National Express begins rail operations in Germany
14 December 2015 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
National Express has for the first time begun operating services in Germany on lines RE7 and RB48 of the Rhine Munster Express (RME).
On Sunday 13 December 2015, National Express began running two services on the RME in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. As agreed in the awarded contract in February 2013, National Express operating lines include:
- RE7 regional express service between Krefeld-Cologne-Wuppertal-Hagen-Hamm-Munster-Rheine
- RB48 regional stopping service between Bonn-Cologne-Wuppertal
Following the awarded concession, National Express purchased 34 new Bombardier Talent 2 EMU trains for operation on the two services. The trains, which were first unveiled in December 2014, can reach up to 100mph, feature both first and standard-class seating, and are fully accessible.
According to the operator, an estimated 18 million passengers will travel on the service each year. The two 15-year contracts are expected to generate revenues of around €1.6 billion.
“National Express’ aim is to deliver a better, more frequent and reliable service to RME passengers with brand new, modern trains.”
Dean Finch, National Express Group Chief Executive, said: “Germany is Europe’s largest rail market and is an important part of our strategy. I am delighted that after significant planning and preparation we have started running services. We will be implementing our approach and success in running the UK’s best performing franchise, c2c, in Germany. National Express’ aim is to deliver a better, more frequent and reliable service to RME passengers with brand new, modern trains.”
In October National Express signed two contracts to operate the Rhine-Ruhr Express (RRX) service in the same region. The company has also been named as the preferred bidder for the Nuremberg S-Bahn contract and is awaiting the outcome of an appeal which is due shortly.
Mr Finch continued: “The German rail market presents significant further opportunity for National Express. We are working on the start-up of our next two German rail contracts on the Rhine-Ruhr Express. These bring our already secured revenues from German rail to €2.6 billion. We await the outcome of the appeal on the €1.4 billion Nuremberg S-Bahn contract, have recently submitted a bid for another German rail contract and see an active pipeline of attractive opportunities throughout 2016.”