GERMANY: Preferred bidder Abellio has withdrawn its bid for the Mitteldeutsche S-Bahn II contract, which will now be awarded to DB Regio instead.

The Länder of Sachsen-Anhalt and Brandenburg had selected Abellio for the €1·1bn contract in March, but DB appealed and bids were re-evaluated. When the contract had not been finalised by September 30, Abellio withdrew its bid.

The contract runs for 15 years from December 2015 and covers the operation of 5·6 million train-km a year on a network of routes around Magdeburg, Halle, Leipzig, Lutherstadt Wittenberg and Dessau.

Klaus Rüdiger Malter, director of Sachsen-Anhalt transport authority NASA, said bidding was a complex process and different values could be put on various aspects. He said both Abellio and DB Regio had submitted high quality bids, and while NASA regretted Abellio's decision to withdraw, it was happy to work with DB Regio.