The contract covers the operation of 1.9 million-train km annually on three routes in the Erzgebirge region south of Chemnitz, including:
- Chemnitz - Annaberg-Buchholz - Cranzahl
- Chemnitz - Olbernhau Grünthal, and
- Zwickau - Aue - Johanngeorgenstadt
The contract will run from December 2017 to June 2021 and will use the existing fleet of Siemens class 642 DMUs. DB plans to convert 13 of these trains to hybrid power with battery storage as well as diesel engines.
A tender for the services was underway when DB Erzgebirgsbahn made an offer to operate the service at the pre-existing contract price; ZVMS judged that this was likely to represent better value than continuing with the tender process and therefore agreed to a direct award contract.
Services from Chemnitz to Aue are not included in the new contract as these will be partly replaced between Chemnitz and Thalheim by City Bahn Chemnitz tram-trains from 2018.