GERMANY: Local freight railway Bentheimer Eisenbahn has called tenders for a contract to provide planning and engineering services for the reintroduction of passenger services on the 30 km Bad Bentheim – Neuenhaus line in Niedersachsen.

Passenger trains on the route were replaced by railway-operated bus services in 1974.

The project involves increasing the line speed to 80 km/h, with an option for 100 km/h, and installing control and safety system to permit passenger trains to run alongside the existing freight traffic. The overall cost is put at €17m, which is to be funded by the Land of Niedersachsen and the Bentheim, Nordhorn and Neuenhaus local authorities.

It is envisaged that works could start in June 2016 for completion by mid-December 2018.

The future passenger operator would be selected through a European tender, which Bentheimer Eisenbahn intends to take part in.