The tender is open to offers of either single or double-deck emus, or locomotive-powered trains, and the contract is dependent on National Express winning further train operating concessions in Germany.

The 140km/h regional trains must be approved for operation in Germany and neighbouring countries and must be available for operation within two years of signing the deal. The contract will have options to extend the deal to five years and for the supplier to maintain the trains.

National Express won its first two concessions in Germany in February from the Rhine-Ruhr Transport Association (VRR), as lead contractor for two other transport authorities. The 15-year period concessions, which cover the operation of 5.1 million train-km per year, will start in December 2015 and National Express is purchasing a fleet of 36 emus for them.

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