About us

Who we are

Who we are

Alliance of Rail New Entrants (ALLRAIL) is the European non-profit association of independent passenger rail companies, both rail operators and ticket vendors. ALLRAIL was established in May 2017, and is based in Brussels, Belgium. ALLRAIL has the status of an EU representative body.

Mission

ALLRAIL seeks fair competition, non-discriminatory conditions and market opening in passenger rail.
  • Only by allowing real competition on rail will the passenger rail sector become competitive, and attractive compared to other less sustainable modes of transport.
  • In the limited cases where rail market opening has already occurred, the results have brought about better quality, reduced fares, new jobs, greater efficiency and modal shift to rail, which is good for the environment

Challenge

Passenger rail in the EU is at a turning point and has great potential to become the backbone of the European multimodal network.
  • The Status Quo is not just unsatisfactory for many existing passengers but also for those who do not yet take the train because it is not attractive enough.
  • Until now, there have been few EU rail sector initiatives that have genuinely attracted the additional passengers to rail. This is unfortunate because otherwise Europe will not reach its ambitious decarbonisation goals
  • Meanwhile, discrimination against independent passenger rail companies remains a big problem, frightening away desperately needed private investment from the sector. All operators and ticket vendors must have the same access to track infrastructure, rolling stock, facilities, data and ticket distribution systems.
  • Competition should not be about who has best access to the neutral, interoperable infrastructure of passenger rail – which we believe are the tracks, rolling stock, facilities or ticketing systems. Instead, all market participants should have equal access to these. Competition should then be about which company makes best use of them and make its rail offering the most attractive for consumers.
  • ALLRAIL seeks market opening policies which will ensure that passenger rail becomes a crucial part of the EU Green Deal, acting in a fast and effective manner to achieve modal shift.

Vision

We share a common vision: ‘rail transport as a service’ driven by passenger needs.
  • Rail must be a vital backbone of European multimodal public transport services based on an efficient, eco-friendly and digital approach. We also believe that there must be a level playing field with other modes of transport.
  • ALLRAIL’s vision resonates with the objective of the EU Fourth Railway Package - encouraging competition and innovation in domestic and cross-border passenger rail markets. A Single European Rail Market will be a source of both our collective future prosperity and wellbeing, but it still needs higher levels of interoperability.
  • 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. We now need to be able to roll out these examples on a truly European wide scale.
     

For the Future of Passenger Rail

Staff

Nick Brooks

Secretary General
nick.brooks@allrail.eu +32 485 832 991
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 Mičková

Policy Officer
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. Lobbying for strategic change in regulation and its implementation to make public transport multimodal – with sound and competitive rail transport as a backbone of the MaaS network. Co-founded ALLRAIL in 2017 on behalf of Leo Express, Czech-based European operator, where Barbora was previously responsible for external affairs on CEE and EU level. Barbora studied in the Czech Republic, France and Switzerland, holds degree in Law, Media Studies and Marketing & PR.

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
CEO of WESTbahn
ef@westbahn.at
Erich Forster, 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.

Christian Schreyer

Vice-President ALLRAIL
Transdev CEO for North & Central Europe
christian.schreyer@transdev.com

As Europe’s leading private light and heavy rail operator, Christian Schreyer is convinced of the essential contribution of the rail sector to the EU’s environmental, economic and political objectives. Regional or suburban rail transport also carry 10 times more passengers annually than air transport.

By joining ALLRAIL, Christian Schreyer wishes to reaffirm its commitment to open and fair competition in Europe as a catalyst for better quality of service at a lower cost for the taxpayer and the organising authorities, and for greener mobility. ALLRAIL will also allow us to deepen our exchanges with European stakeholders in the field of railway transportation.

ALLRAIL must be the voice of fair and transparent competition within the European Union, as well as the voice of a strong rail sector as a backbone of the European Green Deal. Transdev is looking to bring the benefits of rail market opening to other European countries in the future: first and foremost, in France, with calls for tenders soon to be launched for regional train services.

Lord Tony Berkeley

Honourary Board Director
tony@tonyberkeley.co.uk
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.

François Coart

Board Director
Rail and Intermodal Development Director
francois.coart@getlinkgroup.com
François Coart started his career in the railway industry at Bombardier and Alstom. He joined Getlink in 2006 a European leader in mobility owning Eurotunnel, the operator of the fixed link between UK and Europe. In charge of the development of rail activities, he initiated Europorte, a startup freight railway undertaking which became now the n°1 independent rail freight operator in France operating over 200 trains a week also in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Getlink recently diversified to the passenger PSO business in France in creating a joint venture with RATP DEV in order to address the regional rail market newly open to competition.

Ian Chaplin

Board Director
Senior Advisor at Omio
ian.chaplin_ges@omio.com
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.

Erik Hellners

Board Director
General Counsel MTR Nordic Group
erik.hellners@mtr.se
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.

Peter Köhler

Board Director
Vice-chair of the Board Leo Express
Peter.koehler@leoexpress.com
Leo Express, through its experience running PSO and open access rail services in multiple EU countries, has been exposed to many of the obstacles and bottle necks in the European rail market. Through Allrail, Leo Express seeks to achieve better market protection for private rail operators, fair competition, access to funding, access to facilities and ultimately a Single European Railway Area (SERA), which will be more relevant in 21th century transport needs. We believe in sustainable rail backbone services that are intermodally linked to other / last mile solutions. Private entrepreneurship helps to innovate the railway sector and attract more customers. Public funding for rail needs to be granted on a competitive basis. Leo Express has experienced substantial growth in demand in markets where private operators were present.

Matthias Müller

Board Director
Managing Director FlixTrain GmbH
matthias.mueller@flixtrain.com
We believe in green and sustainable travel and we see the strong need to foster this on a European level. Together with ALLRAIL we are sharing our experiences on challenges as well as good practices with the EU institutions to ensure fair and equal conditions for all market players. Consequently, we believe ALLRAIL is key in developing common positions for our sector in order to increase the sustainability and attractiveness of railway services for everyone across Europe.