Rail firm Deutsche Bahn has awarded a contract to Poland's PESA in its first-ever order to a manufacturer outside of Germany. The move has been interpreted as a sign of increased competition among the firm's suppliers.
Deutsche Bahn's deal with Poland's rolling stock manufacturer Pojazdy Szynowe Bydgoszcz Akcyjna (PESA) provided for the delivery of 470 trains by 2018 and was worth up to 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion), the German national rail operator said Wednesday.
Noting that it was the German rail operator's first-ever major contract with PESA, Deutsche Bahn's technical director Volker Kefer said the contracts had been tailored in a way which would afford "maximum possible flexibility" with regard to the size and the power of the trains ordered.
"It's an important strategic goal for us to broaden the German rail market and intensify competition among our suppliers," said Kiefer on the sidelines of the Innotrans rail trade fair in Berlin.
Deutsche Bahn is preparing for a raft of public tenders for Germany's lucrative regional railway lines, scheduled to be made in the course of the next few years. The state-owned rail operator boasts a market share of 80 percent in German regional rail transport.
However, technical flaws in its trains, which are mostly made by suppliers Siemens and Bombardier in Germany, have tarnished the reputation of Deutsche Bahn recently.
This has resulted in intensified efforts among public administrations to look for private-sector operators to run railway lines.
A spokesperson for Siemens engineering group told DAPD news agency Wednesday that the firm had not participated in the tender for the train contract because Siemens did not produce the diesel-driven locomotives Deutsche Bahn had requested.
uhe/sej (Reuters, dad, AFP)