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Brum rail firm in German swoop.

Byline: Jon Griffin Business Editor

BIRMINGHAM-BASED National Express is making major new inroads into the German rail market - with a 1.4 billion euro contract.

The Digbeth-headquartered group, which already operates top performing UK rail franchise c2c, has been chosen by the Bavarian passenger transport authority (BEG) as preferred bidder for all Nuremberg S-Bahn services.

The award of two twelve-year contracts for commuter rail services follows a competitive tender process.

The two contracts are to operate the entire S-Bahn Nuremberg network, covering five rail lines in one of the most prosperous parts of Bavaria, Germany's second most populous state. The contract is expected to generate revenues in excess of [euro]1.4bn over the twelve-year period.

The S-Bahn service is currently operated by Deutsche Bahn and carries more than 20 million passengers per year. National Express will start operating from December 2018 and will buy 38 new electric five-car trains on behalf of the Bavarian passenger transport authority.

S-Bahn services, which are broadly comparable to London's Overground network, operate in all major German metropolitan areas. This contract win follows National Express's success in 2013 in winning two regional rail routes in North Rhine-Westphalia. These services will begin operation in December this year.

MARKETWATCH FTSE 100: up 89.25 at 6871.80 FTSE 250: up 214.74 at 16570.30 GOLD FIX: 1281.00 ($/oz) SILVER FIX: 1167.45 (p/oz) WALL STREET CLOSED: up 196.09 at 17361.04 TOKYO CLOSED: dn 222.19 at 17335.85 Dean Finch, National Express group chief executive, said: "National Express is delighted to have won another rail contract in Germany, confirming this market as an exciting growth opportunity for the Group. This new rail contract in Bavaria, which builds on our earlier success in North Rhine-Westphalia, is further evidence that our track record in running the UK's leading rail franchise is recognised internationally. We look forward to providing passengers in the Nuremberg region with a high quality rail service for many years to come."

The two contracts cover the five lines that make up the Nuremberg S-Bahn. The five lines serve routes from Nuremberg to Erlangen and Bamberg, Ansbach, Roth, Allersberg, Neumark, Altdorf and Hartmannshof.

The five lines serve a region of almost 1.5 million inhabitants. With the exception of a small service in Bremen, all S-Bahn services across Germany have previously been operated by

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Feb 4, 2015
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