Bayerische Oberlandbahn has won the Chiemgau-Berchtesgaden operating contract, which includes the Freilassing – Berchtesgaden line.

GERMANY: Following an open tender, Bayern railway agency BEG has awarded the Chiemgau-Berchtesgaden passenger operating contract to Transdev company Bayerische Oberlandbahn.

The contract covers operations on the 19 km Freilassing – Berchtesgaden line for 15 years from December 2021, and on the 13 km Traunstein – Ruhpolding branch for 14 years from December 2022.

The current service pattern totalling 0·7 million train-km/year will continue, with various connections to longer-distance services with Germany. The contract only covers services in Germany but requires BOB to negotiate with Austrian Federal Railways for through services to Salzburg.

The existing Stadler Flirt EMUs will be used on the Berchtesgaden route, while services on the Ruhpolding line are to be provided using two new three-car Flirt EMUs.

BEG said the contract would specify high standards for performance, including ensuring connections with other services, as well as standards for capacity, cleanliness and ticket availability. Every train is required to have an onboard conductor.