BIDS are being sought for around 400 EMUs to operate regional services in Germany. DB wants the trains to be fully modular, with standard component interfaces permitting equipment from different suppliers to be exchanged.
Intended to meet the higher standards specified in tenders for regional services, the trains will need a design permitting different configurations, suitable for intensive suburban or low-density rural routes. DB is unlikely to place a single order, a more likely scenario being a framework contract from which batches of trains can be drawn down as regional operating contracts are secured. Use of standard components and interfaces is intended to reduce high maintenance costs caused by the proliferation of different types of train in service with DB Regio.
The first trains are to be ordered in the autumn for delivery in 2008. Alstom, Siemens and Bombardier are understood to have expressed interest.