Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) has secured a contract from Rhein-Ruhr and Westfalen-Lippe transport authorities in Germany to deliver battery-electric trains.

The scope of the contract includes supplying and maintaining a fleet of 63 Civity battery-electric multiple units (BEMUs).

The deal will allow the replacement of diesel traction on the Niederrhein-Münsterland regional network, which covers around 200km of non-electrified line, Railpage reported.

Having seven routes that cover over six million train km a year, Niederrhein-Münsterland is said to be the largest battery train network in Germany.

CAF will supply Civity BEMUs in two lengths, including 15 being 45m long with 120 seats and 48 being 55m long with 160 seats.

The train’s features include folding tables, power sockets, WiFi, and step-free access from 760 mm high platforms, the website further noted.

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The first unit is slated to be delivered for testing in 2024, with a step-by-step launch into traffic as the Niederrhein-Münsterland services are floated.

In June last year, CAF was selected as the preferred bidder for the BEMU order and the contract was signed recently.

The contract is being funded by authorities through loans from the European Investment Bank and NRW.BANK. quoted NRW board member Michael Stölting as saying: “With the annuity loans granted, the installments to be paid for VRR and NWL remain constant over the entire term of the loan agreements and can therefore be firmly calculated over the entire life cycle of the vehicles.”

The manufacturer will also be responsible for the maintenance of the BEMUs for 30 years.

Nordrhein-Westfalen transport ministry state secretary Dr Hendrik Schulte was quoted as saying by Railpage: “We want to encourage more people to travel by bus and train. To do this, we need a reliable and flexible rail service.”

“Clean and modern electric trains will significantly improve mobility and thus the quality of life of people in the region.”

Last month, CAF won a five-year service contract from railway operator Saudi Arabia Railway (SAR).