Abellio and National Express to operate billion euro project RRX – Economic success for transport associations with Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

Germany's largest rail project RRX is a complete success. Abellio and National Express are scheduled to operate the RRX. Siemens had already been selected as manufacturer several weeks ago. Thanks to the competition results of the NRW-RRX model's manufacturer and operator bid invitation, the premium product in regional rail transport is considerably more cost-effective than expected.

As of December 2018, Rhein-Ruhr-Express (RRX) will lead to a considerable increase in regional rail transport quality with shorter cycles, Wi-Fi, and higher comfort. Unlike previously, it will not be the railway company, but Siemens as manufacturer that will maintain and repair the vehicles. It was a decisive factor that not only the lowest vehicle price, but the sustainable most efficient overall solution was selected, with energy efficiency playing the key role.

The NRW-RRX model was developed by the participating transport associations Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR), Nahverkehr Rheinland (NVR), Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe (NWL), Schienenpersonennahverkehr Rheinland-Pfalz Nord (SPNV-Nord), Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr AöR, and Verkehrsverbund und Fördergesellschaft Nordhessen mbH (NVV) jointly with the legal team led by Dr. Ute Jasper. Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek's team has been the market-leading advisor in regional rail transport for many years and has designed numerous innovative concepts for public sector procurement.

"The innovative approach paid off doubly. The awards were governed by the cost across the lifecycle including the vehicles' energy consumption," said public procurement law specialist Dr. Ute Jasper of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek. "This new type of invitation for bids will certainly also ac as precedent in other German states." Dr. Christopher Marx, who is responsible for contract drafting in Dr. Ute Jasper's team, added: "Unlike feared by a few, it was not staff cost that was the governing factor, but primarily the opportunity to procure railway services in a competitive process."

In addition to Dr. Marx, the team working on the project included Dr. Laurence Westen for public procurement law, Dr. Hannah Gesing also for contracts, Dr. Stefan Jöster for insurance law, Dr. Stefan Proske for insolvency law, and Dr. Thorsten Kuthe for banking law.

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 2014/2015, 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 in Düsseldorf.

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