10 Years of the Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group, as recounted by Barbara Zeilinger, team leader for Management Assistance and Management Support Bahnbau Wels; with the company since 2003.
Bahnbau Wels has been wholly owned by Rhomberg since 1999. When Rhomberg and Sersa were merged in 2012, it felt good, as another high-performing partner was added to our high-performing group. The strengths of both companies were combined and we were instantly much larger than before. The merger meant creating and merging organisational structures, as a great number of affiliated firms became part of us. It is good that, despite our size, we still have contact with our owners. Konrad Schnyder and Hubert Rhomberg often visited our company and were present at Christmas parties. And it was always evident that Bahnbau Wels enjoys a great amount of trust in the group, not least because of our good performance.
Pride in our growth
If I look back at all the developments over the last ten years, I am filled with pride. For example, Bahnbau Wels had two subsidiaries before 2012, but after the merger, we grew enormously. In 2013 we bought Universale Bau from the Alpine Group. In 2015 Rhomberg Fahrleitungsbau was added with the new business area “Overhead Lines and Electric Equipment”, and in 2016 JumboTec became part of us, both from the Balfour Beatty Group. Since 2016 our growth has been purely organic. All our companies operate as independent, flexible units. Today, Bahnbau Wels and its subsidiaries have more than three and a half times as many employees as in 2012. And we are only one of many parts of RSRG.
Clients perceive cooperation positively
Through cooperation and close networking within the Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group, we not only have access to a very wide range of services, but employees from the various units often work together on the construction sites. For example, on a construction site, you may come across a tamping machine or a track-laying crane from Bahnbau Wels next to the commercial units from Universale Bau or Rhomberg Gleisbau. Our success and progress in Germany’s southern and southwestern regions also show how we are moving forward with combined strengths. Work in the region was originally done by Bahnbau Wels from Austria. In 2021 we gained the Mühlacker site from an affiliate and are now even closer to our clients. Here, the units from the Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group work hand in hand and the cooperation functions very well. Our reputation in this region is that of a good business partner who can offer a wide range of services.
Solidifying the base after growth
From my point of view, the exchange between the units is getting better and better and we work together more and more closely. The sense of belonging and the strong desire for communality only grows when walking the longer road together and the potential that we have in RSRG becomes increasingly obvious. “Our hearts beat for the company” is not just a saying here; it is an attitude that has grown.
Building trust over decades
I see four factors as being crucial for the success of RSRG: We are no longer newcomers - in the group, there are companies that have been successful for decades. Bahnbau Wels, for example, has been doing what we do for over 70 years. Rhomberg Gleisbau has been in the business for about 65 years and Sersa for more than 70 years. And Universale Bau has been in railroad construction since 1960. The different strands of the company have made a good name for themselves during this time and have won the trust of their customers.
Secondly, the employees who have been with us for many years and put their heart and soul into their work contribute to the group’s success. The third factor is the foresighted investment planning which our owners support. When it comes to machine technology, one always has to be at the cutting edge. When we acquired the E³ machines with environmentally friendly hybrid drive in 2019, we were leading the way with this kind of technology in the tamping market. I see the independent units as the fourth factor to our success. We must not lose our flexibility under any circumstances.
Forging ahead in 2032 with reliability
A big challenge which we will have solved in 2032 is our skills shortage. Our employees are rooted in our companies and are passionate about their work. We are proud of our long tradition; we benefit from each other and respect each other. Older and younger employees brainstorm new ideas together and the experience of senior employees is drawn on. The Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group stands for reliability in the market and for their will to progress. Our independent units are well-connected in 2032 and respond sensitively to trends and changes. We are at the forefront of new technologies. We recognise what our customers need and what gives them added value. For our customers, we are the ideal partner for their projects in the railway sector.
A large, functional family
Trudy Schnyder, spouse of Konrad Schnyder and co-creator: “Today the Rhomberg Sersa Group is one large family that works.”
Successful because we have mastered complexity
Walter-Heinz Rhomberg, owner, Deputy Chairman of the Group Advisory Board: “The foundation for everything that is to succeed is mutual trust.”