City Transport & Road Pricing Europe 2021: Meet the Speaker – Karin Fest, ÖBB-Personenverkehr

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With only one week to go until City Transport & Road Pricing Conference Europe 2021, CiTTi meets speaker Karin Fest, head of new rail business at ÖBB-Personenverkehr, who will explain why using night trains to link European cities is the way forward.

Taking place on 11-12 May 2021 via virtual conferencing platform Swapcard, City Transport & Road Pricing Conference Europe 2021 will explore the latest developments and technologies shaping urban transportation via four key content themes: road pricing and tolling; emissions and sustainability; congestion and traffic management; and transportation infrastructure.

This two-day online event will see over 20 expert speakers highlight the latest road pricing and tolling projects, discuss intelligent transport infrastructures and present urban mobility schemes being implemented in major towns and cities across Europe, from Ljubljana and Oslo to Brussels and Lahti.

Karin Fest, head of new rail business, ÖBB-Personenverkehr

Name: Karin Fest

Job role: Head of New Rail Business

Organisation: ÖBB-Personenverkehr

What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is that I can experience our product when travelling with a Nightjet. By 2023 we will introduce a new generation of Nightjets and with this also a whole new experience of modern night trains with mini capsules, family compartments and deluxe lounges.

What is the biggest challenge facing those with responsibility for developing inter-city rail services in 2021?
The framework conditions for operating night trains in the EU are very difficult. Cross-border night train services are operationally challenging and require a joint effort and political support.

What’s your best piece of advice for those looking to deploy inter-city rail links?
Night trains can become a key element of sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility and its integration in a global daily European rail network is important.

Does legislation help or hinder development in the sector?
Certain legal measures could improve the framework for operating night trains. For example, creating a better framework for night trains with the Green Deal and levelling the playing field for all modes of transport.

How will inter-city rail services have changed by 2030?
I personally hope that, by 2030, all inter-city short-haul flights will be replaced by trains. Travelling by train is 51 times more climate-friendly than traveling by plane, and 26 times more climate-friendly than travelling by car. For example, while a passenger on a commercial flight consumes 410kg of CO2 on the Vienna-Brussels route, the same passenger on a night train would only cause 40 kg of CO2.

Why are you looking forward to speaking at City Transport & Road Pricing Europe 2021?
I am looking forward to sharing with you the perspective from ÖBB as Europe’s largest night train operator and our plans to bring back on track more night trains for Europe in the future.

At the conference you’ll also be able to hear from Continental, Transport & Environment, Greenplan, the cities of Stuttgart and Oslo, the European Green Capital 2021 project… and more! You can view the full agenda here. All times are shown in CET (GMT+1). All sessions will be available after the conference on-demand.

For partnership enquiries, please contact Robert Gouge at or by calling +44 (0) 20 8065 0465. For speaking opportunities, please contact Claudia Davidson at or by calling +44 (0) 20 8037 1777.

Meet some of our other speakers at City Transport & Road Pricing Conference Europe 2021… 

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