BAVARIAN Railway Company (BEG) has selected Agilis as the winner of the Regensburg-Danube Valley tender. The new contract will commence in December 2022 and includes routes already operated by Agilis, and from December 2024, the Regensburg - Nuremberg line currently operated by DB Regio.

Agilis, a subsidiary of BeNEX and Hamburger Hochbahn, will continue to operate the Danube Valley routes comprising Ulm - Günzburg - Donauwörth - Ingolstadt; Gaimersheim - Ingolstadt - Regensburg; and the east-west Neumarkt - Regensburg - Plattling line from December 2022.

The contract, which will run until 2036, covers 5.7 million train-km annually with timetables improved to offer additional late evening services. Agilis will use its existing fleet of class 440 Alstom Continental Coradia EMUs on these routes.

For the Regensburg - Nuremberg line, Agilis will order new four-car Mireo EMUs from Siemens and use these to operate an hourly service, adding a further 1.5 million train-km annually to the contract. The new trains will also enable expansion of some other services to Regensburg and will replace locomotive-hauled push-pull trains used by DB.

DB Regio challenged the contract award, which delayed confirmation until May 17. The contract requires all trains to have an onboard customer service attendant and has been awarded on net terms. Under this model, Agilis will retain fare revenue and agreed subsidy payments and is therefore incentivised to increase revenue although BEG will adjust subsidies to reflect increases in infrastructure, energy and personnel costs that are outside the control of the operator.