Procurement sealed and done: Advised by Heuking, VRR and NWL are ordering trains with innovative drive technology

On April 4, 2022, transport associations Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR), Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe (NWL) and Spanish railway vehicle manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A. (CAF) signed a contract for the production, delivery, and long-term maintenance of 63 local emission-free traction units. The Spanish company had prevailed in the Europe-wide award procedure designed by the public procurement team led by Dr. Ute Jasper and Dr. Christopher Marx.

"We are pleased to be able to support VRR and NWL with our expertise in conversion to innovative drive technologies in regional transportation," said Ute Jasper, Head of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek's Public Sector & Public Procurement Practice Group.

The “Civity BEMU” trains will be supplied in two sizes, each with 120 or 160 seats. The trains are equipped with folding tables, power sockets, and free Wi-Fi for work during trips. With the use of the electric vehicles, the proportion of diesel kilometers in local rail passenger transport in the VRR area will drop to less than ten percent. This is an important step for VRR toward being able to provide 90 percent of the regional passenger rail services in the VRR region electrically by 2030.

“In addition to the important environmental aspect, the new trains are equipped with spacious entry areas, conveniently-spaced seats, and the multi-purpose areas allow for level boarding from 76-centimeter-high platforms,” added Christopher Marx, who is responsible for contracts and the award procedure.

These are classic electric trains that are additionally equipped with batteries to run on the non-electrified line sections and will be able to recharge the batteries under the overhead line.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s “Public Sector & Public Procurement” department has been one of the market leaders in public procurement law for years. Its lawyers hold top spots in German and international lawyer rankings. Since 1991, they have advised on awards, restructuring, large-scale projects, and cooperations in the public sector and have accompanied several hundred large-scale projects of federal, state, and local authorities and their subsidiaries with a total volume in excess of EUR 40 billion without any procedure having been successfully challenged to date.

Dr. Ute Jasper is one of the most renowned lawyers for procurement and infrastructure projects in the public sector. She advises federal and state ministries, municipalities, and businesses, particularly on innovative and complex projects. Ute Jasper is a Partner at the law firm of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek where she heads the “Public Sector & Public Procurement” department. For years, she has been ranked number 1 in Public Procurement Law with her team in JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms. According to “Law Firms in Germany,” she is the “premier contact on the market” for infrastructure. In October 2016, she received the JUVE Award for Regulated Industries with her team.

Dr. Christopher Marx is a Partner and member of the “Public Sector & Public Procurement” Practice Group. He advises the federal government, states, municipalities, and businesses on complex award procedures and innovative contract models. He is regularly recommended in public procurement law and the transportation sector, including by Legal 500, Handelsblatt, and JUVE.

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