Deutsche Bahn closes deal on British train network

Germany's state-owned railway company Deutsche Bahn said Thursday it had won a contract to operate a regional train network in the northeast of Britain.

Deutsche Bahn closes deal on British train network
Photo: DPA

The firm will operate the Tyne and Wear Metro in and around Newcastle and Sunderland from April, Deutsche Bahn said in a statement.

The contract, signed on Tuesday, concerns some 74 kilometres (46 miles) of track, 90 trains and 60 stations, used by around 40 million passengers per year, said Deutsche Bahn.

Deutsche Bahn will operate the network for a period of seven years, with the possibility of a two-year extension.

No financial details were given.

The firm, which has operations in 150 countries, already has a presence in Britain after buying a stake in Chiltern Railways in 2008.

Last year Deutsche Bahn, which also operates bus services in other European countries, won a contract to run a local train network in the Swedish region of Östergötland from December 2010.

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Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

Switzerland’s Federal Railways (SBB) will be removing the ticket counter from nine stations in the cantons of Zurich, Vaud, Bern, Zug and Ticino

Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

The SBB made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the decision was made due to a lack of demand. 

Instead, commuters will need to buy tickets from automated machines. 

In the canton of Zurich, the ticket stations in Dietlikon, Hinwil, Kloten, Männedorf and Oberwinterthur will be closed. 

In neighbouring Zug, Cham’s ticket counter will be closed, while the Herzogenbuchsee station in Bern will also go fully automated. 

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In Latin Switzerland, Pully in Vaud and Biasca in Ticino will see their ticket counters closed. 

The SBB told Swiss news outlet Watson that approximately 95 percent of ticket sales are now made via self-service machines or online. 

The advent of navigation apps has meant the need for personal advice on directions and travel has fallen, particularly in smaller areas or stations with lower traffic.