NordWestBahn extends leasing contract with Alpha Trains
VRR and NWL renew Emscher-Münsterland-Netz contract with eight diesel multiple units with Transdev subsidiary NordWestBahn for a further seven years.
NordWestBahn will be operating route RE 14 for a further seven years and will lease Bombardier Talent diesel multiple units from Alpha Trains. The Transdev subsidiary has successfully resecured the contract for the Emscher-Münsterland network following a Europe-wide tendering procedure.
Shaun Mills, CEO of Alpha Trains Group, said: “Since the original plans for how this network was to be operated differed from what they are now, we are particularly pleased to have been able to respond flexibly to the new requirements and to continue our successful partnership with NordWestBahn.”
According to their own statements, Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR) and Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe (NWL) originally planned to use hydrogen-powered trains with fuel cells on the lines of this network. After assessing the situation, they then decided in favour of electric multiple units with batteries instead of hydrogen.
However, as charging stations have to be installed at railway stations to facilitate recharging of the trains’ batteries, the Emscher-Münsterland network was once again put out to tender to be operated as a diesel network during the transitional period, until battery electric vehicles and the necessary infrastructure are up and running.
VRR and NWL have developed a new line concept, based on flexible deployment of diesel multiple units to make rail travel even more attractive: passengers from Coesfeld, who until now have had to change trains in Dorsten, will in future be able to travel all the way to Essen without changing. The main aim of this is to lure commuters off the roads and onto the railway in order to reduce pollution and CO2 emissions in the Ruhr region.