Transdev has announced an order for 64 Stadler Flirt EMUs after being confirmed as the winner of the contract to operate Hannover S-Bahn services.

GERMANY: Transdev announced an order for 64 Stadler Flirt electric multiple-units on November 7, after its NordWestBahn subsidiary was confirmed as the winner of the contract to operate Hannover S-Bahn services from December 2021 until June 2034.

There had been four bids for the operating contract tendered by the Hannover region, Land transport authority LNVG and Westfalen-Lippe authority NWL. Transdev was named preferred bidder in May, but the formal award was delayed after incumbent and losing bidder DB Regio launched an unsuccessful challenge.

The contract covers the operation of 9·6 million train-km/year carrying 30 million passengers/year on a 385 km network with 10 routes radiating from Hannover to Nienburg, Celle, Minden, Hildesheim and Paderborn. Awarded on the basis of the most economical offer which met the specification, it is worth more than €1·5bn over the 12½ years.

Services are to be operated using 77 EMUs, an increase of nine on the current fleet to provide additional capacity on routes S1, S2 and S5. The fleet will comprise 13 Stadler EMUs which were supplied in 2008, and the 64 new Flirts which are to be ordered by Transdev at cost of €315m. These 160 km/h three-car EMUs will have a capacity of 180 seated and 217 standing passengers, with step-free interiors, an accessible toilet, wi-fi and space for 12 bicycles including power sockets for electric bikes.

Operating staff will transfer from DB Regio, and the trains are required to have a conductor onboard.

‘I am thrilled with the trust placed in Transdev, and that our business case and customer-oriented proposal has been judged as compelling’, said Transdev Group Chairman & CEO Thierry Mallet. He said the contract was one of the largest the company had won, and strengthened its position as the second largest rail operator and ‘leading private supplier of local and regional public transport’ in Germany.