BEG had tendered the five-line network as two contracts as it was considered too sizeable for a single tender.
With the exception of the four-line network in Bremen, all S-Bahn services in Germany are currently operated by German Rail (DB). National Express will take over the Nuremberg S-Bahn from DB in December 2018 and by that time the network will have expanded by a further 48km to reach 272km.
All services will be operated by new rolling stock and National Express will replace the ageing locomotive-hauled trains and much newer Talent 2 EMUs currently used by DB with a fleet of 38 five-car RegioPanter EMUs from Skoda. The €360m contract is the first order for RegioPanter trains for use in Germany.
Timetables and frequencies have not yet been announced as it is unclear whether all planned infrastructure enhancements will be completed in time for the start of the 2019 timetable in December 2018.
Performance criteria specified by BEG include a minimum number of seats per train and the presence of security guards on all services. National Express will adopt BEG's quality measurement system and will be subject to monitoring by the authority. National Express says it expects to generate €1.4bn in revenues over the duration of the concession.
National Express will begin operating its first German regional concession in December, when it takes over operation of RE7 (Rheine – Münster – Wuppertal – Cologne – Krefeld) and RB48 (Wuppertal – Solingen – Cologne – Bonn) services in North Rhine Westphalia. Bombardier is supplying 35 Talent 2 EMUs for these services.
National Express says that the Nuremberg S-Bahn contract will make it Germany's seventh-largest passenger operator (by train-km) by 2019.