November 25, 2014

Nordbahn start hit by rolling stock delays

Written by  Keith Fender
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Driver training is underway on the three Stadler Flirt EMUs delivered thus far. Driver training is underway on the three Stadler Flirt EMUs delivered thus far. Keith Fender

DELAYS in delivery of Stadler Flirt EMUs for the new Nordbahn service, which is due to commence on Schleswig-Holstein's central network from Hamburg to Itzehoe and Wrist on December 14, is putting the start of operations in doubt.

Currently three of the 15 trains ordered, seven five-car class 1429 and eight six-car class 1430 EMUs, have been delivered with three more vehicles set to arrive by the end of the month. However, it remains unclear whether the operator will have enough trains or if they will be approved in time for the start of operations, with the timetable requiring 13 of the 15 vehicles to be in service at peak times and eight for off-peak periods.

Nordbahn, which is a joint venture of AKN and Benex, says it is developing plans for replacement trains in case it has insufficient Flirt EMUs. It is also set to face problems on the 2.9km branch from Wrist to Kellinghuse, which was due to be rebuilt in time for the start of operations. However, with no progress on the €8m project, alternative work worth €1.5m is underway in Wrist to create a 236m turnback siding for the stabling of Nordbahn EMUs.

Nordbahn will take over services on the route from DB Regio and is set to operate 1.6 million train-km annually for the duration of its contract from December 2014 to December 2027.

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