Expert knowledge that sets the course for success

Get to know our leading experts in our departments.

The managers, experts and teams at NEXTRAIL work closely together to implement projects across departmental boundaries to solve even the most complex tasks quickly and efficiently with agile processes.


NEXTRAIL was founded in 2016 to provide national and international railway operators and manufacturers with the highest level of expertise. With a team of proven experts who, based on their many years of experience, are able to deliver intelligent, practical results in a targeted manner. Not complicated – but client-oriented and smart.


Brilliant minds and motivated employees are the secret of our success. Today at NEXTRAIL, a well-coordinated interdisciplinary team of over 50 employees advises renowned national and international operators and manufacturers in the railway sector on the analysis, design, implementation, migration and commissioning of their systems – competent across all technical domains


Because customer proximity is a key factor for NEXTRAIL – even in an increasingly digital world – we now have six locations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Decision makers in the railway sector and their teams rely on NEXTRAIL’s partnership-based cooperation and interdisciplinary expertise to help them set the course for their projects. With its comprehensive technical and process know-how as well as system knowledge spanning many applications, NEXTRAIL is present where the future of railways is shaped sustainably.


Our practical, customer-specific solutions are based on a holistic view of the relationships between operations, technology and organisation.

Steffen Jurtz

Managing director


Steffen Jurtz has been one of the managing directors of NEXTRAIL GmbH since 2017. His excellent reputation in the railway industry as a proven expert in the field of control and safety technology is based on his more than 25 years of professional experience as a consultant and partner for lighthouse projects in the area of control and safety technology for well-known railway operators and industry in Germany and abroad.

Dr Michael Leining

Managing director

Frankfurt am Main

Dr Michael Leining is the managing director of NEXTRAIL GmbH. As a driver of the digitisation of the railways, he works closely with pioneering thinkers, decision makers and committees in the railway sector, advising railway and infrastructure operators on technology and transformation projects at the national and international level.

Dr Albrecht Achilles

Member of Executive Board,
Head of ATO/TMS Department


Dr Albrecht Achilles is a senior expert and head of the ATO/TMS department at NEXTRAIL GmbH. His broad specialist expertise is based on many years of experience as a technical consultant for control and safety technology, both on the operator and the manufacturer side. Dr Albrecht Achilles focuses on the technical area of the European Train Control System (ETCS), automatic train operation (ATO), traffic management systems (TMS) and signalling controlled warning systems (SCWS).

Dr Sonja-Lara Bepperling

Member of Executive Board,
Head of SAFETY Department,
Registered inspector for equivalent safety and risk assessment

Frankfurt am Main

Dr Sonja-Lara Bepperling is a senior expert and head of the SAFETY department at NEXTRAIL GmbH. For 15 years, she has been a proven expert in operational and technical risk analyses in the railway sector – in control and safety technology in particular. She possesses methodical expertise in risk and hazard analyses as well as in-depth knowledge of the processes involved in the approval processes.

Picture of Marco Gerlach in front of the Nextrail lettering

Marco Gerlach

Member of Executive Board,
Head of Project Engineering Department


Marco Gerlach is a senior expert and head of the Project Engineering department at NEXTRAIL GmbH. With over 20 years of professional experience on the manufacturing side, he has extensive operational and technical expertise in the railway sector as a consultant – in particular in the field of electronic interlocking with a focus on the German railway construction and operating regulation (EBO), the German tram construction and operating regulation (BOStrab) and control–command and signalling systems (CCS).

Picture of Benedikt Wenzel in front of the Nextrail lettering

Dr Benedikt Wenzel

Member of Executive Board,
Head of DATA Department


Dr Benedikt Wenzel is a senior expert and head of the data management department and system/RAMS engineering department at NEXTRAIL GmbH in accordance with EN 5012x. He has over ten years of experience in the fields of European Train Control System (ETCS) and safety. He is also a specialist in data management, including recording, processing and validation.
image of train control system specialist Joerg Liesche in front of a Nextrail wall-print

Jörg Liesche

Principal for train control systems


Jörg Liesche is the principal for train control systems at NEXTRAIL GmbH. With over 25 years of professional experience on the manufacturer side and as a consultant, he has extensive operational and technical expertise – particularly in the area of ETCS and the interfaces to adjacent systems.


Christian Klier

Senior Expert,
ATO Department


Christian Klier is a senior expert in the ATO and ATO sensor technology department at NEXTRAIL GmbH. As a project manager and specialist for automatic train operation and with over 15 years of professional experience in the industry, he has extensive technical expertise both in the field of product development and interdisciplinary system integration.