Abellio Rail Win East Germany Regional Contract
A major 15 year contract to operate eastern Germany’s regional rail services was won today by Abellio Rail NRW, a subsidiary of Netherlands Railways (NS).
DB Regio is currently operating the network covering Saale, Thuringia and Southern Harz and from December 2015, Abellio will take over the operation. The network covers approximately 9.25 million train-km per year with services linking Halle (Saale) with Nordhausen, Kassel, lutherstadt, Eisleben, Weimar, Erfurt and Eisenach.
160km Per Hour Electric Trains
Regional services from Leipzig to Erfurt and Jena/Saalfeld were also included in the contract with which Abellio will operate using new 160km per hour electric trains. They will also introduce a new timetable which is designed to fit with the opening of the Leipzig/Halle – Erfurt section of the new Leipzig – Ebensfeld (Bavaria) high-speed line which is due to open in 2015.
The regional express route from Halle (Saale) to Kassel and Erfurt will also be operated by Abellio who will operate it as one train, either dividing or joining en route at Sangershausen. The new timetable has been designed specifically to maximise connections between regional trains and long distance services in Erfurt, Leipzig and Halle (Saale).