The concessions will be awarded by the end of the year to enable them to start on December 9 2018, and they will run until December 11 2033 with options for an extension. They cover 14.2 million train km per year, and will be split into three groups of lines for the tender procedure. Each bidder can submit bids for one or more lots.

Lot 1 covers 5.8 million train-km per year and comprises two lines:

RE 1: Hamm – Essen - Cologne - Aachen (3.5 million train-km), and

RE 11: Kassel - Hamm - Dortmund - Essen - Düsseldorf (2.2 million train-km).

Lot 2 covers about 6 million train-km annually and also consists of two lines:

RE 5: Koblenz - Cologne - Düsseldorf - Wesel (2.4 million train-km), and

RE 6: Cologne Airport - Cologne – Essen - Hamm - Minden (3.7 million train-km).

Lot 3 comprises only Line RE 4: Dortmund – Hagen - Mönchengladbach - Aachen covering 2.4 million train-km/year.

VRR is managing the tendering on behalf of four other public transport authorities: North Hessen (NVV), Westphalia-Lippe (NWL), Rhineland-Pfalz North (SNNV-Nord), and Rhineland (ZV NVR). The public transport authorities will provide the rolling stock for the concessionaires and VRR invited bids last October for 85 trains, plus a 30-year maintenance contract. The contract for the trains is expected to be awarded in the fourth quarter of 2014.