The provincial government selected Arriva for the contract last June after the discovery of irregularities in the tendering process led to the disqualification of the preferred bidder, Netherlands Railways' (NS) subsidiaries Abellio and QBuzz.

Now Veolia has accepted the decision to award the contract to Arriva, there can be no more legal challenges, enabling Arriva to place an order for new trains from Stadler and take on a significant proportion of the staff currently employed by Veolia.

Under the 15-year concession, which begins in December 2016, Arriva will operate all regional rail services in the province, which at the start of the concession this will encompass five lines:

  • Maastricht Randwijck - Kerkrade Centrum (Heuvelland Line, electrically operated) currently operated by Veolia
  • Roermond - Venlo - Nijmegen Maas Line (diesel service), currently operated by Veolia
  • Maastricht Randwijck - Roermond electric regional services, currently part of the core network concession operated by NS
  • Heerlen - Roermond electric regional services (also currently part of the core network), and
  • Heerlen - Aachen Main Station (Germany).