The German state of Bavaria has awarded a 12 year €1 billion ($1.3 billion, £850 million) contract to operate trains to French utility and transport group Veolia.
The contract comes into effect from December 2013 and Veolia will operate trains in three passenger routes between Munich, Kufstein and Salzburg – to Austria crossing the Alpine border.
The company in a statement said that it is trying to expand its operations in Germany and Netherlands. Veolia’s shares were up by 0.8% in early trading on the Paris stock exchange.
Cyrille du Peloux – Chief executive of Veolia Transport described winning the Bavarian ‘E-Netz Rosenheim’ contract, as a ‘great success’.
“New direct links will be put in place and the trains will be upgraded and made more comfortable”, he added.
This is first time that Veolia Transport will operate a train service that crosses the border and enters in to Austria. It already operates a Bavarian route between Holzkirchen and Munich.
Currently the German national railway company, the ‘Deutsche Bahn’ operates the electrified route and the tender contract marks a departure for the state.
Explaining the logic behind the move, German State Transport Minister Martin Zeil said: “By awarding transport operation in competition, we will continue the improvement of short-distance transport in Bavaria”; adding that “railway services in E-Netz Rosenheim will become faster and more modern”.