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VRR and NWL sign fleet contracts with BEMU. They want to bring more people to rail transport

VRR and NWL sign fleet contracts with BEMU. They want to bring more people to rail transport
photo: CAF press materials/Illustrative picture
19 / 04 / 2022

German regional companies Rhine-Ruhr Transport Association (VRR) and Westfalia-Lippe Local Transport (NWL) have ordered a 63 trains fleet from BEMU, a Spanish rolling stock manufacturer. The whole fleet will be operational by December 2028. The European Investment Bank (EIB) and NRW.Bank is financing the contract.

BEMU was selected through a pan-European tender in June 2021, and the contract was signed on April 4 in Kempen, Germany. It involves 15 45-meter-long trains with 120 passenger seats and 48 55-meter-long trains with 160 seats. They will replace the DMU trains of classes 648, 643, and 632 used on the Niederrhein-Munsterland (NMN) network from 2025, thus increasing capacity on the lines. The battery range will be 220 km for subnetwork 1 (RE 10 and RB 37) with the possibility of recharging within 10 minutes after 110 km. For sub-network 2 (RE 14, RB 31, RB 43, RE 44, and RB 36), the range is 90 km for trains on RE 14, RB 36, and RB 43 and 65 km for trains on RB 31, and RE 44. A recharging station is to be built in Kleve and will provide the opportunity to switch between the two types of ranges within six hours. In addition to the delivery of the trains, the contract includes maintenance services for the entire life cycle, which is 30 years.

BEMU trains are equipped with comfortable seats arranged both in rows and in groups facing each other, separate spacious multipurpose areas for wheelchairs, baby carriages, and bicycles, a step-free platform, as well as free Wi-Fi, folding tables, and power outlets.

In general, from 2025 on the Niederrhein-Münsterland (NMN) network diesel transport is planned to be switched to one that uses alternative energy. It is a crucial step to electrify 90% of transportation services on the network by 2030 to reduce CO2 emissions, fine dust, and noise, which, in turn, promotes green and innovative transportation.

"We want to encourage more people to travel by bus and train. To do this, we need a reliable and flexible rail service. In the future, clean and modern electric trains will significantly improve mobility and thus the quality of life of people in the In addition, the fine dust and nitrogen oxide pollution and the noise are reduced, "Hendrik Schulte, the State Secretary in the Ministry of Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia said.

The trains will operate on:
- RE10 Kleve - Geldern - Krefeld - Düsseldorf
- RE 14 Essen - Bottrop - Dorsten - Borken / Coesfeld
- RB 31 Xanten - Moers - Duisburg
- RB 36 Oberhausen - Duisburg-Ruhrort
- RB 37 Geldern - Krefeld - Neuss
- RB 43 Dortmund - Herne - Dorsten, and
- RE 44 Kamp-Lintfort - Moers - Duisburg - Oberhausen - Bottrop.

The first trains will commence operation on lines RE 10, RE 14, RE 44, RB 31, RB 36, RB 37, and RB 43 with annual transport services of over 6 million train kilometers.

The order "makes the Niederrhein-Münsterland network the first SPNV network in NRW with alternative drives and at the same time the largest BEMU network in all of Germany," VRR board member Ronald R.F. Lunser said.