UK-based public transport company Go-Ahead Group has begun running trains on a key rail network in Bavaria to expand its services in Germany.

These trains will help connect Munich with regional towns and cities such as Augsburg, Wurzburg and Aalen.

Under the 12-year contract, which is Go-Ahead’s fifth in Germany, the company launched train operations on six lines that were earlier managed by state-run Deutsche Bahn.

The first train started from Munich to Ulm and Donauwörth.

Serving 71 stations, the new network will run 7.6 million train kilometres per annum. It will also allow Go-Ahead to reach 20 million train kilometres with its German network.

With a top speed of 160km/h, Go-Ahead’s fleet of 56 new Siemens trains features fully accessible carriages, low floors and wheelchair-friendly toilets.

The trains also consist of flexible compartments with folding seats and spaces for pushchairs and luggage besides air conditioning, passenger information systems and charging sockets.

Go-Ahead’s German unit includes 1,000 employees in Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg, as well as a fleet of 144 modern electric trains.

The company pays access charges to Deutsche Bahn for conducting operations using tracks, stations and signals owned and maintained by Deutsche Bahn in Germany.

Go-Ahead Group CEO Christian Schreyer said: “This is an exciting day for Go-Ahead as it takes our rail network to new communities across southern Germany.

“It’s the culmination of years of work by our German team in getting trains, drivers and other colleagues in place. We’ll be working closely with Deutsche Bahn and the German authorities to deliver the best possible service to customers.”