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German start-up FlixMobility is to begin rail operations from 24 March, in a move that will challenge the dominance of the state-owned Deutsche Bahn services.

‘Flixtrains’ will sport the same bright-green colour as appears on the company’s low-cost buses.

The first train service will be launched from Hamburg to Cologne, with the Stuttgart to Berlin line set to start in April.

By the end of April, a total of 28 destinations throughout Germany will be connected via Flixtrain.

Tickets will be sold from €9.99 and can be bought online, via the free App and in FlixBus Ticket Shops throughout Germany.

Further, FlixTrain will be integrated into the FlixBus network throughout Germany, providing new alternatives to car travel.

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FlixMobility CEO and co-founder André Schwämmlein said: “Bus and rail complement each other perfectly. By adding FlixTrain to the FlixMobility offering, we can provide affordable travel options to even more people.

“We are demonstrating that comfortable long-distance travel does not need to be expensive.”

“We are demonstrating that comfortable long-distance travel does not need to be expensive.”

FlixMobility is a mobility provider, providing travel services via its FlixBus and FlixTrain brands.

Germany liberalised its rail sector in 1994 but Deutsche Bahn continues to rule the market, accounting for 99% of all long-distance rail journeys.

FlixMobility will not own its Flixtrains. It will work with Czech rail operator Leo Express and Nuremberg operator BahnTouristikExpress, according to AFP.

Last year, FixMobility rescued insolvent start-up Locomore to enable it to resume services on the Berlin to Stuttgart route.

Established in Germany in 2013, the firm has since expanded into 25 other European countries, and now transports more than 100 million people.

The firm is now looking to expand into the US, where it plans to launch bus services in California later this year.