German open-access rail operator FlixTrain has revealed plans to add new routes and additional stops to its long-distance rail services.

The rail operator will add seven destinations to its long-distance rail services starting 15 December, when a new timetable will come into force.

As per the plan, stops will be added to the Berlin-Stuttgart route. The train will now stop at Leipzig, Aachen, Halle (Saale), Erfurt, Gotha, Eisenach and Lutherstadt Wittenberg.

It also plans to start a fast express connection from Hamburg to Cologne. This will reduce the journey time to three hours and 30 minutes from a minimum of four hours.

Additionally, from spring 2020, FlixTrain will start a new direct line from Hamburg to Stuttgart.

This new train will stop at Hannover, Göttingen, Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, Fulda, Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Heidelberg. The operator will add three departures per direction daily from the summer next year.

FlixMobility co-founder and managing director André Schwämmlein said: “FlixTrain is a tremendous success for us. In less than two years, we have managed to establish a Germany-wide alternative offer by rail, which the passengers very well accept.

“However, according to the Federal Government’s climate package with massive subsidies for Deutsche Bahn, we see this development endangered.

“The federal government must ensure that the many billions are actually invested in rail expansion so that all competitors can benefit. A functioning competition would increase not only the number of passengers on the rail but also the quality of the offer and thus contribute to a sustainable mobility turnaround.”

FlixMobility launched its rail operations in March 2018  challenging the dominance of the state-owned Deutsche Bahn services.