FTE says Farewell to Fabian Hunkeler

By the end of September, Fabian Hunkeler embarked on a new professional journey as he joined the TCR Planning Department of SBB Infrastruktur. Fabian has been an integral part of the FTE office for more than four years. During his tenure, he displayed dedication and commitment, diligently overseeing the FTE budget, ensuring that all procedures were carefully followed, and successfully navigating through various audits. However, Fabian's contributions extended far beyond financial matters and administrative processes. He also took the helm as the chair of FTE's Working Group IT. Furthermore, he has been an important support for realising the change process FTE went through in the past years. He supported TTR by helping with the first steps of the Capacity Needs Announcement and many more topics.

Edgar Schenk, Managing Director of FTE, extends his heartfelt gratitude to Fabian for the remarkable work he has accomplished during his time with us: “Thank you, Fabian, for your valuable contributions to FTE, and we eagerly anticipate witnessing your continued success in the future.”

Fabian will remain connected to FTE as he continues to do the accounting with an external mandate.

We wish Fabian every success in his new role at SBB Infrastruktur.

In closing, we'd like to hear Fabian's own words as he bids farewell to his colleagues and friends at FTE.

Fabian, let’s travel back in time. Can you share with us your journey of when and how you started at FTE? What initially motivated you to join our organization?

In 2019, after 4.5 years at SBB Telecom I was looking for a new opportunity, which opened up, when FTE, following their change of Managing director were looking for some reinforcement to bring the organisation back to a normal track. I considered it a great opportunity, as I could join my background in international management, and my language and people skills with my passion for railways.

Throughout your 4.5 years at FTE, you must have accumulated some memorable experiences. Could you highlight a few of your favorite moments or achievements during your time here?

Memorable is definitely very fitting – shortly after I started the Covid pandemic hit us, and completely changed everything – our meetings all had to be shifted online, which also included the Plenary Assembly, our decision-making body. In very short time I managed to find a solution to have reliable decision-making online. Of course, there are several achievements in our core-business, the timetabling as well, but since these are usually a team effort, and often only part of a bigger picture, I think I should not claim them for myself, but praise the team for everything we achieved. Speaking of favourites, of course the first time we went back to Ljubljana in 2022, it was amazing to see how glad everyone was to connect with their colleagues again.

It's wonderful to see your continued dedication to the railway sector. Can you provide us with a glimpse into your upcoming role at the TCR Planning Department of SBB Infrastruktur? What do you hope to achieve and contribute in this new chapter of your career?

My role will mainly be to ensure that TCRs in the medium to long term are coordinated well enough, to ensure that traffic can still flow – albeit of course reduced. So, for example I should try to catch it if someone tries to close Gotthard and Lötschberg at the same time, before it causes any actual trouble.

As I am a big fan of efficiency, I do hope to improve the corresponding processes, to facilitate these tasks, and preferably improve the tools used, as I’ve come to realise that there is a lot of potential for improvement.

As you bid farewell to your colleagues and friends within the FTE community, is there a message or advice you'd like to share with them? What will you miss most about your time here, and how do you envision staying connected with your FTE family in the future?

Keep up the good work – and remember, achieving anything in the railway world is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s a team effort, where it is important that everybody plays their strengths. I will definitely miss the good atmosphere we had, as the wording “FTE family” implies. I will in any way stay connected to FTE, either through my work in the TCR field, or as the accountant and financial manager for FTE which I’ll remain on a part time basis, and of course also on a personal level with some of the colleagues who’ve become more than just colleagues.