Abellio says that the sale has been motivated by increasingly competitive conditions in the German regional rail market.

“It is increasingly difficult to win tenders for new or existing routes,” says MoBiel managing director Mr Martin Uekmann. “We believe that Abellio can withstand this pressure much better than the municipal partners in the business. Abellio has been concentrating on the regional rail market for many years and is therefore ideally positioned to maintain Westfalenbahn’s market position.”

Westfalenbahn was founded in 2005 and operates regional services in Lower Saxony and North-Rhine Westphalia. The four companies each hold a 25% stake in the company.