top of page








The conference was a day to immerse yourself in the future: What will the night trains of tomorrow look like? Which connections can be opened? How can we ensure the sustainability of this mode of transport? What obstacles have been removed to extend the European network? Why is Brussels the perfect hub for this network?

In a few words, a day dedicated to (re)thinking the future of night trains together with experts, ngo's, railway industry representatives...  

This event is an official event in the framework of the European Year of Rail!


09h00 Welcoming of participants

09h30 Keynote speech 


Keynote speech by Georges Gilkinet, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mobility and the National Railway Company of Belgium 

09h50 #Hub4Brussels

The vision of Back on Track Belgium about how Brussels van become once more a hub for the future night train traffic in Europe. For details, please visit

10h15  Panel and Q&A: Night trains as a factor of development and opening up cities and regions of Europe

  • Mélissa Hanus (Member of the Belgian Federal Parliament )

  • Sigurd Vangermeersch (Deputy CEO Visit.Brussels)

  • Carlos Cipriano (Journalist for el Publico)

11h15  coffee break

11h30 Panel and Q&A: private initiatives

  • Kristof Blomme (VentureRail/Ostende Vienne Orient Experience bv, B)

  • Nicolas Debaisieux (Railcoop, FR)

  • Elmer van Buuren (European Sleeper, NL)

  • Emil Frodlund (Member management board EPF)

12h40 Lunch Break

14h00 Panel and Q&A: The Economic environment of night trains

  • Erwin Kastberger (ÖBB Fernverkehr New Rail Business) 

  • Benoit Vignon  (VP Rail & Retail on Board Development Newrest)

  • Matteo Mussini (CER)

  • Elmer van Buuren (European Sleeper, NL)

15h00 Panel and Q&A: Long distance travel in Europe: ticketing and passenger rights

  • Blaž Pongračič (Senior Policy Advisor CER)

  • Robin Loos (Sustainable Transport Officer BEUC)

  • Michael Lacroix (Inventory & Distribution System Expert Thalys)

16h10 Closing speech by Karima Delli, Member of the European Parliament, Chairwoman of the European Parliament's Transport and Tourism Committee 

16h30 Possibility for participants to meet each other

17h00 End of the conference

bottom of page