10 years of RSRG

Our work life is even more exciting

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10 Years of the Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group, as recounted by Rudi Hoz, Head of Client and Market Support at Sersa. Various roles in the business since 1993, with the exception of 1996-2006 (yet still on the administrative board of Sersa in this time).

The good chemistry between Koni Schnyder and Hubert Rhomberg has always been noticeable. Even before the merger, they tendered jointly for larger and smaller projects, executed projects in consortiums and built up a relationship of trust. From this, a “love marriage” emerged in 2012.


After the merger was announced at InnoTrans 2012, a certain respect was noticeable among our market competitors. For us, it was important to explain to our clients that this fusion brought about synergies and that it was a 50/50 merger - a fusion on equal footing. The employees got to know the products of the other company in workshops and recognised the opportunities relatively quickly. The atmosphere was filled with curiosity and appreciation.

Put to the test in the early days

The restoration of the Simplon Base Tunnel was the first test. The tender was in 2011, even before the merger. Both companies had tendered in different bidding consortiums. The bidding consortium that Rhomberg was part of won. SBB Infrastructure was responsible for the rail-bound construction site logistics on its own and commissioned Sersa to provide the services as a subcontractor. Execution started right after the merger. As you can imagine, there were certain challenges at the beginning, as Rhomberg Bahntechnik and Sersa had to fulfil different roles and also did not have the same client within SSB. However, in the end that was also solved well through the good spirit that reigned and not least because of the shared past of the owners. They made their desire for positive cooperation very clear and communicated what is important to them: Each unit has its own identity, but we want to achieve our goals together.

Clear signs of growing together

The collaboration quickly developed naturally with each new project. What helped us was to discuss things in a sensible way, fair dealings and, again and again, consciously organised get-togethers before and after work. I am glad that it is clearly noticeable that we are growing together. For example, at the Koralm Tunnel in Austria, Sersa supports the PORR and Rhomberg Bahntechnik consortium in installing the railway technology with three locomotives and a concrete train with just over 20 wagons. Another example of our growing together is in the area of metre-gauge railways. On the basis of Sersa's many years of experience working for the Rhaetian Railway, and Rhomberg's experience in the field of tunnel renovation, we have jointly developed a mechanical process for tunnel renovation from a single source, which offers our clients a number of advantages. We are able to meet our clients’ need even better as the technologies comes from two companies.

Broadly positioned, open to new logistics services

Thanks to the merger, we in the group have a broad base and we’re also flexible. In the last years, clients have often actively enquired whether we also provide certain logistics services. That is how our cooperation with SBB Cargo came about. Or we provide rail transport, e.g. in the bulk goods sector, such as seasonal sugar beet transport for Schweizer Zucker AG. The owners regard this as a growth market and if it’s decided by both owners, clients are also guaranteed that we’re in it for the long term. There is trust on the part of the clients; they are saying: “You understand how important deadlines are, you know logistics, and you have the agility of smaller businesses!” We are also increasingly asked for measuring services with our measuring vehicles. Especially in the case of metre-gauge railways, our services are requested all over Europe. 


I attribute part of our success to the fact that the owners give us freedom. Our managing directors have a relatively large degree of autonomy. I also regard the “sacred fire” of the owners, as well as the pride of the employees, as success factors. We are a well-known enterprise, and when I hear: “One sees your machines and locomotives all over Switzerland and Austria!” it fills me with pride, and my colleagues too.

Our work life is even more exciting

In 2032, rail will be far more important than it is today. It will transport many more people and goods. We know what is important to our clients, we are familiar with their challenges because we are in regular dialogue with them. We are known for the fact that we don’t only tender well, but that we then also carry out the projects that are awarded to us well. There are more partnerships between us and clients. Tenders are increasingly being replaced by framework agreements and partnerships, because both these models are more productive. With the new cooperation models, we have more options - our work life is even more exciting. The Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group is a pioneer in the fields of sustainability and innovation because we have a lean structure, contributing your ideas is encouraged at all levels, and we know our clients well.

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