DB Regio was the only bidder for the 13-year contract, which begins in December 2022 and covers the operation of regional services on the Lübeck -Travemünde - (RB 86), Lübeck - Hamburg (RE 8/80) and Lübeck - Puttgarden lines.

Under the new contract, half-hourly Lübeck - Hamburg services will operate until 23.00 at weekends and between 05.00 and 00.00 on weekdays.

NAH.SH says favourable conditions for rolling stock procurement meant DB was able to offer an attractive price, which has allowed the state to order additional trains. This will enable the extension of half-hourly services to Neustadt in Holstein and Travemünde Strand, the latter benefiting from through services from Hamburg. These services will be operated by pairs of EMUs, which will split at Lübeck Main Station with the leading portion of the train continuing to Travemünde.

The Neustadt - Puttgarden line is due to close early in the contract term for upgrading as part of the construction of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link between Germany and Denmark. Trains will be replaced by a “high-quality” hourly bus service, which will be operated by new wheelchair-accessible double deck buses.

A new fast service between Lübeck and Hamburg will provide a 38-minute journey time between the two cities.

DMUs will continue to operate services between Lübeck and Neustadt until electrification is completed, when Hamburg - Lübeck regional express services will be extended to Neustadt.

New trains

Eastern Electric Network services will be operated by a new fleet of 18 Stadler Kiss double-deck EMUs, each seating 405 passengers. The trains will be equipped with wheelchair-accessible toilets, a multifunctional area for wheelchair users and pushchairs, free Wi-Fi, CCTV, an electronic seat reservation system, real-time passenger information systems, and at-seat power sockets. Each set will also accommodate up to 36 bicycles.

The first trains are expected to begin trial operation in June 2022, with full fleet introduction planned for the start of the new operating contract in December 2022.

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