Synergies of Strategy & Scenery at European Annual Days 2024

Synergies of Strategy & Scenery at European Annual Days 2024

Each year, team members from across Global Rail Group’s Europe locations get together for what we like to call our ‘Annual Days’. With team members spread across various locations and some even working remotely, this is a time to connect with one another, share ideas, and enjoy a change of pace & scenery. 2024 marked our 4th edition where we came together in the historic and charming city of Toledo, Spain.

A Meeting of Minds in the City of Three Cultures

Owing to its history spanning over a thousand years, Toledo has earned the nickname “City of Three Cultures” for its multicultural background, making it an excellent location for Global Rail Group’s international team’s exchange of cultures and minds.  With our teams having grown in the last year, this year’s Annual Days witnessed team members joining from all over Europe – Vienna, Madrid, Leverkusen, Hamburg, Doboj and Ankara – our newest addition. And not just Europe, team members from the North American team also joined us in the beautiful and ancient city of Toledo.

Global Rail Group’s multi-cultural and international mindset truly came to life in our 2024 EU Annual Days. 

Building Bonds in Toledo

Upon arrival at our hotel, we were greeted by a stunning view of the hill upon which Toledo sits. Centuries old buildings rise from the hill adorning the landscape, with the Tagus River, the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula, enveloping the city. 

The 2024 EU Annual Days were kicked-off in this majestic setting with an evening of dinner, drinks and endless team interaction. Everyone present enthusiastically seized the opportunity to connect with colleagues they typically don’t meet in their day-to-day work roles. The atmosphere was charged with a collective eagerness to engage in both work-related conversation and informal camaraderie, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation among peers. And so, it was no surprise that a majority of us stayed on until the bar closed at midnight. 

Day 01: Spaghetti Towers and Strategic Talks

The first workshop day of the EU Annual Days saw numerous lively discussions and idea exchanges. Presentations and sessions ranged from showcasing success stories to presenting newly developed service offerings to discussing strategic opportunities ahead of us in 2024. 

But of course, the first task at-hand was to show off some great teamwork. The task: Build the highest spaghetti-tape-string tower with a lovely piece of marshmallow sitting on the top! Building a high structure with brittle materials is a task that demands excellent teamwork, ingenuity, and a good amount of planning. Luckily, we are a team of many talents! That the winning team mastered all these qualities was proven by the fact that no measurement tape was needed to declare them the winner. Congratulations!


Two of Global Rail Group’s pillars are our diverse team of subject-matter experts and fostering a non-hierarchical work-culture.   Our workshop’s concept emerged from this ethos – concise and agile 15 minutes presentations for team members to share successes and updates. With over 15 presentations on day 01, we ensured a majority of the team enjoyed an opportunity to contribute. Some presentations were even co-delivered, amplifying the spirit of team-work, expertise, agility, and knowledge-sharing.

As the day progressed, we moved from knowledge sharing to knowledge testing, but in a fun way. 

Before we started a city-exploration tour, the second team activity tested our knowledge about the host country, Spain. And what did we get for each correct answer? Ingredients that ultimately came together to become a beautiful cocktail! From Spanish favorites like sangrias and pomada de menorca to classic cocktails like mojitos, we ended up with quite a variety.

A cocktail tasting session was a fantastic way to close day one of our workshops and move on to exploring Toledo. Once the capital of the Visigoth kingdom, Toledo is a quaint and historic city. A walk around history and culture  is exactly what everyone needed to wind down.

Day 02: Continuous Learning and Heart-to-Hearts

On day 02 we switched gears from knowledge sharing to strategic planning and corporate conversations. The team spent a lot of time together sharing plans in place for the rest of the year and how Global Rail Group will move forward together towards success. 

Day 02 came to a close after an informal let’s talk session. A crowd favorite where our CEO Harald Eller and COO, Gabrielle Costigan sit down with the entire team, and everyone is invited to talk and express their thoughts or ask any questions to the executive team.  From work culture to 5-year vision, no question or comment was too big or too small. Chats like these bring the entire team closer and motivate us to continue moving towards the future and further success. 

 All in all, the 2024 EU Annual Days were full of spirited [literally] conversations, great team teamwork, a great atmosphere and knowledge. Each year, we take away invaluable lessons and memories that inspire us in our daily work and personal growth. Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed to making the European Annual Days 2024 a success. Until next year, we shall carry the spirit of Toledo with us and continue moving forward, together. We can’t wait to meet everyone again!

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