Charles Bernheim, Director of Service, Thalys

Charles Bernheim
Director of Service

Berend-Jan Rietveld, Head of Aviation Marketing Communications, Rietveld

Berend-Jan Rietveld
Head of Aviation Marketing Communcations
Royal Schiphol Group

Florian Kappler, Head of Strategic Planning, BLS AG

Florian Kappler
Head of Strategic Planning

Barbara Polak, Head of Customer Experience, ÖBB

Barbara Polak 
Head of Customer Experience



DAY 1  |  DAY 2 

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, Tuesday 13 November 2018


Registration Opens


Roger Van Boxtel

Looking forward to the mobility of the future and the role of railways in our society of 2040

This year, Roger Van Boxtel, CEO at NS will be joining us to share his organization’s vision for the next 30 years. From digital innovation to the rise of new modes of transport and mobility behaviors, understand how NS is positioning itself for the future.
Yves Desjardins Siciliano

Preparing Northern American rail for the next era of mobility

Join Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, CEO, Via Rail Canada to understand the big plans for the growth of passenger rail in Canada. From infrastructure growth, to new business models to fulfill the full end to end journey, Yves will be sharinghis vision with the audience.
Matthias Müller

Flixbus and the future of transport in Europe and beyond

Jochen Engert, MD, Flixbus will join us at an interesting point in the company’s expansion. Having established a dominating presence in Europe across Europe, Flixbus is now expanding to the US as well as venturing into the European rail industry with Flixtrain in Germany, Jochen will join us to Flixbus’ story and vision for the future.
Yves Desjardins Siciliano

CEO Keynote panel

CEOs from MTR Express, Thello, Flixbus, Via Rail Canada and NS will take to the stage to discuss the biggest challenges facing the transport industry – and the opportunities they are keen to take grasp of.

Morning Coffee & Networking

round tables

Round Table Discussions

With rising passenger expectations and rapidly-changing technology, how can we as an industry evolve to meet these challenges? Our roundtables are hosted by senior level topic specialists. Participants are asked to introduce themselves to the table, and then as a group, they brainstorm and produce their suggestions on what technology would work best for them. After 35 minutes, there is one rotation, so participants can join two tables during the session.
Challenges of creating the best product structure to attract and retain customers
Juan Antonio Cuesta Canas

Juan Antonio Cuesta Canas, Director, EcoRail

Evaluating the new technologies on the horizon and leading by example when it comes to putting innovation into practice
Mark Cody

Mark Cody, Product Lead, Mobile, Eurostar

How AI and blockchain will transform the rail experience
How AI and blockchain will transform the rail experience
Ingo Winkler

Ingo Winkler, Account Partner Deutsche Bahn, IBM

How can rail operators shape the future of multi-modal transport?
Barbora Mickova

Barbora Mickova, Chief Institutional Affairs Officer, Leo Express

How can stations provide a better experience for customers?
Sebastiaan De Wilde

Sebastiaan De Wilde, Director Station Development and Maintenance, NS

How to revenue manage when there is no capacity set: the joy of the walk-up
Claire Hennebel

Claire Hennebel, Head of Revenue Optimisation, Virgin Trains

Implementing complex changes in a revenue management system
Derek Thompson

Derek Thompson, Retail, Caledonian Sleeper

Including peer to peer carsharing as an effective solution for the last mile challenge: sharing the Czech Story
Robin Svaricek

Robin Svaricek, COO, Leo Express

Mobility as a Service as game changer for a future proof public transport
Arwina De Boer

Arwina De Boer, Program manager innovation in public transport, Province of Brabant

Sharing how SBB works to ensure all digital platforms are well designed for customer usability
Daniel Boos

Daniel Boos, Head of User Experience, SBB CFF FFS

Should operators be multi-modal or focus on one type of vehicle: how can they collaborate among themselves, the cities and remain relevant with MaaS on the horizon?
Ali Gueye

Ali Gueye, City Launch Manager, Scoot

The future of night trains in Europe: The Trans-Metropolitan vision
Michael Sipl

Michael Sipl, Director Marketing, Trans Metropolitan Railway Lines GmbH

Thinking outside the box to provide innovative, additional services for passengers using smart cards & e-tickets
Julija Balanova

Julija Balanova, e-Ticket Project Manager, R?gas Satiksme

Transforming Rail Industry To Work The Way We Live. A discovery and discussion session on enterprise mobile apps for employees
Mark Sargent

Mark Sargent, Worldwide Transportation Industry Lead, Apple

Why do we need successful customer sentiment analysis?
Anna Loukamo

Anna Loukamo, Development Manager, VR Group



Charles Bernheim

The role of digital in the customer experience at Thalys

  • Using the data, we have for our customers to provide a personalised service
  • Sharing our successful experienceimplementing chatbots across our digital platforms
  • How do we ensure we are implementing technology in the right places to really help our customers?
Nicole Goebel

“Is Digital killing Loyalty?” the future of loyalty in rail

  • Understanding that consumers are loyal to experiences; not to companies
  • Hear how rail operators can adapt to customer expectations in a fast paced - economic and technological environment
  • What can rail operators do to stay relevant to their customers and to grow loyalty?
Berend-Jan Rietveld

A journey to more customer centricity – how to consistently deliver great experiences

  • Evidence-based improvement of the passenger experience
  • Customer-centric transformation
  • A symbiosis of the physical and digital world – enabling technology and the human element

Networking Lunch


Florian Kappler

Prioritising on-board customer experience as a key component of successful competition

  • Our vision for the future of BLS services: customer centricity and its role in the future of rail
  • Understand BLS’ current service and the reasons behind our refreshed approach
  • Diving into some key areas of change: from on-board services and the role of our conductors
Tom Kutscher

Integrated passenger experience on today’s and tomorrow’s trains

Barbara Polak

The role of on board to improve customer experience

  • Solving problems for our customers: developing a fail fast approach at OBB
  • Making sure that on board experiences are prioritised: sharing our experiences
  • Diving in: sharing our projects and learnings from previous experiences
Gerry Culligan

The next phase in our Customer First program: Managing disruption on our trains

  • The role of technology when dealing with delays and communicating with our customers
  • Making sure our real-time information is managed effectively so we can share information with our customers
  • Optimising processes post disruption: how can we ensure that it is easy for our customers to manage compensation
Klaus Aakilde

Managing real time disruption in Copenhagen

  • Sharing our omni-channel approach to managing disruption from social media to our website
  • Managing disruption in-station and on-platforms: using digital screens for real-time information
  • Understand how we merge customer experience with revenue generation

Networking Coffee Break


Antoine De Kerviler

The International Rail Revolution - API technology driving today's change

  • Emerging competition in rail travel - is it a threat or an opportunity for railways?
  • Partnerships, the answer to competition?
  • Rail APIs, the technology behind winning partnerships
Beat Stettler

The new era of mobile communication: Exploring the tangible opportunities for the transport industry

  • Moving on from today's expensive, unstable and unmanaged communication networks
  • Ensuring that your network benefits from the new era of intelligent software
  • Understanding how customers benefit - from smart ticketing, passenger WIFI and real-time information
Guillaume Laporte

How will conversational A.I impact the future of rail? Why should operators focus on automating customer interactions and increasing conversion rates?

  • What are the benefits of building a smart A.I assistant to scale your operations
  • Creating automated Chat & Voice interactions with your customers
  • Looking towards case studies of SNCF, RATP and other rail companies
Raphael Rubin

Rails 2020: The rise of train ticket OTAs and online fraud

  • In 2020 new regulations will lead to more competition in the industry
  • A shift to a more digital market place will expose ticket sellers to CNP fraud
  • Learn about the unique challenges of online ticket sales, and how to balance growth and the risks of fraud
Todd Koch

Dragons Den Pitches

We have partnered with some of the best developers from start-ups and Universities around the world to solve the everyday problems that the rail industry faces.Some of the very best organisations that have emerged from our research will give a 3-minute pitch on stage to you the audience and to our carefully selected judging panel of some of the rail industry’s most informed executives

Evening Drinks Reception

Join us for a fun packed drinks reception - an opportunity to network in a more relaxing setting in the centre of Amsterdam
last published: 12/Nov/18 18:15


CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE, Wednesday 14 November 2018


Registration & Morning Coffee

Tom Cheesewright

Rolling Friction: Building a Future-Ready Railway

Ever since the first proto-humans, we have used technology to ease our lives, to lower friction. If you understand how falling friction changes businesses, markets and customers, then you can start to see the direction of travel. Applied Futurist Tom Cheesewright takes a look at tomorrow’s rail industry and the likely impacts of technology in driving change: in service, customer behaviour, and demand.
Nick Hilhorst

Discussing Uber's role in the future of rail

Nickwillbe joining us to give some insight into Uber’s role in the future of mobility. As a company that throws up controversial discussion Andrew will share Uber’s vision for the partnership potential between Uber and Rail.
Marcus Frantz

Going beyond the connected traveler using: digital touchpoints, data & AI

  • Learn how ÖBB are developing solutions for all digital touch-points before, during and after a journey
  • Comprehend how the digital network of traveller, assets, operations and employees improve customer journeys
  • How are current ‘open’ ticketing systems paving the way for new technologies such as blockchain
Alexandra Van Huffelen

The future of mobility in Amsterdam

GVB is one of the most innovative and forwarding thinking transport organisation in the World and Alexandra will be joining us to share her thoughts on the future of mobility in Amsterdam.
Pierre-Olivier Desmurs

Move with purpose, new futures in rail & transit

  • Understanding how successive waves of digital disruption are reinventing rail and transit
  • Why rail operators running “business as usual” are exposing themselves to threats from digital competitors
  • Boost profits, Unlock value, Innovate fast, Exploit new opportunities and Drive growth by accelerating your digital journey
  • Rotate to the New NOW!

Morning Coffee & Networking

round tables

Round Table Discussions

With rising passenger expectations and rapidly-changing technology, how can we as an industry evolve to meet these challenges? Our roundtables are hosted by senior level topic specialists. Participants are asked to introduce themselves to the table, and then as a group, they brainstorm and produce their suggestions on what technology would work best for them. After 35 minutes, there is one rotation, so participants can join two tables during the session.
Can you increase customer experience using chatbots?
Kunal Pattany

Kunal Pattany, Founder, Digital human

Creating a future ticketing platform: bringing ticketing in to the 21st century
Ignas Verseckas

Ignas Verseckas, Head of Business Innovation & Development, Passenger Transport,, Lithuanian Railways

Designing the future of interior rail – OBB Nightjet case study
Kurt Bauer

Kurt Bauer, Head of High Speed & Long-Distance Services, O.B.B. - Personenverkehr A.G.

From customer experience to collaboration between operators: which lessons can be learned from the luxury & tourist rail sector?
David Morgan

David Morgan, President, WATTRAIN

How can operators capitalise on new tech, particularly smartphones, to increase frequentation on their networks?
Jérôme Kravetz

Jérôme Kravetz, Network Director, SMTC - Tisséo

How can rail create a premium passenger offering using digital technology?
Spero Blassoples

Spero Blassoples, Technology Architect, Heathrow Express

How can rail operators implement a new ticketing system successfully?
Riz Wahid

Riz Wahid, Head of Retail, ScotRail

How can rail operators successfully innovate?
Tom Cheesewright

Tom Cheesewright, Applied Futurist, Book Of The Future

How can transport operators humanise their customer experience?
Jerry Angrave

Jerry Angrave, Customer Experience Director, Empathyce

Implementing integrated ticketing systems enhanced by sustainable technology
David Hytch

David Hytch, Technology Lead, Calmac Ferries

Innovation starts from within: evaluating how transport operators can foster a culture of innovation and embrace digital disruption?
Sezer Bilen

Sezer Bilen, Partner Manager WIFI, Deutsche Bahn

Key considerations for operators when implementing big data projects in personalisation
Martijn Scheele

Martijn Scheele, Head of Data & Analytics, NS


Thandeka Buthelezi

Gaining rail’s market share in the South African transport mix

  • Modernising our services to encourage rail travel: sharing our vision for the future of rail
  • Making it easier to travel: the role of the journey to and from the station
  • Communicating our product effectively to share how we are improving the service
Nadine Koszler

Creating a travel experience for the whole journey

  • How are Eurail focusing on the customer’s whole trip to enhance the full experience
  • Using digital technology to create a new relationship with our partners
  • Creating new value with partnerships and focusing on the destination


last published: 12/Nov/18 18:15

Get Involved At The World Rail Festival 2019


To Sponsor Or Exhibit


Adam Hayward
t/ +44 (0)207 092 1166




To Speak


Catriona Smith
+44 (0)207 092 1198




To Register


Tayyab Abbasi
+44 (0)207 092 1210