Linking the European Railways’ International Applications

Enabling Connectivity and Interoperability

Helping the railways

HIT Rail b.v. is a private company, with registered office in Utrecht, The Netherlands, established in year 1990 by 10 national railways. Presently it is owned by 12 European railway companies, while HIT Rail services are used by almost 40 companies from 21 countries.
HIT Rail is responsible for managing international Hermes data communications infrastructure on behalf of its shareholders and customers. Its purpose is to help the European railway companies to carry out international projects in related fields of data communications and information technology.
All HIT Rail's customers data centres and company networks are interconnected by a pan-European IP (internet Protocol) based VPN (Virtual Private Network) named HERMES VPN, which is supplied by British Telecom (BT) and managed by HIT Rail b.v.

Enabling business co-operation

Most of the railway business requirements in the International freight, passenger and infrastructure markets are consistent with the need for greater cooperation, especially given the ongoing emergence of more national operators and more infrastructure owners.
The case for open standards and common methods of interfacing is therefore paramount. A closely related development is the emergence of e-commerce. HIT rail believes e-commerce will become the standard means of doing business.
Relevant and efficient IP based Data Communication services are vital to support railway business processes. These services should allow for flexible application interactions, and provide a collaborative environment including multimedia when needed.

Vision & Strategy

A railway is first and foremost a business, with the ability to exploit commercial and technological opportunities to meet the demand of its customers. Like all businesses, a railway cannot operate independently of other businesses within its own and in related sectors.

Railways as a successful commercial operation depend critically upon a stable, robust, cost-competitive and interoperable IT infrastructure. An individual railway cannot meet all the cross border requirements for ICT on its own.

Hit Rail’s strategy is to build the Hermes Ecosystem as a network of stakeholders including customers, business partners and other interested parties in each of the railway markets (passengers, freight and infrastructure).

Another important pillar of Hit Rail strategy is building business alliances with major railway and transport related services players, organisations and institutions. In this context, Hit Rail is collaborating with other Railway International Organisations such as Raildata and the UIC, with EU institutions such as DG Move and ERA and with other transport players such as Amadeus and ETTSA in order to bring true Interoperability to the Railways. These partnerships add value to the Hermes Ecosystem, leveraging on Hit Rail’s unique position and capabilities in the European Railways environment.


The Hit Rail’s team combines railways specific expertise and extensive experience in railway ICT projects. The current Hit Rail’s management structure is compound of the Executive team and the Supervisory Board.

Executive Team

Antonio E. López. Managing Director

Mick Haynes. Technical Director

Hans van Walsem. Corporate Director

Ugo Dell’Arciprete. Commercial Manager

Enrique Ruiz López. Technical and Service manager

Supervisory Board

Helmut Grohmann. Chairman

Christine Valentyn. SNCB

Frédéric Novello. SNCF

Gianfranco Laganà. FS Italiane

Henk Bothof. Prorail

Petr Cervinka. CD Cargo


The following 12 European Railway Companies are owners of HIT Rail b.v.: