GERMANY’s Mecklenburg-Vorpommern transport authority (VMV) has awarded East German Railway (ODEG) a long-term contract to continue operating the Baltic Sea Coast II sub-network, which represents around 1.8 million train-km annually. 

The contract will begin in December 2021 and run until December 2034, and covers the operation of:  

  • RE9 Rostock - Stralsund - Sassnitz/Ostseebad Binz (half hourly), with additional services on the island of Rügen, and 
  • RE10 Rostock - Stralsund - Züssow (hourly). 

A short-term contract was previously awarded to ODEG in 2019, with the decision by VMV subject of legal action by former operator DB Regio.  

The contract was unusual in that the winner was obliged to lease the fleet of seven new three-car Desiro ML EMUs owned by Alpha Trains, currently leased to ODEG. The full fleet entered service in August 2020. Prior to delivery, services were initially operated by ODEG using trains leased from Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB).  

The Desiro MLs will be extended to four-car trains using additional vehicles ordered at the same time as the rest of the trains. This is dependent on approval by Germany’s Federal Railway Authority (EBA), which is expected later this year.