The network, which has been branded Vareo, covers six non-electrified routes in southern North Rhine Westphalia and neighbouring Rhineland Palatinate

The 140km/h trains were originally due to enter service in December 2013, but DB says that delays in the certification process mean the fleet will not be fully operational until June. Thirty of the trains will be deployed on the Cologne – Gerolstein – Trier route, while 13 sets will be needed for Cologne – Meinerzhagen services. The remaining 13 trains will be used on Bonn - Euskirchen - Bad Münstereifel and Bonn – Ahrbrück services.

The fleet comprises 54.3m-long two-car trains, which seat 180 passengers with up to 204 standees, and 80.9m-long three-car sets which accommodate up to 606 passengers, 300 of them seated. The trains were ordered in 2011 at a cost of €325m and are being assembled at Alstom's Salzgitter plant.

The concession runs until 2033 and DB expects to operate around 7.2 million train-km per year on the network.