and relationships with local authorities. She started her career at SNCF as contract manager of a public regional railways network. Alix also worked as regional Head of Public Affairs and Public Consultation for the infrastructure manager SNCF Réseau. She worked then as Mobility and Infrastructure Adviser to the French regions association as they wanted to share their expertise together and lead negotiations together with SNCF, which was still a monopoly. She had then the opportunity to widen her expertise becoming Deputy of the General Director of Région Pays de la Loire in charge of mobility. Alix graduated in 2019 from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration and holds a double master degree in political sciences and public transport operations.

Richard Stuart

Board Director
Director, Vectura Advisory, for Angel Trains
Richard Stuart has 30 years experience in passenger rail, working across a number of European countries. He represents Angel Trains at AllRail, a leading train asset management company. He is also the Director of Vectura Advisory, a consultancy business focused on liberalised passenger rail markets. Starting his career in rail operations, his experience encompasses rolling stock procurement and leasing, business development and tendering for PSO contracts. He has been responsible for the entry into the German and Nordic markets for a leading train operator. He has advised train operators, governments and rolling stock lessors on policy and tendering across a number of European markets. Richard strongly believes that increased competition in the railway sector can deliver improved services and quality for passengers, while improving efficiency and industry costs.

Alvaro Ungurean

Board Director
Commercial Director Europe, International Train at Trip.com group
Alvaro Unguren is a dedicated professional from the travel tech industry. Currently serving as the Commercial Director, Europe - International Train at Trip.com Group, he passionately believes that rail passenger transportation is a key element of the multimodal network. In this role, Alvaro oversees the company's international train operations across Europe. Alvaro is an advocate for an open and competitive rail market, firmly believing in the transformative power of market openness to drive innovation, efficiency, and consumer choice within the rail industry. He fully supports ALLRAIL's commendable efforts in creating a level playing field, fostering fair competition, and championing policies that promote equitable opportunities for all stakeholders, and which will ultimately be most beneficial for rail passengers.