AWARDED the concession to operate the Amersfoort - Ede-Wageningen line from December 2006 (RG 12.05 p756), Connexxion has ordered five two-car EMUs to operate the first electrified branch in the Netherlands to be tendered.

Rather than opting for an established supplier of 1·5 kV DC rolling stock, the operator has awarded the contract to Fahrzeugtechnik Dessau AG of Germany. Founded in 1995 as a buy-out of a former Deutsche Waggonbau wagon works, FTD specialises in rolling stock components and bespoke vehicles such as DB’s Metropolitan business trainset and the Lirex prototype for Alstom LHB.

FTD is developing a modular low-floor multiple-unit known as Protos for the regional market, and expects to unveil a prototype at InnoTrans in Berlin in September. The company plans to offer electric and diesel variants with up to three cars per set.

Connexxion expects to take delivery of its Protos EMUs in September 2007.