Germany: DB Regio Modernises the VVO Diesel Network’s Fleet of Desiro Railcars

DB Regio has unveiled one of the first Desiro railcars it’s redesigned for the Verkehrsverbund Oberelbe (VVO) transport association, which provides public transport services in Saxony, Germany.

First modernised multiple units for VVO
First modernised multiple units for VVO

In addition to gradually modernising the VVO fleet, DB Regio has been operating the four lines of its diesel network between Dresden and Kamenz and Königsbrück for the last three months. This goes through the Müglitztal from Heidenau to Altenberg and between Pirna and Sebnitz.

In response to requirements set by the VVO, DB Regio recruited a number of new employees including some from the Mitteldeutsche Regiobahn (MRB).

It is currently operating the network with 21 vehicles, having added an additional six railcars and a new half-hourly service from Kamenz to Dresden with the S8.

So far three of the railcars have been modernised with features including wifi, USB sockets and a new passenger information system.

There is also a drive-over ramp that can be set up manually to ensure accessibility. This solution is less prone to faults than the vehicles previously used, which only partially had automatic gap bridging.

In addition, it also simplifies boarding at stations whose platforms are lower than the railcars’ 55-centimetre-high entrances.

Burkhard Ehlen, Managing Director of the VVO, said:

“The feedback from passengers is generally quite positive. In particular, the frequency increase to Kamenz with the new S-Bahn S8 and the increase in space to Königsbrück have been praised.

“The VVO is aiming for further growth in passenger numbers on both routes. After the planned modernisation of the route to Königsbrück, the S7 S-Bahn will run more frequently in the future.

“With the extension of the railway line from Dresden via Kamenz to Hosena, Senftenberg and Hoyerswerda, the better development of Lusatia is also planned.

“Battery trains will probably be used on these lines from 2031. Until then, we are counting on the redesigned Desiros.”

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