Keolis and Abellio has been chosen over state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB) to operate several S-Bahn lines in Rhine-Ruhr.

Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR) has received approval from Zweckverband Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe (NWL) to award two separate contracts to Keolis and Abellio to operate trains on several routes from 2019.

The contracts, which are currently subject to a 10-day standstill period, will last for 12 and 15 years respectively.

Lot A, which was awarded to Keolis, includes lines S1 (Solingen-Dortmund) and S4 (Dortmund-Unna).

Lot B covers lines S2 (Dortmund Recklinghausen / Essen), S3 (Oberhausen-Hattingen), S9 (Hagen-Recklinghausen / Haltern am See), RB3 (Dortmund-Duisburg), RB40 (Essen-Hagen) and RB41 (Wesel-Wuppertal).

On lines S1 and S4, Keolis will acquire a fleet of 48 Class 422 trains from DB Regio after agreeing the sale with VRR in 2015. DB Regio will continue to maintain the trains until 2034.

Lines S 2, S 3, S 9, S 28, RB 3, RB 40 and RB 41 will be served by a new fleet of 29 trains from Stadler.

Stephan Krenz, managing director of Abellio Germany, said: “Abellio will make travelling by train in the Rhine-Ruhr area fun again. This award for the biggest lot in the tender shows once again that we are the quality leaders in the North Rhine Westphalia area.

“With this new lot, Abellio’s presence as a competitive rail business grows in Germany. This is clearly the merit of our employees who go above and beyond to offer our passengers the best service every single day.”

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