The trains were originally due to enter service with the start of the 2019 timetable on December 9, but their introduction was postponed due to the delay in obtaining EBA authorisation.
The SAPS will enable the trains to begin operating an hourly electric service on the Maastricht - Heerlen - Aachen line (RE 18) on January 27, effectively marking the completion of electrification of the cross-border section between Landgraaf in the Netherlands and Herzogenrath in Germany.
Coinciding with the introduction of the new trains, passengers will be also able to use the OV Chipkaart Dutch national smartcard to travel to Aachen Main Station. Netherlands Railways (NS) season tickets and Dutch student public transport cards will also be valid for travel from stations in the Netherlands to Aachen.
In addition to the Dutch 1.5kV dc and German 15kV ac systems, the Flirts are equipped to operate on the Belgian 3kV dc electrification system for the planned extension of services from Maastricht to Liège. However, the authorisation process is slow and there has been little progress recently towards the launch of these services.