GERMANY: Stadler Pankow GmbH announced on June 12 that it had signed a contract with Abellio Rail NRW GmbH to supply 20 five-car Flirt 3 EMUs to operate Niederrhein-Netz services on route RB33 from Mönchengladbach to Wesel and RB35 from Dusseldorf to Emmerich, which is to be extended to Arnhem in the Netherlands.

Seven of the new fleet will be multi-system variants equipped to operate on the 1·5 kV DC and 25 kV AC ProRail network as well as the 15 kV AC used in Germany. Each 91 m trainset will have seats for 259 passengers or 251 in the case of the multi-system units. The air-conditioned EMUs will have a maximum speed of 160 km/h.

The new fleet is due to enter service with the December 2016 timetable change. Abellio has procured the trainsets which are to be sold to Rhine-Ruhr transport authority VRR and then leased back to the operator.

‘We are pleased with this renewed vote of confidence from Abellio and the opportunity to extend their existing vehicle fleet with latest-generation Flirts’, said Stadler Pankow Director Michael Daum.