VRR and NWL are ordering 60 battery-electric trains with the assistance of Heuking


Transport authorities Rhein-Ruhr (VRR) and Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe (NWL) selected Spanish company CAF to deliver more than 60 battery-powered trains and to provide long-term maintenance services for the fleet. The Heuking team led by Ute Jasper and Christopher Marx assisted in the award procedure.

The “Civity BEMU” trains will be supplied in two sizes, each with 120 or 160 seats, which will increase the capacity on many lines of the Niederrhein-Münsterland network. 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. These are classic electric vehicles 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.

The new trains have generous entry areas to ensure a speedy change of passengers and have significantly larger seat spacing compared to the vehicles currently used on the lines. In addition, the vehicles are equipped with spacious and separated multi-purpose areas for wheelchair users and bicycles, strollers, etc., which can be accessed at ground level from 76-centimeter-high platforms.

“The innovative procedure enabled VRR and NWL to find the best solution for operating locally emission-free on the only partially electrified infrastructure,” stated Christopher Marx, who is responsible for the contracts and the award procedure.

“The new vehicles are not emitting any particulate matter or nitrogen oxides. VRR and NWL are thus making an important contribution to climate protection,” said Ute Jasper, Head of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek Public Sector & Public Procurement Practice Group. 

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, and member of the “Public Sector & Public Procurement” Practice Group, is a specialist for the drafting of contracts under civil law in complex public procurement procedures.

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