Train on bridge over the River Mosel (Photo: Nico Callens/Pixabay)

GERMANY: Rheinland-Pfalz transport authority SPNV-Nord and Saarland’s transport ministry have awarded DB Regio the contract to operate MoselLux passenger services on the route along the River Mosel valley, with significant service enhancements planned.

The selection of DB Regio was announced on August 2 after a tendering process which was completed in just eight months.

The contract has three phases, starting with 2·85 million train-km/year at the beginning in December 2024 and increasing to 3·60 million train-km/year when it ends in December 2039.

Phase I from December 2024 covers:

  • RB81 Trier – Koblenz;
  • RB82 Perl – Trier;
  • RB83 Wittlich – Trier-West – Luxembourg;
  • additional trains RE11 Trier – Wasserbillig – Luxembourg.

Phase II from December 2025:

  • Additional trains RB10 Koblenz – Kaub.

Phase III from December 2029:

  • RE85 Traben-Trarbach – Bullay – Koblenz;
  • RE86 Traben-Trarbach – Bullay – Trier.

The Bullay – Traben-Trarbach branch is to be electrified by December 2029, with direct services running through to Koblenz and Trier every 2 h to provide an hourly service.

Luxembourg’s national railway CFL will continue to supply rolling stock for cross-border service RB83, while bidders could offer new or existing rolling stock for the other services, with public support available for the financing of new vehicles.

DB Regio has opted to procure 19 new four-car Stadler Flirt EMUs. These will have 245 seats, with more than half being in bays, with tables in first and second class, wi-fi, CCTV, two toilets including one which is wheelchair accessible, and extendable steps for use at low platforms.

There is a particular emphasis on cycling in the contract, and each train is required to have 30 bicycle spaces.

The transport authorities will take the revenue risk for the services. All trains will have a conductor, and there will be additional station staff during the tourist season.