Danish national railway Danske Statsbaner (DSB) has acquired a 50% stake in German regional train operator VIAS, in an effort to win regional rail operating contracts in Germany.
DSB took over Frankfurt transport company VGF’s share in VIAS, while the remaining 50% remains with RATH subsidiary Rurtalbahn, another regional operator.
DSB CEO Søren Eriksen said this purchase fitted well with DSB’s international strategy and praised the way VIAS had been run.
Set up in 2005 by VGF and Rurtalbahn, VIAS has operated Frankfurt’s 200km Odenwaldbahn network under a ten-year contract since 2005.
VIAS will also operate the 136km Rheingau route between Frankfurt and Koblenz under a 13-year contract beginning in December.
The acquisition’s formal approval is expected to be in place before the end of May, and DSB and Rurtalbahn plan to submit their joint bids for the contracts later in 2010.
DSB already owns two franchises in Sweden to go with its Danish services and expects to use a similar business strategy in Germany.