December 14, 2015

National Express begins German rail operations

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NATIONAL Express launched its first passenger operations on the German mainline network on December 13, when it took over the operation of two regional routes in North Rhine Westphaila from DB Regio.

Rhine Ruhr Transport Authority (VRR) awarded National Express a 15-year concession in February 2013 to operate RE7 Rhine-Münsterland Express (Rheine – Münster – Wuppertal – Cologne – Krefeld) and RB48 (Wuppertal – Solingen – Cologne – Bonn) services, covering a total of around 5.1 million train-km per year. National Express says it expects to carry around 18 million passengers per year on the two routes and generate €1.6bn across the duration of the concession.

All services are operated by a fleet of 34 Talent 2 EMUs ordered from Bombardier in June 2013 in a deal worth €170m.

In October National Express signed two contracts to operate Rhine-Ruhr Express services from 2018. The company has also been selected as preferred bidder for a contract to operate the Nuremberg S-Bahn network and a court is expected to decide this week whether the tendering authority, Bavarian Railway Company (BEG), will be allowed to finalise the contract.


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