ON JULY 4 Arriva announced that it had won a contract to operate trains between München and Oberstdorf in the Bavarian Alps, and also to Lindau in southern Germany. The contract starts from December 9 2007 and is expected to generate total revenue exceeding €150m over the following 10 years.

In fact, Arriva is already providing passenger service on these lines through the ALEX joint venture with SBB. From December next year, Arriva becomes fully responsible for the fleet of six locomotives and 22 coaches covering 1·53 million train-km/year, along with some 50 employees.

Arriva entered the German market in April 2004 when it acquired Prignitzer Eisenbahn Gruppe, and then in September bought a 77% shareholding in Regentalbahn. In November 2005 it won a contract to operate services from München to Hof and Fürth im Wald from December 2007, and these will be integrated with the ALEX services.

On July 5 the Dutch province of Zuid-Holland selected Arriva as preferred bidder for a 10-year concession to operate the 49 km Dordrecht - Geldermalsen route, starting in December 2006.

Arriva is already active in the Netherlands, where it is starting to take delivery from Stadler of 16 GTW 2/6 and 27 GTW 2/8 diesel railcars (RG 7.05 p412) for its 255 route-km network in Friesland and Groningen. Eight of the GTW 2/6 sets (below) will be certified to run across the border into Germany. The 56m long units are powered by two 390 kW MAN engines; top speed is 140 km/h.