Magdeburg/Brandenburg an der Havel, 30.06.2022 - Today, ODEG - Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn GmbH, together with the states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt and their companies commissioned with the implementation of the transport contract, VBB-Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH, Nahverkehrsservice Sachsen-Anhalt GmbH and VMV-Verkehrsgesellschaft Mecklenburg-Vorpommern mbH, ceremoniously signed the transport contract for the Elbe-Spree network in Brandenburg an der Havel. As part of the signing of the contract, the vehicle manufacturer Siemens Mobility GmbH presented one of the six-unit new Desiro HC vehicles in Magdeburg and Brandenburg an der Havel.
The countries are bringing more services, more trains, more quality to the railways.
The interest of the many guests was great and showed how important high-quality mobility and a strong rail infrastructure are. The new Elbe-Spree network is a commitment of the federal states to their regions. The high frequency, the many modern trains and the better infrastructure offer decisive improvements for commuter and travel traffic. The cross-border connections increase, among other things, the attractiveness of a different place to live and work, especially in the fast-growing towns and cities outside the conurbations.
VBB conducted the award procedure on behalf of the four Länder
The Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB) was in charge of the Europe-wide award procedure on behalf of the states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt. The Elbe-Spree network is a continuation of the previous light rail network, whose transport contracts expire at the end of this year. In order to meet the increasing demand for local rail passenger transport in the future, the new network will grow by about 5 million train kilometres per year, which is about 25 percent more capacity than before. 28 million train-kilometres will be run on the entire Elbe-Spree network from December 2022; the necessary capacities will be achieved through a denser frequency, longer trains and platforms. The expansion of the network includes two operational stages: The first takes into account the state of the infrastructure without the Dresdner Bahn in Berlin, which is currently under construction. After commissioning, probably from 2025, further improvements for passengers can be achieved. ODEG also participated in the tender and was awarded lots 1 and 4 at the beginning of 2019. When operations start on 11 December this year, the current 13 million train kilometres will increase to more than 18 million and the operating performance will grow by around 40 percent. The contract period of the transport agreement, which was signed today, is twelve years. 250 new, secure jobs will be created at the largest private railway in eastern Germany for this purpose. From the timetable change 2022/2023, the ODEG trains of the RE1 will run for the first time in the region three times per hour during peak times between Brandenburg (Havel) and Frankfurt (Oder). Overall, this is a significant gain for the regions in terms of mobility, climate protection and employment growth. Compared to the current offer with two trains per hour on the RE1, the capacity will thus be increased by up to 70 percent during peak hours.
Stille E-Volution - Siemens train Desiro HC
The vehicle manufacturer Siemens Mobility presented the six-car, electric, single- and double-decker train from the Desiro product series and explained the many technical innovations and the associated advantages for future passengers. The HC behind Desiro stands for High Capacity and takes into account the increased passenger volume in conurbations such as Berlin, Magdeburg, Cottbus or Schwerin with an extensive amount of space. A sustainable aspect is that the train consists of one powered single-deck end car and four double-deck, non-powered middle cars, which saves valuable energy resources. Specially coated train window panes offer better network reception. Features such as WLAN and power sockets throughout the train, many TFT monitors, real-time occupancy displays in the vehicle linked to the VBB app, a special passenger safety system, wider train doors and entrances that adapt to different platform heights, more parking spaces for bicycles, wheelchairs and prams are among the features that distinguish this train. You can find more information about the train here.
Ines Jesse, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Tourism and Labour, State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
"With the transport contract, the offer of rail-bound regional transport is considerably strengthened across the Länder. This will benefit commuters and guests alike. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will have a direct connection to Berlin Airport. This will make travelling to and from the airport much easier, especially during the busy holiday season. In addition, the connection to the Baltic Sea coast will be further improved. With the Elbe-Spree network transport contract, we are setting new standards. An attractive public transport system is indispensable for the success of the mobility transition.
Guido Beermann, Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Planning, State of Brandenburg:
"The realisation of the Elbe-Spree network is another milestone on the way to climate-friendly mobility and thus the transport turnaround. With the expansion of services from December 2022, five million more train kilometres can be travelled. This will bring many improvements, especially in rural areas. In addition, passengers on the routes of this new network will benefit from modern vehicles and more service. There will be more space, improved accessibility and free wi-fi. These are exactly the offers we need to make rail transport attractive as a real alternative for citizens."
Dr Lydia Hüskens, Minister for Infrastructure and Digital Affairs and Second Deputy Prime Minister, State of Saxony-Anhalt:
"With the new vehicles, which will be put on the tracks by ODEG from December 2022, I expect a further boost in quality on the connection to the capital. This will create good arguments for choosing the train on the way to the capital. We want people in our Saxony-Anhalt to choose between well-developed means of transport. This requires well-developed infrastructures and high-quality services. The new vehicles are a living example of this."
Dr. Meike Niedbal, State Secretary for Mobility, Senate Department for the Environment, Mobility, Consumer and Climate Protection, State of Berlin:
"The commitment of the federal states to better connect the regions has paid off: the new Elbe-Spree network offers more train kilometres, denser intervals, longer trains with more space for passengers, but also for bicycles, wheelchairs and prams. This is a quality leap that can be the deciding factor in the everyday life of commuters to travel by train instead of by car in the future. We need this significant increase in the range and quality of rail transport in order to effectively advance the mobility revolution. I am pleased that this has been achieved so well on the Elbe-Spree network".
Dr Elmar ZeilerHead of Commuter and Regional Trains, Siemens Mobility GmbH:
"We are very much looking forward to the deployment of our state-of-the-art and proven Desiro HC trains on the Elbe-Spree network," says Elmar Zeiler, Head of Commuter and Regional Trains at Siemens Mobility. "Passengers will benefit from a spacious feel and with a high level of comfort. In addition, the Desiro HC for ODEG features increased passenger capacity thanks to the sustainable combination of single and double-deck coaches. On the busy routes through the capital, this enables reliable and safe local transport."
Dr. Alexander West, Head of the Transport Contract Controlling Department at VBB:
"I would like to express my sincere thanks to the VBB tender team and all other departments involved in the award. Such a tender, with a total of 28 million train kilometres, an additional offer of more than 30 per cent and a cornucopia of innovations, has never been seen before in Germany. I would particularly like to emphasise the high quality standards that we were able to set in the interest of the passengers, as well as the concrete improvements in services that will be clearly noticeable in the form of additional seats and additional connections. The fact that this package also remains affordable for the participating countries is also thanks to the successful competition."
Steffen Scheller, Lord Mayor, Brandenburg a. d. Havel:
"I am very pleased that the signing of the transport contract for the Elbe-Spree network is taking place in Brandenburg an der Havel. The takeover of the RE1 at the end of the year brings with it not only an increase in seat capacities but also the long-awaited increase in frequency, which can almost keep up with an S-Bahn rhythm. In recent years, the city of Brandenburg has experienced a strong influx of young people and families in particular, who want to live close to water and nature, but cannot and do not want to do without an efficient connection to the Berlin metropolitan region. Conversely, the connection also sustainably strengthens our business and university location Brandenburg an der Havel and makes it even more attractive. Already, around 22,000 people commute daily from the city of Brandenburg and the neighbouring districts, but also from the state capital Potsdam or Berlin. The Brandenburg Central Station hub is an important mobility axis for the majority of them. Increased frequency will also offer more flexibility, which may also make it easier for convinced car drivers to switch to rail and will benefit climate protection in the long term".
Stefan Neubert, Managing Director, ODEG - Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn GmbH:
"With the signing of the transport contract for the Elbe-Spree network, a new era in our successful company history has begun. For more than 2.5 years, we have been working intensively on the Elbe-Spree network project and are preparing professionally for the upcoming start of operations with increased transport performance. Today, we proudly presented our new modern Desiro HC train. This regional train opens up a new dimension of travel. The entire ODEG team is looking forward to taking our passengers to their destinations comfortably, safely and reliably in the future with these trains."
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