National Express unveils its new fleet of trains for German services
National Express has officially unveiled the first of its €170m new fleet of Bombardier Talent 2 trains, which will operate the company’s new German rail services from next year.
The British Ambassador to Germany, Sir Simon McDonald, joined senior National Express and Bombardier staff to inspect the new Talent units at a launch event in Berlin. National Express’ total fleet will be 25 five-car and ten three-car sets of the Talent 2. The trains reach up to 100mph, feature both first and standard-class seating, and are fully accessible.
The first new train burst through a banner at the launch event bearing the slogan: “No driving on the left, but otherwise it’s very British!”
The units will run on National Express’ new regional routes in North Rhine-Westphalia, which the company takes over on 13 December 2015: the regional express service between Rheine-Munster-Cologne-Krefeld (Route RE7), and a Bonn-Cologne-Wuppertal stopping service (Route RB48).
Andrew Chivers, Managing Director of National Express Rail, said: “Today is a hugely significant milestone for National Express’ German rail operations. A year from now we will be operating these excellent new trains to link some of the largest cities in Germany’s biggest state. Our successful expansion into Germany has been based on National Express’ excellent track record in the UK for operating punctual, safe and high-quality train services. We are looking forward to serving the people of North Rhine-Westphalia from next year.”
British Ambassador Sir Simon McDonald said: “In the UK, we have learned that greater competition doesn’t just create opportunities for business but also leads to improved safety, more innovation, better services, and lower prices for passengers. National Express is a good example of this. I am convinced that it will do an excellent job for customers in Germany, just like it does in the UK.”
National Express won the contracts to operate the two new services in February 2013.