The trains will be used on RE7 Rhine-Münsterland Express (Rheine – Münster – Wuppertal – Cologne – Krefeld) and RB48 (Wuppertal – Solingen – Cologne – Bonn) services, which will be operated by a consortium of National Express and German partner IntEgro Transport from December 2015 under a 15-year concession awarded in February this year. The 160km/h three and five-car sets are expected to operate primarily in multiple on these routes, covering around 5.1 million train-km per year.

Under the terms of the concession, National Express will purchase the train fleet and sell it back to Rhine-Ruhr Transport Association (VRR) and Westphalia-Lippe Local Transport (NWL), which will take over the financing of the trains and lease them back to National Express.

Last month National Express issued a separate invitation to tender for a framework contract to supply up to 250 electric trains for use on regional services in Germany.