Posted 16th December 2015 | 1 Comment

National Express wins German franchise challenge

NATIONAL EXPRESS has been confirmed as the next operator of local services in the German city of Nuremburg, after overcoming a challenge from the German state operator Deutsche Bahn.

The British group had been awarded the contract to run S-Bahn services in the Nuremburg area in February this year, but the present operator DB Regio then challenged the validity of the award on the grounds that some of the financial documentation provided by the local transport authority BEG (Bayerische Eisenbahn Gesellschaft) had been flawed.

The competition was suspended in April, and a court then ruled that the bids must be reviewed, although it did not declare them void.

That review has now been completed, and BEG has confirmed that National Express Group has won.

The group is already a train operator in Germany, because it started to operate two services in the Cologne area on Sunday, after winning the franchises in 2013, and signed two further contracts to run Rhine-Ruhr express services in October.

A spokesman for National Express said: "We are delighted with the decision. We look forward to providing the people of Nuremberg with a high quality service in the coming years and are pleased to be able to now focus on putting our plans into practice. We have now secured €4 billion of revenues in German rail and have a further €4 billion in our active pipeline of future bids."

The Nuremberg operation is expected to start in December 2018 and will run for 12 years. It carries 16 million passengers a year, with commuter traffic accounting for 80 per cent of the business.

Reader Comments:

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  • Roshan, Leeds

    Good to see a British company going and competing for franchises abroad and winning them. A lot of people complain that there are too many foreign companies coming in and taking over franchises in Britain, which is perhaps true, but it is more or less a free market and if a foreign company is going to run the services better and provide more investment and improvements then that is better than giving it to a British company just because they're British. People forget that British companies also compete for franchises abroad.