GERMANY: On July 5 the Rheinland-Pfalz Nord and Süd, Rhein-Main, Baden-Württemberg and Saarland transport authorities announced the selection of DB Regio Südwest for a 15-year contract to operate RE-Netz Südwest services from December 2014.

The contract covers two groups of services to be operated under the planned Rheinland-Pfalz-Takt 2015 timetable. Lot 1 is an hourly service totalling 3·8 million train-km/year on Koblenz - Trier - Saarbrücken - Kaiserslautern - Mannheim route RE1, plus Trier - Luxembourg. Lot 2 covers 2 million train-km/year with trains every 2 h on routes RE2 Koblenz - Mainz - Frankfurt, RE4 Mainz - Ludwigshafen - Karlsruhe and RE7 Mainz - Ludwigshafen - Mannheim.

DB Regio will deploy 28 new five-car Stadler Flirt EMUs on the domestic services, while the Luxembourg service will use Stadler Kiss double-decker trains.

The net-cost contract transfers revenue risk to the operator, but provides a degree of protection against shortfalls in projected revenue growth, balanced by profit sharing if the traffic exceeds expectations.