The European Investment Bank (EIB) is offering a €340m long-term loan to help fund the Rhine-Ruhr Express (RRX) project in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
The loan will be used to buy 82 new double-deck electric trains offering improved energy-efficiency and capacity, as well as special barrier-free passenger comfort for the RRX project.
RRX is promoted by the four neighbouring transport associations, namely VRR, NWL, NVR and SPNV Nord.
The RRX project includes interconnecting the Rhine-Ruhr region with a six-line network, whose backbone will be the Cologne-Düsseldorf- Duisburg-Essen-Dortmund-Hamm corridor.
Together with EIB, KfW IPEX-Bank and Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen (Helaba) will also provide additional funding of €283m for the project.
EIB president Werner Hoyer said: "With the close cooperation of the four transport associations, the RRX project is a first for North Rhine-Westphalia’s local transport system.
"The Rhine-Ruhr Express represents a key sustainable and customer-focused transport solution for NRW that will be appreciated in the region and beyond."
The RRX project, which will provide modern, energy-saving light trains, will help to improve the quality of local passenger transport in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Earlier this year, Siemens won a contract to build and maintain the new double-deck trains following a Europe-wide procurement process.