GERMAN Railway is to devolve responsibility for local passenger services to regional management. Announcing the move on March 15, DB Regio Chairman Dr Christoph Franz said that ’we want decisions to be taken where our customers are’, and announced the appointment of two DB Regio board members (p220) to oversee the change, which takes effect on May 1.

Among decisions to be taken by DB Regio managers is the future operator of the Leipzig S-Bahn network, which is likely to be put out to concession from 2002. Three companies are preparing to bid for this contract.

In the meantime, Dresden inaugurated its airport rail link on March 8. From March 25 Siemens-built Class VT642 DMUs provide a 30min interval service over an upgraded industrial branch that has been extended to serve the air terminal at Klotsch. n