The billion euro regional rail transport project Rhein-Ruhr-Express (RRX) will start without trials and delays. All bidders accepted the contract awards to National Express and Abellio. Siemens had already been awarded with construction and maintenance of the trains several weeks ago.
In comparison with Berlin, it becomes clear what a spectacular success the RRX award has been: In the capital, the re-awarding of the rapid-transit railway system is taking 3 years and counting. Trials were lost, competition has failed. All bidders except DB backed out. Insider report of an unaffordable bid placed by DB.
Matters look differently in the Rhine-Ruhr district. Ute Jasper, lawyer of the four transport associations, in whose area the RRX will operate, explains why: „Within 18 months, the 4 billion euro project RRX was structured and awarded. The manufacturer develops premium trains for regional transport, which are energy-saving and low-maintenance like never before. For the first time, the competition was designed to consider the overall economy of the vehicles, thereby lowering total cost and preserving the environment.“
Christopher Marx, specialist for the RRX contracts in Jasper's team, describes why the procedure is so successful: "There are two reasons: First of all, the associations considered their needs in detail before they started and they always worked with a clear structure. Secondly, the awards were designed to ensure transparent and fair competition.“
Dr. Ute Jasper is one of the best known lawyers for public procurement and public infrastructure projects. She advises federal and state ministries, municipalities, and companies. Ute Jasper heads Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek's "Public Sector & Public Procurement" department. For years, she has been ranked number 1 in JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms, currently in its 2014/2015 edition, and according to "Law Firms in Germany" is the "premier contact on the market" for infrastructure.
Dr. Christopher Marx is a lawyer in the "Public Sector & Public Procurement" Practice Group, Düsseldorf.
The award is based on the “NRW-RRX model” realized jointly by the participating transport associations Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR), Zweckverband Nahverkehr Rheinland (NVR), Zweckverband Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe (NWL), Zweckverband Schienenpersonennahverkehr Rheinland-Pfalz (SPNV-Nord), and Nordhessischer Verkehrsverbund (NVV) under leadership of the VRR. In this procedure, the bid advertisements for the operation of the lines were separated from the ones for manufacturing, supply, and maintenance, in order to allow, among others, the subsequent realization of the RRX target system after completing the infrastructure. It had already been determined in March 2015 that Siemens will build the 82 high-quality RRX trains for the future RRX lines and will maintain and repair them for a period of 30 years.