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 |  Press release of Nahverkehrsservice Sachsen-Anhalt GmbH

The signals are pointing to a restart

[Translate to Englisch:] Die Unterzeichnenden des Verkehrsvertrages Dieselnetz Sachsen-Anhalt (v.l.n.r.): Peter Panitz, Geschäftsführer NASA GmbH, Markus Brämer, Thüringer Ministerium für Infrastruktur und Landwirtschaft, Dirk Bartels, Geschäftsführer Regionalverkehre Start GmbH, Dr. Lydia Hüskens, Sachsen-Anhalts Ministerin für Infrastruktur und Digitales, Ralf Sygusch, Verbandsdirektor des Regionalverbands Großraum Braunschweig, Alexander Falkenmeier, Geschäftsführer der Start GmbH.

Another important step towards a change of operator has been taken. Start Mitteldeutschland (Start GmbH), the successor to Abellio Rail Mitteldeutschland GmbH on the diesel network in Saxony-Anhalt, today signed the corresponding transport contract in Magdeburg. Dr. Lydia Hüskens, Minister for Infrastructure and Digital Affairs of Saxony-Anhalt, Peter Panitz, Managing Director of NASA GmbH, Ralf Sygusch, Director of the Regional Association of Greater Brunswick, Markus Brämer from the Thuringian Ministry for Infrastructure and Agriculture (TMIL) as well as Dirk Bartels and Alexander Falkenmeier, Managing Directors of Start GmbH, were present.

"In close cooperation with our partners from Thuringia and Lower Saxony, we were able to complete this short-notice tender process and conclude a new contract for our diesel network. I would like to thank everyone involved. I am now confident that Start GmbH will manage a smooth transition for passengers and Abellio staff by December," said Minister Hüskens at the signing of the contract. The company faces the major task of taking over existing contracts for staff and vehicles, including maintenance.

Markus Brämer, Deputy Head of the TMIL: "I would like to congratulate Dirk Bartels, Alexander Falkenmeier and Markus Hoffmann from start GmbH and wish them personally and the company every success. start GmbH prevailed against several competitors and will in future operate the diesel network in Saxony-Anhalt (DISA II), which also extends to the state capital of Thuringia. Together we are committed to good cross-border regional transportation. The aim is to expand good public transport services not only in cities but also in rural areas. We want to ensure that urban and rural areas have more or less the same opportunities to live and prosper - and that includes a well-developed regional transportation system. We have taken a good step forward today.

Ralf Sygusch, Director of the Greater Brunswick Regional Association, emphasizes the importance of the line in Lower Saxony: "The quick and unbureaucratic reaction of all those involved has made a good solution possible. Even if our section is only a very short one, it still has an important function: the connection between the Börde and Wolfsburg and the continuous connection to the northern Harz from Halberstadt via Wernigerode to Goslar are of great importance to us in terms of traffic. "

"We are delighted that start has won the tender for the transport network. The decision underlines the confidence in our performance and reliability," says Dirk Bartels, Managing Director of Regionalverkehre Start GmbH. "We are aware of our responsibility and want to make the transfer of operations in December 2024 as smooth as possible. Our experts are working tirelessly throughout Germany to drive the commissioning process forward."

The diesel network comprises the majority of the diesel lines in Saxony-Anhalt with a performance volume of approximately 9.3 million train-kilometers per year, of which approximately 8.4 million train-kilometers are operated within the state's borders. The contract with the current DISA operator, Abellio, will expire at the beginning of this year, after the company ran into financial difficulties in 2021 and entered into protective proceedings. In light of the bankruptcy proceedings, all parties agreed to a settlement that resulted in the early re-tendering of the diesel network. Abellio was not allowed to bid for this new contract.