Interview with Franziska Scherrer from ÖBB-Personenverkehr at the FTE B Conference

At the FTE B Conference in Ljubljana, we had the privilege of speaking with Franziska Scherrer from ÖBB-Personenverkehr. As she attended an FTE Conference only for the second time, we were curious to hear about her perception. She also shared with us her impression on how challenges are overcome and a success story.


How does the FTE B Conference contribute to the international harmonization of timetable and production planning of your company?

Franziska: ÖBB-Personenverkehr runs a lot of international day and night trains and the coordination between all the partners works best by meeting in person. All the concepts we have worked on for the past months are being finalized at FTE B. A final decision concerning the timetable has to be made between all affected RU’s and IM’s for the official path request in April. 


What are some of the challenges you face during the conferences? And how do you overcome these challenges?  

Franziska: A lot of small puzzle pieces have to fit together to be able to submit the final path request. If any of the partners doesn’t have all the information to confirm their part, the whole dossier is on hold and it can be frustrating to wait for such a small thing. But it’s noticeable that everyone is doing their best to gather the necessary information as fast as possible and it’s inspiring to see how professional and cooperative they act with each other.


Can you share an example of a successful outcome or collaboration that was achieved as a result of participating in this FTE coordination conference?

Franziska: Any train that has been talked about on the FTE conferences and that is actually running in the end is a huge successful outcome. Example: Despite all the difficulties we are facing at the moment regarding licensing of locos or construction works near the border of Slovakia, the partners of ÖBB-PV, ÖBB-Infra, ZSSK and ZSR managed to establish new international relations between Vienna and Bratislava with the possibility of changing to national trains. When being part of the whole process, you feel even more proud in the end if a good compromise for all the partners has been found.


What impressed you the most in experiencing the FTE conferences for the first few times?

Franziska: It is inspiring to see how the participants of the FTE conference are giving all their energy during the conferences. A conference day can be very long and exhausting, rushing from one meeting to the other, always being on point about every single train while using different languages depending on the partner you are sitting together with. Nevertheless the participants are willing to invest all this time and energy to be able to plan a satisfying offer of international train services in Europe.