News

Hit Rail begins the hosting and management of ProRail’s Common Interface

Ten-year SaaS contract gives Dutch infrastructure manager connectivity for infrastructure, freight and passenger services in line with EU TSI specifications

Utrecht, 27 January 2020 – ProRail, the Dutch railway Infrastructure Manager has awarded Hit Rail B.V., the European rail industry’s IT specialist, a ten-year contract for the hosting and operation of the Common Interface (“CI”). With effect from October 2019, Hit Rail has installed and is now hosting and operating the CI by providing it to ProRail as Software as a Service (SaaS) on its cloud IT platform, hosted at Amazon AWS. Connectivity with ProRail’s internal systems and railway partners will be established either over Hit Rail’s secure Hermes VPN or the Internet.

The Common Interface is the standard solution for interoperable connectivity for the European Union’s TAF (Freight) and TAP (Passenger) Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) and is recommended by the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA). In order to help support the industry’s efforts to achieve compliance, Hit Rail is able to offer to host and operate the CI software on behalf of railway companies.

The contract follows Hit Rail’s recent IT infrastructure changes including last year the completion of the migration of its IT platform to the public cloud. The move to AWS public cloud was a response to the changing landscape in the railway industry with ever faster digitalisation of services and products, and the drive towards greater operational efficiencies. Hit Rail’s cloud platform is a robust, reliable and scalable IT infrastructure on which to offer new, innovative IT services to railway companies.

Antonio Lopez, general manager of Hit Rail, said: “The CI cloud-based services Hit Rail is providing to ProRail are critical for ProRail’s mandatory exchange of TAF/TAP TSI messages with other Infrastructure Manager and Railway Undertakings at national and cross-border levels. This will help to improve the efficiency and transparency of services and we are delighted to be able to support them in taking the next step in pan-European compliance.”

Martijn Wagenmakers, project manager at ProRail: “The speed, competence and dedication of Hit Rail to deliver the offered solution was a pleasure to witness. The people involved are proactive and always available to answer any questions, also very knowledgeable about the services they provide.”

Mike Levy, product manager at ProRail: “Hit Rail provides us with a reliable, professional and compliant service from a technology and security standpoint, that makes it possible to cut down our overhead costs, and lets us offer a reliable 24/7 solution for communication with other infra managers and our railway undertakings.“

27 Jan 2020
Hit Rail’s HEROS rail interoperability platform moves to the Amazon AWS public cloud

Support partner inQdo helps complete seamless migration and provides support for growing IaaS services

Nieuwegein/Brussels, 27 November 2018 – Hit Rail B.V., the European rail industry’s data exchange specialist, has completed the migration of its HEROS interoperability platform to the public cloud. The move to Amazon AWS supported by expert consultants inQdo B.V., was designed to significantly improve the HEROS services, by providing a robust, reliable and scalable IT infrastructure. inQdo will also continue to maintain and support the HEROS IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) platform on AWS - to meet the needs of Hit Rail’s growing number of customers seeking to improve their data exchange for rail freight and passenger services.

Antonio Lopez, general manager of Hit Rail said: “Our focus is always to provide our customers with strong, secure and scalable services. The interoperability requirements of the rail community are changing rapidly as established railway companies, plus the myriad of new smaller players in the market, address the requirements of the EU TAF and TAP TSI Regulations. We are seeing enormous growth, both in the number of customers on our platform and in their needs for data exchange. AWS provides a robust yet flexible infrastructure with computing power, database storage and networking functionality which we can build upon for our interoperability services, and which will always keep us ahead of the demand.”

The migration was managed with the help and support of inQdo B.V., a recognised AWS advanced consulting partner and reseller. Corné van der Steen, AWS Solution Architect of inQdo commented: “Together with Hit Rail and their partners we have now successfully migrated the HEROS platform to the AWS Public Cloud. This was a complex migration with issues around connectivity and interoperability that had to be resolved, but the expertise of both teams allowed us to create a powerful platform for Hit Rail’s services. We have now created a future-proof solution that enables Hit Rail to provide first-class services to its customers with the flexibility they need for the anticipated future growth in demand. On completion of the migration project, we have immeditaly started on the job of continuously improving the platform and delivering AWS support regarding the AWS IaaS platform."

Hit Rail B.V. provides telecommunications and IT services to the growing and rapidly changing European Railways community. It connects more than 50 railway companies through its private IP network the Hermes virtual private network (VPN). The company also provides a range of interoperability solutions under the HEROS brand, based on a middleware platform directly connected to the Hermes VPN. The move to AWS public cloud is a response to the changing landscape in the railway industry with ever faster digitalisation of services and products, and the drive towards greater operational efficiencies.

Antonio Lopez concluded: “The services we provide are critical to the rail businesses that are our customers. Moving to the cloud will bring significant benefits in availability, accessibility and reliability.”

ENDS

About Hit Rail B.V.
Hit Rail B.V. is a private Dutch company created in 1990 and owned by 12 European railway companies. Its purpose is to help European railway companies to carry out international projects in related fields of data communications and information technology. Hit Rail is responsible for managing secure international private data communications infrastructure and message brokering services on behalf of its shareholders and customers. Its services are used by some 50 railway companies from 21 countries. All Hit Rail customers’ data centres and company networks are interconnected by a pan-European secure IP-based VPN (Virtual Private Network) named Hermes VPN, which is supplied by British Telecom (BT) and managed by Hit Rail. In 2013, the company launched its HEROS platform as a family of solutions that delivers benefits to the railway companies across Europe, by enabling message interoperability across disparate platforms between railway applications in passenger, freight and infrastructure for IT communications.

For more information please visit http://www.hitrail.com/ or send an email to info@hitrail.com.

About inQdo B.V.
inQdo was founded in 2010. With its managing partners’ innate passion for IT and integration, inQdo developed into the current professional team of IT experts. inQdo now supports more than 70 clients. Its team of integration consultants supports companies by simplifying their business processes. inQdo’s AWS consultants help organizations with transforming their IT systems to the AWS cloud. inQdo is an advanced AWS consulting partner and AWS reseller, and is specialized in cloud transformation, monitoring, support and SAP on AWS. inQdo selects the best AWS components for its customers, based on extensive experience and best practices.

For more information please visit https://www.inqdo.com or send an email to info@inqdo.com.

If you’d like more information regarding the migration of your workloads to the AWS cloud, please contact Peter Perebooms, managing partner of inQdo: peter.perebooms@inqdo.com

Press enquiries Hit Rail:
Sheila Lashford
Tel: +44 (0) 7986 514240
Sheila.lashford@hitrail.com

Press enquiries inQdo:
Esmee van Klaarbergen
Tel: +31 (0) 850 201 11 61
Esmee.vanklaarbergen@inqdo.com

27 Nov 2018
Hit Rail joins International Union of Railways (UIC) Company to strengthen its support for UIC activities and to bring its expertise in pan-European networking and interoperability through membership

Utrecht/Brussels, 05 July 2018 – International rail networking and interoperability specialist Hit Rail B.V. has gained approval to join the International Union of Railways (UIC). Membership as affiliates of the UIC is open to companies involved in the railway transport chain or whose activity is linked to railway operations. As a leading provider of telecommunications and IT services to the European railways community, Hit Rail B.V. qualifies as an affiliate member and will join with effect from 4th July 2018. The company, which is owned by 12 of Europe’s leading railway organisations, hopes to contribute with its expertise in harmonisation and interoperability solutions for the disparate communications systems across Europe.

UIC is the worldwide organisation for the promotion of rail transport at a global level and collaborative development of the railway system. It brings together some 200 members on all 5 continents, among them rail operators, infrastructure managers, railway service providers, etc. UIC maintains close cooperation links with all actors in the rail transport domain right around the world, including manufacturers, railway associations, public authorities and stakeholders in other domains and sectors whose experiences may be beneficial to rail development. The UIC's main tasks include understanding the business needs of the rail community, developing programmes of innovation to identify solutions to those needs and preparing and publishing a series of documents known as IRS that facilitate the implementation of the innovative solutions.

Hit Rail carries out a wide range of activities on behalf of the pan-European railway community it serves, giving it great synergy with the aims of the UIC. Its core services include the Hermes VPN, a private IP network connecting more than 50 railway companies in Europe, including the UIC, RNE and Raildata. It also provides a message broker and interoperability platform named HEROS (HERmes Open Services) for freight, passengers and infrastructure applications. Hit Rail already supports the UIC in the maintenance of the UIC 917-5 leaflet and by participating as subject matter experts in UIC passenger groups. Hit Rail also has extensive cooperation with Raildata, the pan-European railway freight organisation, and participates as an observer in the European Railway Agency (ERA) groups for TSI TAF and TAP implementation.

Antonio Lopez, General Manager of Hit Rail B.V. said: “Interoperability of railways across borders and on a global level is one of the stated aims of the UIC and is also one of Hit Rail’s key objectives, through our HEROS interoperability platform and Hermes connectivity platform. We have worked with colleagues from the UIC for many years and seen many synergies. UIC representatives have spoken at our conferences, most recently the Hit Rail workshop on CyberSecurity (CyberSecurity4Rail) and we see many areas where we trust we can contribute to the UIC debate and provide valuable insight from our ICT, data communications and information security perspective. We are delighted to become affiliate members of UIC and hope to play an even more active part in the organisation’s activities in the future.”

5 Jul 2018
Hit Rail with support of inQdo moves its international HEROS platform to public cloud to provide secure, flexible and scalable architecture for its interoperability services Support partner inQdo to help with the migration and provide ongoing IaaS services

International rail data exchange specialist Hit Rail B.V. will migrate in the next three months its internationally recognised interoperability platform HEROS (Hermes Open Services) to a public cloud environment using AWS (Amazon Web Services). Hit Rail has appointed AWS advanced consulting partner and reseller inQdo B.V. to support the migration of its HEROS middleware platform to the cloud, along with all its infrastructure services. inQdo will also provide ongoing support for Hit Rail’s AWS IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) HEROS platform.

Hit Rail B.V. is a leading provider of telecommunications and IT services to the European Railways community. Its core services include the Hermes VPN, a private IP network connecting more than 50 railway companies in Europe, running on the BT Global Network. In addition, Hit Rail provides a range of interoperability solutions under the HEROS brand, based on a middleware platform directly connected to the Hermes VPN. To deliver these services, Hit Rail must rely on a secure, flexible and scalable IT architecture and this was a major factor in the decision to migrate to the AWS public cloud.

As the widespread availability of connectivity continues to speed up the digitalisation of services and products, and generate operational efficiencies in the railway industry, the emergence of cloud technologies and the cloud “everything-as-a-service” delivery model has dramatically changed the way companies are building and delivering IT applications. Hit Rail’s decision is a direct response to these developments in the market place and the needs of its customers.

Antonio Lopez, General Manager of Hit Rail B.V. said: “Our customers depend on us, as specialist providers of their IT services, to provide the best and most up-to-date services possible. Security remains and always will be a priority, but reliability, flexibility and future-proofing are important factors as the industry rapidly changes in a digital world. This aligns very much with our decision to migrate our HEROS interoperability platform to a public cloud computing provider willing to host, manage and support our middleware platform on behalf of Hit Rail for a minimum of three years. In inQdo we have found a partner we can trust with this business-critical and sensitive project to the benefit of our customers.”

Bart Boonen, managing partner of inQdo , said: “Together with Hit Rail, we designed a solid migration plan. This migration plan, combined with inQdo’s extensive experience and best practices, forms a sound, future-proof solution that enables Hit Rail to flexibly serve its customers. After completing the migration, our consultants will be responsible for delivering support regarding the AWS IaaS platform. At the same time, we’ll continually strive to improve the platform. We’re definitely looking forward to this collaboration!”

9 May 2018
Five new rail freight companies extend interconnection and enhance cross border freight handling thanks to Hit Rail High performance networking and messaging interoperability simplifies goods exchange throughout Europe

A host of new customers making use of Hit Rail connectivity and interoperability solutions has significantly improved the interconnection of European Railway Undertakings (RUs) and Infrastructure Managers (IMs), helping to facilitate rail freight movements across Europe. Five new contracts signed in 2017 with companies from three countries see Hit Rail’s cybersecure Hermes Virtual Private Network (VPN) more and more at the heart of the continent’s rail freight movements, delivering common messaging and communication protocols that provide soft compliance with TAF-TSI (Telematics Applications for Freight services - Technical Specifications for Interoperability) requirements.

Two Swiss companies, Cross Rail AG and BLS Cargo, are among the new Hermes users, managing their freight messaging with other companies including SBB and their own subsidiaries in other countries through the platform. Other new users include Rotterdam Rail Feeding of the Netherlands, and two Italian freight operators, InRail and Captrain. These companies join many other Hit Rail customers – more than 50 railway companies in 21 countries - who have already chosen the cybersecure Hermes VPN to create an ecosystem that extends the reach of interoperable TAF-TSI compliant communications, improving freight services across Europe.

These operators use the Hermes VPN for the exchange of H30 train composition messages, the well-known standard defined by the UIC (Union Internationale des Chemins de fer), whose latest version V2 is almost identical in content to the TAF TSI Train Composition message. For this reason, the ERA (European Union Agency for Railways) has established a task force discussing, among other things, whether such H30 messages can be considered TAF (soft) compliant.

The Hermes VPN has built-in cybersecurity with a range of measures to ensure the highest levels of protection - a significant and vital benefit for sensitive information passing between rail organisations. Hit Rail has given the highest priority to the question of cybersecurity and recently held a CyberSecurity4Rail conference in Brussels. An increasing number of railway companies are signing up to use Hit Rail’s Hermes VPN network allowing them to communicate with other rail companies seamlessly. Independent freight operators and smaller RUs can make use of Hit Rail’s high-performance Hermes IP-based virtual private network (VPN) and its 24/7/365 operational and maintenance support services. Access to Hit Rail’s Hermes VPN services ensures they can have the best and most secure possible message interoperability for their cross-border goods exchanges.

For international business-critical applications, the IP Virtual Private Network (VPN) model is the best and most cost-effective way to secure interconnections. The Hermes IP VPN model provides guaranteed response times, better performance and reliability, with specific Service Level Agreements (SLA). The Hermes VPN service is fully cybersecure, with a proven record of no external intrusions. This means that there is no danger on the Hermes VPN of application downtime caused by Internet cybersecurity threats like DDoS attacks.

Hit Rail is a Dutch based company, owned by 12 European rail companies, that operates a private communications infrastructure and delivers messaging services for its customers throughout Europe. Its Hermes VPN is a platform that enables the interconnection and interoperability of disparate rail reservation and rail freight messaging services despite the use of varying standards in different countries. It is used by most of Europe’s major incumbent Railway Undertakings for passenger and freight services, and increasingly so by newcomers and smaller RUs, as is the case for CrossRail, BLS Cargo, RRF, InRail and Captrain.

Antonio Lopez, General Manager of Hit Rail, said: “Hit Rail is becoming well-established as the “de facto” standard in data transmission for Europe’s main rail operators. We already have a high level of understanding in the TAF and Tap TSI regulations and the working requirements which allow rail companies to work together and communicate effectively. So it makes sense for rail freight operators to use the Hermes VPN for their messaging, especially such activities as international H30 train pre-advice messaging, which require the high levels of cybersecurity our Hermes VPN can offer. Our customers highlight the reliability and performance of the system and Hit Rail’s commitment to service and support as their reasons for choosing and using the Hermes platform.”

11 Feb 2018
ERA confirms compliance for Hit Rail’s Path Request Web App for train operations across Europe Hit Rail’s H20 Path Request tool, one of its new services designed to enable railways to meet the European Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) , has been verified by the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) as fully compliant, This opens the way for rail organisations to streamline their processes for handling path requests across Europe without needing to invest the resources to develop their own TSI tools.

Created as a Web App, hosted in Hit Rail’s HEROS cloud platform, the Hit Rail H20 Path Request tool allows a Railway Undertaking (RU) to carry out all the steps involved in requesting and obtaining Timetable Paths from an Infrastructure Manager (IM) in an easy and user-friendly way, requiring only a web browser. It is available in English, French, German and Czech, with the facility to add new languages as required. It conforms to the latest version of TAF/TAP (Telematic Applications for Freight and Passengers) and will continue to be updated as new versions are published.

Every operation of a train service requires the previous allocation of a path, given by the manager of each of the railway infrastructures over which the train will pass. The TAF and TAP TSIs have defined four steps for this process: the RU requests a specific train path, the IM responds with a path offer or path not available, the RU responds to accept or reject the IM’s proposal, and the IM replies with the confirmed path and a booking status indicating commitment to providing the path. This process, especially for smaller RUs, is often implemented in non-IT ways (such as by phone or fax), because of the development costs and the need for expensive special software. If more than one IM is needed, then each one has different rules.

The Hit Rail App provides a standardised process that has now been recognised by ERA as fully TSI-compliant. The RU submitting a path request can insert the details of the required path into a form on their PC, including all necessary elements, such as length, weight etc. The application performs syntax and reference data checks in real time, eliminating formal errors. A path request that repeats itself frequently can be stored and re-used, reducing the inputting time. Finally, the relevant TSI message is sent to the relevant IM or IMs and the offer is processed.

The ERA Compliance Report is the result of an exhaustive number of tests and the evidence submitted by Hit Rail of each form of Path Request messages for a range of passenger and freight services to allow ERA to review for compatibility with the requirements of TSI. ERA has published their Compliance Report and also passed its findings on to the TAF TSI Implementation Working Group.

Antonio Lopez, General Manager of Hit Rail, said: “We are delighted that our H20 Path Request App has now achieved this important endorsement of compliance from the ERA. RUs can now begin to use this tool to significantly ease the burden of managing complex interoperability issues, especially where trains are crossing borders. The ERA Compliance Report means that rail organisations can have full confidence that this easy-to-use application fully complies with the TSI standards.”

The ERA Compliance Report together with the results of the extensive testing is published on the ERA website at www.era.europa.eu/Document-Register/Pages/Compliance-reports.aspx.

15 Nov 2017
CyberSecurity4Rail Conference in Brussels agrees need for closer cooperation and steps towards an EU-wide rail industry ISAC Brussels, 09 October 2017 – Last week’s CyberSecurity4Rail conference, held in Brussels for senior members of the rail industry and information security experts, has strongly endorsed the formation of a sector-driven pan-European Rail ISAC (Information Sharing and Analysis Centre). Conference speakers and delegates heard wide-ranging debate on how to effectively combat cyber-crime and cyber-attack and the panel sessions revealed a strong consensus for a structured approach to co-operation in the future.

The conference, held in Brussels on 4th October, was attended by over 120 experts from the railway, IT and cybersecurity industries. Sponsored and hosted by Hit Rail B.V., specialists in the provision of secure cross border connectivity and interoperability solutions in the railway sector, it provided a platform for speakers, panellists and conference participants to be able to consider the current cyber security landscape, legislative responses within the EU and how the railway industry can cooperate to respond more effectively.

It also formed the basis for conference participants to be able to consider and debate on their support for the proposal for a EURail-ISAC and how this might be set up with the support of organisations such as ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency). Discussions also centred around how this might be combined with initiatives in physical safety such as the Rail Common Occurrence Reporting System coordinated by ERA (European Union Agency of Railways), under an umbrella of shared concerns.

Antonio Lopez, General Manager of conference organisers Hit Rail B.V., said: “With so many senior representatives of rail bodies and experts in cyber security in one place at the same time, it made sense to discuss solutions on how best to cooperate. The speakers’ presentations, panel discussions and post-conference survey results revealed that most attendees were in favour of joint efforts and a common objective to maintain a cyber-secure Single European Railway Area (SERA) through the creation of an EU-wide ISAC.”

The discussions were in response to the adoption in July 2016 by the European Parliament of a Directive on security of Network and Information Systems (the NIS Directive). This Directive requires Member States to designate National CSIRTs (Computer Security Incident Response Teams), which are also known as CERTs (Computer Emergency Response Teams). It also created a European cooperation group (EU-CSIRT Network), supported by ENISA, which will facilitate exchange of information between CSIRTs/CERTs concerning incidents within Member States and cross-border incidents.

The NIS Directive emphasises the need for operators of essential services and digital service providers to take appropriate security measures and to notify serious incidents to the relevant national authority (relevant CSIRT/CERT) when cyber security threats or breaches occur.

The CyberSecurity4Rail conference was an ideal occasion for progress to be made. The wide-ranging conference programme included presentations from senior representatives from across the industries, including representatives from two EU Directorates concerned with cyber security, Carlos Mestre-Zamarreño of DG-MOVE, and Dr Florent Frederix of DG-CONNECT. Speakers also included security expert Corrado Giustozzi of SELTA SpA, Dr Josef Doppelbauer from ERA, Dr Libor Lochman from the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), Marie-Hélène Bonneau from the International Union of Railways (UIC), as well as Rossella Mattioli from ENISA and many senior information security officers from railway organsiations and related industries. Hit Rail’s Technical Director Mick Haynes also gave a detailed presentation covering secure networks for collaborative services, and how a VPN can ensure secure traffic through segmentation of sensitive data away from other channels.

In his closing keynote, Carlo Borghini, Director of Shift2Rail concluded that the conference had been very constructive and he encouraged the attendees to take away the messages on how to collaborate together in practical ways, reducing replication and divergence, sharing innovation and combatting cyber threats.

Antonio Lopez, General Manager of Hit Rail, concluded: “We are delighted with the success of this conference. Demand for places meant we had to hire a bigger venue and we had an almost full house with 120 attendees on the day, demonstrating how important this topic has become for the industry. During the conference we made excellent progress, more than we as facilitators of the conference could have envisaged when we set out the initial concept. I am very encouraged by the spirit of cooperation and determination to combat the risks and fight back against the threats we all face in cyber security.”

9 Oct 2017
Hit Rail supports Thalys move with new Hermes site in Brussels

Hermes connectivity is critical for Thalys applications and passengers. 
Hit Rail has supported Thalys moving their offices and systems to a new location, close to Gare de Midi in Brussels. The move was performed flawlessly on the night of 24-25 May 2017.
To fulfil Thalys's request, Hit Rail has set-up a new, highly redundant Hermes site at the new Thalys premises. Dual routers and optical Ethernet links connect Thalys to different Hermes points of presence located in Brussels and Antwerpen, for increased redundancy.
Thalys is an international high-speed train operator originally built around the line between Paris and Brussels. Thalys operates lines to Lille, Amsterdam, Cologne and Dortmund as well. 

25 May 2017
CyberSecurity4Rail Conference to respond to growing threat of cyber attacks in Europe’s digital rail systems and networks Brussels event on 4th October 2017 unites experts in digital security/cybercrime, ICT and the transport industry to highlight threats and discuss solutions


Brussels, 24 May 2017 – A key conference in digital security for the rail industry has been announced for later this year. Set to take place on 4th October 2017 in Brussels, the CyberSecurity4Rail event will bring together experts in cybercrime and digital security, plus leaders in ICT and representatives from transport and railway companies to discuss the threats and set out a vision for safer, more secure digital communications and data networks in the transport industry.

The recent ransomware attacks on public services and organisations across the globe have illustrated all too clearly the vulnerabilities of our connected world. The rail and other transport industries were not immune from the attack and this serves to reinforce the message that we must all work together to put robust solutions in place to protect our data and networks from further incursion and interference. CyberSecurity4Rail will draw on the experience of recent incidents and the expertise of those who are working to protect systems and prevent cyberthreat.

The conference, to be held at Hotel Thon EU in the European Quarter in Brussels, is entitled CyberSecurity4Rail: Helping European Railways to Build Digital Security through Cooperation and will address senior representatives from across the industries, including top EU officials, members of rail organisations and other transport-related bodies. Speakers will include representatives from the European Union Agency for Railways (EUAR), the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), the International Union of Railways, (UIC), as well as European Union bodies such as DG-MOVE, DG-CONNECT and the European Network and Information Security Agency ENISA, along with European Police and Crime perspectives. It will also bring together representatives from other modes of transport, especially air, as they begin to face similar threats and challenges.

Confirmed speakers to date include Dr Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director of EUAR; Dr Florent Frederix, DG CONNECT H1, European Commission; Dr Libor Lochman, Executive Director of CER; Corrado Giustozzi, Senior Cyber Security Strategist at SELTA and ENISA, Philippe-Emmanuel Maulion, Chief Information Security Officer of SITA, the air transport ICT company, Guus van Es, General Manager for BT’s Global Security Consulting and Marie-Hélène Bonneau of UIC, presenting on Cyrail, a European rail industry cyber security project. Hit Rail’s General Manager, Antonio Lopez, and Technical Director, Mick Haynes, will also be speaking at the event.

Today, connectivity has become key to many critical business applications and functions in the railway industry. It is supported by a diversity of complex technologies and interconnected communication networks and, like many other parts of the transportation industry, fully depends on these digital technologies. At the same time, digitalization has created new security risks that can be exploited for malicious intent. Digital crime is becoming more sophisticated and better organised. Hackers are constantly finding ways to break digital security and such cyber attacks can cause enormous reputational damage and loss of revenue.

As this threat grows, digital security alongside physical safety is becoming a key issue on the agendas of all major transport organisations. Hosted by global connectivity experts Hit Rail B.V., the CyberSecurity4Rail Conference will focus on the key question: “Are European railways ready to prevent digital crime?”

It will take stock of the current situation and identify present and future threats, also looking to predict developments, face challenges and suggest practical solutions, primarily through opportunities for cooperation between railway and other transport organisations and international initiatives. It will also present several use cases from the industry of how transport organisations are beginning to fight back against the threat of cybercrime.

Antonio Lopez, General Manager of Hit Rail, said: “Security, especially in the transport industry, is constantly in the news today – and cyber security is becoming a growing part of the threat we face. Many companies across the transport industry are struggling to stay on top of the digital security challenges in today’s world. Railways as businesses must act to protect their systems and data. We believe that digital security is not a question of competition, but cooperation. Working with policy makers, regulators, peers within the railway industry, companies in other transport sectors and experts in digital security, the railways can make it much harder for would-be perpetrators of digital crime to succeed.”

CyberSecurity4Rail is the third in a series of workshops that Hit Rail has held for the railway industry. For more information on the conference and how to take part please go to our website at: www.hitrail.com/events/cyber-security-for-railways-conference-2017

Press enquiries Hit Rail:
Sheila Lashford Tel: +44 (0) 7986 514240 sheila.lashford@hitrail.com

24 May 2017
Hit Rail and AlmavivA sign strategic cooperation agreement for IT and interoperability services to the European rail industry Hit Rail’s support for AlmavivA’s project with Italy’s Infrastructure Manager RFI leads to closer cooperation

Brussels, 06 March 2017 – A new strategic cooperation agreement between interoperability experts Hit Rail b.v. and AlmavivA, Italy’s leading provider of ICT services for the transportation and logistics sector, is set to bring increased connectivity and high performance systems to the railway industry in the face of new European Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) in both passenger and freight sectors.

The two companies have agreed to combine their expertise and work together where appropriate to deliver new systems for the rail industry. They will promote each other’s services as complementary and will market joint services to clients on a non-exclusive basis. AlmavivA will concentrate on the services of software development, systems hosting and running applications, while Hit Rail will provide connectivity and interoperability services and offer its deep understanding of the European rail environment and the legislation governing the industry. Hit Rail has developed detailed knowledge of the TAF and TAP Regulations, the Common Interface and the messages exchanged between Railway Undertakings (RUs) and Infrastructure Managers (IMs). The two companies will work together on joint customer projects to develop, implement and test systems that enable compliance with the TAP and TAF Regulations.

The agreement follows the close cooperation established between the two companies in delivering a solution for RFI (Rete Ferroviaria Italiana), the Italian IM, responsible for the management and safety of rail traffic on the Italian national rail network. Hit Rail b.v. and AlmavivA are working on the customer project, helping RFI to insource certain areas of the EU’s TAF regulation. The positive cooperation established on this project encouraged the two companies to move forward with a formal Memorandum of Understanding, signed at the end of January of this year, that could see closer working links in the future.

The agreement comes at a time of great change and advancement in the European railway industry as countries throughout Europe liberalise their rail systems, making way for many new smaller rail operators to enter the market. At the same time the EU is introducing new Regulations around the subject of interoperability and communications across rail systems – these Regulations require greater use of standard messaging and a common interface.

Smeraldo Fiorentini, AlmavivA’s General Manager, said: “We have already developed a close relationship with our counterparts at Hit Rail and look forward to working together on both the RFI project and many future collaborations. It will allow us to offer a combined service to our customers that brings the best of our expertise in ICT and Hit Rail’s knowledge of the communications, interfaces and interoperability required in today’s European rail systems.”

Antonio Lopez, Managing Director of Hit Rail, welcomed the agreement with AlmavivA as an example of how the rail industry is increasingly working together, saying: “Our agreement with AlmavivA and work to date with them on RFI’s project will help both our companies to widen the scope of our services and offer powerful solutions for IMs and RUs across Europe, as they seek to implement new TSI regulations for both freight and passengers.”

Press enquiries Hit Rail: Sheila Lashford Splash PR Tel: +44 (0) 7986 514240 sheila@splash-pr.biz

Enquiries AlmavivA: Stefania Di Serio Strategic Partnership & Alliance Manager Tel. +39 06 3993 4577

About Hit Rail b.v. Hit Rail b.v. is a private Dutch company created in 1990 and owned by 12 European railway companies. Its purpose is to help European railway companies to carry out international projects in related fields of data communications and information technology. Hit Rail is responsible for managing international private data communications infrastructure and message brokering services on behalf of its shareholders and customers. Its services are used by some 40 railway companies from 21 countries. All Hit Rail customers’ data centres and company networks are interconnected by a pan-European IP-based VPN (Virtual Private Network) named Hermes VPN, which is supplied by British Telecom (BT) and managed by Hit Rail. In 2013 the company launched its HEROS message interoperability service which aims to enable interoperability across disparate platforms in railway companies across Europe.

For more information please visit www.hitrail.com or send an email to info@hitrail.com.

About AlmavivA AlmavivA is currently Italy’s leading provider of ICT services applied to the Transportation and Logistics sector. Building on exclusive rail engineering know how, over the years Almaviva has rolled out a comprehensive range of solutions and services for Local Public Transport and Logistics, developing and managing enterprise mission critical solutions for freight & passenger mobility. The solutions developed by AlmavivA in this field include the Cloud Computing migration of a number of IT applications and technology platforms for Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group, to which AlmavivA has been providing outsourced IT management services since 1996: a cutting-edge solution beneficial in terms of both space and operating costs, with no interruption to service.

For more information please visit www.almaviva.it or send an email to info.transportation@almaviva.it

6 Mar 2017