GERMANY: DB Regio was awarded the Netz Nord-Süd passenger operating contract on February 28.

The contract runs for 12 years from December 2014 and covers service RE3 from Stralsund and Schwedt to Berlin and Elsterwerda, and RE5 from Rostock and Stralsund to Berlin and Lutherstadt Wittenberg, totalling 9·5 million train-km a year.

Services are to be operated using refurbished double-deck stock, and new Bombardier vehicles will be delivered to enable all trains to be extended to five cars.

The contract was awarded by Berlin-Brandenburg transport authority VBB, acting on behalf of the Länder of Brandenburg (51%), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (36%), Berlin (10%) and Sachsen-Anhalt (3%).

Around 90% of regional services in Brandenburg have now been tendered, with bidding for the Netz Ostbrandenburg and Prignitz-Express contracts expected to take place later this year.