In 2013 alone passenger numbers fell by 16% to 335,000 and with no sign of a recovery the daily service will be suspended from December 13. InterConnex was launched in 2002 and was Germany's first private long-distance operator.

Veolia says infrastructure charges for each service amount to around €1700m, which is considered to be unsustainable. "Under the current circumstances it is no longer possible to operate a profitable long-distance rail service in the long term," says Mr Christian Schreyer, CEO of Veolia Verkehr. "We cannot compete with the prices charged by the long-distance buses, which pay no road tolls, when the track access charges levied by DB Networks are constantly rising. I very much regret this step but as an economically viable company we cannot continue running this service every month at a loss."