GERMANY: Berlin-Brandenburg transport authority VBB has awarded DB Regio Nordost the contract to operate Netz Nord-Süd passenger services on behalf of the Länder of Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Sachsen-Anhalt.
The contract runs for 12 years from December 2026 and covers services RE3 Schwedt/Stralsund – Berlin – Lutherstadt Wittenberg – Halle; RE4 Stendal – Berlin – Falkenberg; and RE5 Rostock/Stralsund – Berlin – Ludwigsfelde which total 11·6 million train-km/year.
An increase of 2 million train-km/year is planned, with more frequent services and seasonal trains to coastal and lakeside tourist destinations. There will also be travel time reductions from the stations further away from Berlin.
Service RE3 will get 12 new five-car Stadler Kiss double-deck EMUs, and three four-car Stadler Flirt XL single-deck units will be used on RE5. Additional three-car Flirt XL units will be procured for use with the Kiss trains to increase capacity, and existing double-deck stock will be refurbished for use on routes RE4 and RE5.
The contract award ‘is a significant milestone towards more rail services, especially for rural areas’, said Brandenburg’s Minister of Transport Guido Beermann on September 20. ‘For commuters and tourists, it offers attractive improvements for passengers with more seats and more bicycle capacity on all trains.’
He said ‘with this and the other tenders, we are taking another step in the direction of sustainability and innovation. We want to get the public enthusiastic about local rail passenger transport.’