RAILROAD Development Corporation (RDC), United States, has bought a majority controlling stake in North German Railway Niebüll (NEG), which was previously owned by Luxembourg state rail operator CFL. The transaction announced on February 10 is backdated to January 1 2022.

CFL bought NEG in 2001 and will remain a minority shareholder, continuing “to play an active role,” according to Mr Marc Wengler, CEO of CFL.

NEG operates services between Niebüll and Dagebüll-Mole under contract to Schleswig Holstein Transport Association (NAH-SH). These trains convey through DB inter-city coaches from elsewhere in Germany during the holiday season enabling one seat connections to ferries in Dagebüll. NEG also operates the German section of the international service from Niebüll to Tønder/Esbjerg in Denmark and in cooperation with DB-owned Arriva Tog in Denmark.

In addition, NEG is the owner and infrastructure manager of several non-electrified secondary lines and has announced plans for electrification of the Niebüll - Dagebüll Mole line at 15kV ac to enable through DB long distance services to operate after 2024 when new Talgo built ICE-L trains replace conventional trains. NEG also operates some freight services and depot facilities.

By acquiring NEG, RDC Germany possesses an experienced and proven operator of local rail passenger transport contracts, aiding its efforts to bid for future contracts.

RDC Germany operates the Autozug Sylt vehicle transport service from Niebüll to Westerland on the island of Sylt and the seasonal Alpen-Sylt Nightexpress from northern Germany to Austria and Switzerland. RDC also owns rolling stock leasing company RDC Asset and charter train specialist BTE.

RDC lost a contract awarded by NAH-SH to operate regional services last year after NAH-SH was found to have made procedural errors in awarding the tender.