Elisabeth Fiala
is social media communicator in the Rail Cargo Group
Read all posts

RCG Inside

At ROLA near the Brenner Pass

Slipping into another role for one day and – as in the case of our executives – taking over the job of other colleagues for one day. Barbara Reitgruber, Head of IT Governance and IT Administration, immediately realised that she “wanted to go to ROLA” as part of the “changing perspectives” project.

ROLA stands for “Rollende Landstraße (rolling country road)”. Road and rail transport are combined here. In this special transport system, complete trucks or semi-trailers can cover certain sections of their route by rail. The trucks are loaded onto special low-floor railway cars at our terminals and then transported by rail. During the ride, the truck drivers can rest and have a meal in a connected and catered couchette coach. ROLA is therefore also referred to as accompanied, combined transport, or intermodal transport.

ROLA Brennersee (c)von Loderbauer

On the ROLA route Brenner–Wörgl, trains with 18 trucks each run almost hourly around the clock. At peak times, this adds up to around 7,000 trucks a month that must be handled. Since the introduction of the sectoral driving ban in Tyrol, the number of dual trains has been raised to 18 every day instead of the previous 16.

But enough “theory”, now back to the change of perspective….

One day at ROLA

After arriving in Tyrol, the entire process chain of ROLA was explained to Barbara Reitgruber on a guided tour; then she was shown how things work on site. Back at the starting point, the next station was the office, where she was warmly greeted by colleagues. The colleagues (a team of nine people) work in shifts around the clock, seven days a week.

After a short theoretical introduction, the job she was supposed to do was immediately assigned to the IT expert. After some shared order entries into the computer system, she took over and could hardly wait to take care of the new customers.

She really knows her way around a computer 🙂 ©️Strickner

Great performance from the employees

What did she find fascinating at ROLA? How awesome it is to see everything get solved with pictures and explanations in different languages! So many drivers from different nations must be handled in such a short time and of course in different languages. It can be very stressful indeed, yet the colleagues here manage everything perfectly and, above all, they have a lot of fun at their job.

An eventful day

Even after many hours, Barbara Reitgruber still enjoyed the work at the counter so much that she did not want to stop. She had already brought along a lot of curiosity, but when you are received with such friendliness and enthusiasm, you can’t help but enjoy the work and be happy about doing something completely different for a day.

“It was really a perfect day!” Barbara Reitgruber said, thanking the local staff.

“Many thanks to a great team!” ©️Strickner

After a busy day, full of emotions and impressions, the train took us back to Vienna in the evening.

The idea of changing perspective for one day and taking over the work of other colleagues really pleased the Viennese team leader very much. She had already tried to imagine how the colleagues were doing out there, directly on site, and how they could be supported. Now she has a good idea of what the impact is when the printer for the tickets doesn’t work. These tickets consist of a special paper and have several carbon copies. If the repair or replacement of the printer is delayed due to unnecessary bureaucracy, this can be fatal for the employees on site. Many people are often unaware of what kind of impact their actions or non-actions can have outside, at grass roots level, she summarised.

“It was really a lot of fun for me! If it weren’t so far away, I would seriously think of applying for a job there!”, she adds with a wink.