Arriva secures €1.6bn contract to operate Northern lines in the Netherlands

Credit: Arriva.
Credit: Arriva.

Deutsche Bahn subsidiary Arriva has retained its contract to run the ‘Northern lines’ in the Netherlands until 2035.

The €1.6 billion deal covers cross-border rail routes linking the provinces of Groningen and Fryslân with Lower Saxony, Germany.

Eighteen new trains will be introduced under the contract and 51 existing trains will be fully refurbished to increase the network’s capacity.

There will also be more frequent services on key routes at weekends and in the evenings.

Arriva said that it attached significant importance to delivering a more sustainable, environmentally friendly transport network in its bid.

As a result, the existing fleet will be converted to energy saving, emissions-lowering hybrid trains, and the 18 new trains will be powered by biodiesel. In the long-term, a complete conversion to emission-free electrical operation is planned for the fleet of trains.

Arriva has been running the Northern lines since 2005. Its new deal will begin in 2020.

The Northern lines refers to the regional rail services operating around the provincial cities of Groningen and Leeuwarden, with a connection from Groningen to Leer in Ostfriesland, Lower Saxony.

Arriva Group CEO Manfred Rudhart said: “To be given the opportunity to continue operating the country’s northern train services for a further 15 years is testament not only to the strength of our bid, but also to the great service we are providing under the current concession to the 32,000 passengers who use the regional transport network every day.

“Retaining this contact, and winning the Limburg contract in late 2015 demonstrates our commitment to delivering strong performance for our customers in the Netherlands.”

Read more: FS signs €1.2bn high-speed deal with Iran