GERMANY: Open access operator RDC Deutschland has submitted proposals to DB Netz for upgrading of the car-carrier shuttle service between Niebüll and Westerland on the island of Sylt.
In return for higher access fees that would pay for upgrading of terminals and other infrastructure improvements, RDC Deutschland, the German subsidiary of Railroad Development Corp, plans to operate a more frequent service throughout the day. This would prove attractive both for visitors and for local residents, the company suggests. According to General Director, Passenger Services Hans Leister, the Sylt shuttle has ‘exceptional development potential’.
RDC Deutschland envisages taking over the Sylt shuttle from December 2015 for a period of 10 years using a fleet of new trains. The proposal means applying for paths now with a view to signing an agreement with DB Netz in March 2015 — in the meantime the application for paths has to be agreed with other operators using the route. In view of the high level of investment in the shuttle service, regulatory body Bundesnetzagentur has already agreed that a contract could be awarded for a 10-year period. RDC Deutschland envisages taking on existing staff and offering new jobs to operate the expanded service.
RDC has expressed concern about the withdrawal of overnight and car-carrier trains in Europe. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Leister said that RDC is considering extension of its Hamburg – Köln HKX services to Frankfurt-am-Main and would be keen to take over the Berlin – Paris City Night Line overnight service that DB Fernverkehr’s DB AutoZug GmbH subsidiary plans to withdraw in December.