Start with a FLIRT: German Railway Company Choses Stadler Trains for Cross-Border Traffic

Stadler has signed a contract with Regionalverkehre Start Deutschland (start) to deliver 20 FLIRT trains for use on the Maas-Wupper network.

Stadler FLIRT train for start.
Stadler FLIRT train for start.

The manufacturer will provide extra-long FLIRT cars for the Maas-Wupper-Express, with seven doors on each side to ensure easy and safe entry and exit, as well as fast passenger change times.

These will have space for 235 seated passengers, with a total capacity of 375 when including standing passengers.

This is the first delivery contract made by railway traffic company start, which was founded in 2016, and comes off the back of a request from the Rhein-Ruhr AöR (VRR) and Westfalen-Lippe (NWL) traffic associations.

The passenger trains will go into service in 2026 on a direct route between Hamm and Eindhoven and will make travel between the Rhine-Ruhr region and the Netherlands simpler and faster.

This is because the trains can be used without restriction in both countries. The vehicles are equipped for both German and Dutch traction supply systems in addition to the European train control system ETCS, the German PZB system and the Dutch ATB system.

Alexander Falkenmeier, Managing Director of start, said:

“What tipped the balance for Stadler was the outstanding price-performance ratio in combination with the excellent energy values of the vehicles.

“We’re really looking forward to running the RE13 from 2026 with new trains in the start design.”

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