The ministry says HzL submitted the best economic offer for the contract, which begins in June 2019 and runs for 13 years and six months.

The contract covers the operation of around 1.7 million train-km per year (including nearly 200,000 train-km in Bavaria), comprising Aalen - Langenau - Ulm Regional Express services and regional services from Ulm to Langenau and Munderkingen.

Services will be operated by a new fleet of Alstom Lint 54 DMUs. The trains will have an entrance height of 55cm for level boarding and each two-car set will accommodate up to 18 bicycles.