DB backup site migration successful

The migration to activate the new Hermes VPN backup router for Deutsche Bahn (DB) site in Berlin Biesdorf has been successful.
DB has now two sites, main (in Berlin Mahlsdorf) and backup (in Berlin Biesdorf), each site with its own CPE and link (Locla Line, Ethernet), with each link sourced to different a telecom provider, and linking to different BT access points (Berlin and Hamburg). It ensures complete redundancy of the Hermes connection.

13 Apr 2015
HIT Rail present at the Railway Conference in Prague

HIT Rail will be presented at the European Research and Innovation Conference in Prague on 18th - 19th March 2015 in Prague. HIT Rail becomes one of the sponsors of the event, which is organized along the International Rail Freight Conference. For more details see: 

19 Feb 2015
Hermes contract with BT prolonged

HIT Rail and BT renewed the Hermes VPN service contract and prolonged it for 36 months starting on 1st January 2015 (so until end of the year 2017). 

19 Feb 2015
Hit Rail ‘Interoperability in Practice’ Workshop shows the feasibility of interoperability

Brussels event sets out solutions and practical experience of interoperability projects in passenger & freight services and infrastructure

Greater understanding of a wide range of issues and outcomes facing the railway industry was fostered at last week’s “Interoperability in Practice” workshop. A number of practical examples of early implementation projects in passenger and freight services and infrastructure management were presented against a backdrop of information on new European Commission directives on interoperability.

Hosted by Hit Rail b.v., one of Europe’s leading players in the drive towards interoperability, and held at Belgian railway company SNCB’s headquarters, the event attracted over 50 attendees from railway organisations across Europe. Representatives from the European Commission’s transport directorate DG Move and from railway bodies such as CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies), ERA (European Railway Agency) and Raildata also participated.

For more details please see the attached document.

17 Oct 2014
Hit Rail announces ‘Interoperability in Practice’ Workshop for European railway industry - Brussels 9th October 2014

 A key workshop on Interoperability within the rail industry is set to take place in Brussels in October this year. Run by Hit Rail, one of the leading players in the railway industry’s drive towards interoperability, the event will take the form of a practical workshop to review and discuss the issues of ICT interoperability within the railway environment. It will tackle issues around railway IT infrastructure, passenger reservation systems and freight handling.

Aimed at senior representatives of Europe’s railway companies, and members of international railway associations with an interest in the subject of railway ICT infrastructure and interoperability across borders, the event will be hosted at the headquarters of Infrabel, the Belgian railway infrastructure management company. Keynote speakers include representatives from the major international railway organisations such as the Community of European Railways (CER) and the European Railway Agency (ERA), plus others from the main European railway undertakings and infrastructure managers.  
Antonio Lopez, Hit Rail’s Managing Director, commented: “Interoperability is one of the major issues facing our railways today as more and more transactions are performed digitally and online and we look to increase efficiency and productivity whilst keeping tight control on costs. This workshop will take an exciting and practical approach, discussing the issues, showcasing solutions and highlighting success stories that will inspire the industry to take further steps towards greater interoperabilty.”

The objectives of the workshop include:
• To showcase and take stock of successful examples of interoperability implementation by railways in Europe
• To discuss challenges and opportunities for putting interoperability into practice, including identification of barriers and possible means to remove those barriers
• To debate and define practical ways of collaboration among the European railway stakeholders in order to achieve the goals of the EU’s Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI)
• To explore additional concrete measures to accelerate TSI implementation across Europe.

One highlight of the event will be a presentation of the recent success story of Swiss railway undertaking Rhätische Bahn which was the first rail organisation in Europe to become interconnected to all other European railways using Hit Rail’s new HEROS web services and message interoperability. HEROS provides translation services for fast and seamless communication between “old style” reservation messages and new IP-based platforms.

Rhätische Bahn is famous for its “red trains,” including the Glacier Express and Bernina Express, transporting passengers through some of the most spectacular scenery of any railway in the world. The company has recently implemented a new reservation system and wanted this to be compatible with the existing and legacy systems of the other railway organisations. Hit Rail was able to support Rhätische Bahn by providing its HEROS translation service, allowing older style reservation messages and the modern XML version to interoperate. This has enabled Rhätische Bahn to improve productivity and reach new sales channels.

Helmut Grohmann, Chairman of Hit Rail, will give the opening address and speakers are expected from many rail transport and freight companies across Europe, including Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and UK. The Workshop will also include strategic sessions on Infrastructure, Passenger Systems and Freight Issues. Further details of the event will be announced shortly.

21 May 2014
General Meeting of Shareholders scheduled

The 2014 annual general meeting of HIT Rail shareholders will take place on Tuesday May 13 in Amsterdam. The representaives of shareholding companies are invited to attend.

21 Mar 2014
HIT Rail helps modernize European Railways by facilitating interoperability at low cost

Hit Rail introduces HEROS, the new message interoperability service for the European Railway Industry

Utrecht, 18 November 2013 - Thanks to Hit Rail’s new HEROS web services, the Swiss railway undertaking Rhätische Bahn is the first rail organisation in Europe to become interconnected to all other European railways using the modern XML protocol. Live since October 28th, HEROS message interoperability provides translation services for fast and seamless communication between the “old style” reservation messages and the modern XML version.

Until now, the existing passenger reservation systems of the European railways exchanged reservation requests via a proprietary set of messages, which are technically complex and increasingly expensive to maintain.

Rhätische Bahn, having only recently created its own reservation system, wanted to implement its state-of-the-art solution, but knew this could become incompatible with the existing systems of the other railway organisations. Therefore no other European railway or travel agency would have been able to book the RhB trains (including the world famous “red trains” – the Glacier Express and Bernina Express).

Hit Rail has supported Rhätische Bahn by providing its brand new HEROS translation service so that theolder style reservation messages and the modern XML version can interoperate.

“We are delighted with the new HEROS services,” said Beat Drittenbass, IT analyst at Rhätische Bahn. “The Hit Rail staff are always available to help and the communication paths are now very short. Compared to the former implementation by transactional MQ systems, HEROS allows the implementation by Web services with significantly lower implementation costs in hardware and software.”

Hit Rail BV, a private Dutch company created in 1989 and currently owned by 12 European railway companies, has been responsible since its foundation for managing an international private data communication network, providing reliable, secure and cost effective transport of messages between rail partners.

By taking advantage of the latest Open Standards and Web Services technologies, Hit Rail is now introducing HEROS, the message interoperability service for the European Railway Industry. HEROS is compliant with the objectives of TSI (Technical Specifications for Interoperability) mandated by the European Commission, and provides a fast and cost-effective means for railways to be TSI compliant. In fact, HEROS is a truly any-to-any messaging solution that will reduce technical complexity and save money for its users.

The HEROS services are immediately available to HIT Rail’s existing customers as part of the routine offering. For new customers, a highly attractive package for early adopters is available upon request.

For more information please visit other parts of this web site or send a mail to

18 Nov 2013
Planned HEROS maintenance window

Dear HEROS partners,

Our infrastructure partner SNCB has planned an intervention that will cause 1 hour of downtime.

next Sunday November 10th from 14.00 to 15.00CET

During this time the HEROS services will not be available.

Reason: The HEROS server environment will be moved to a new VM cluster.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Best regards

Enrique Ruiz López de Tejada 

Technical and Service Manager

Hitrail BV

8 Nov 2013
Vienna Hermes Site Relocation

New ÖBB data centre located in another building required relocation of the Hermes site in Vienna. New access line and router were provided in advance and waited for the access migration. After approval of migration time window from internal customers, ÖBB and RCA, the switch was done successfully on Monday 14th October 2013 afternoon.  

16 Oct 2013
RHB - HEROS entry into Production

Inteconnection of reservation system of the RhB (Rhätische Bahn, with the other major Europan railways reservation systems through HIT Rail's HEROS platform is planned to be in operation from 16th September 2013. HEROS will ensure translation of both communication protocols (MQ and Web Services) and message formats (UIC 912 and XML). The communication uses the Hermes VPN where RhB use their new vpn site in Chur. RhB are infrastructure manager of own railway lines in Swiss Alps as well as train operator (both passenger and freight). They also opearate worldwide well known panoramic trains like Bernina Express or Glacier Express.  

19 Sep 2013