Soltau, March 22, 2022
Regionalverkehre Start Deutschland GmbH, start for short, always prepares thoroughly to ensure a smooth takeover of a route. This was also the case with the commissioning of the Lower Saxony Central network, which Start Niedersachsen Mitte has been operating since December 12, 2021.
Mathias Hoff heads the Start Niedersachsen Mitte team of around 200 employees: “Starting up and running the network has presented a number of challenges. But everyone involved was highly motivated and competent, so we managed to take the basic elements of a railroad operation from theory to practice from day one.”
Nevertheless, the first 100 days of operation have not been entirely without minor mishaps. At the start of commissioning in December, maintenance problems and a number of Corona cases meant that not enough rolling stock could be made available for operation, resulting in delays and train cancellations. In order to defuse the situation, start activated additional maintenance capacities within a very short time and temporarily rented two additional vehicles. Special attention was paid to the school trains, for which emergency bus service was provided.
“I am very proud of how quickly and professionally the Start Niedersachsen Mitte team responded. Once again it has been shown how important it is to be able to offer flexible and customized solutions for the various regions as an agile company with a start-up atmosphere,” says the Managing Director of Regionalverkehre Start Deutschland GmbH, Dirk Bartels.
Particularly important in the takeover of the transport network was and is the close contact between start and the local decision-makers from politics, administration and society. The offices of Start Niedersachsen Mitte are therefore anchored locally in Soltau and Hildesheim. Anyone with a question or concern can thus get in touch directly with the relevant contact persons. The employees are also mostly from the region and have extensive route and local knowledge.
To the start Lower Saxony center
The Lower Saxony Central network is the second network for which start has been awarded the contract. The existing Heidekreuz and Weser/Lammetalbahn networks were merged to form a much larger transport network comprising four regional rail (RB) lines:
The Niedersachsen Mitte network amounts to 4.6 million train kilometers per year and links the region of northern Germany by rail.
About Regionalverkehre Start Deutschland GmbH
The best of both worlds: Regionalverkehre Start Deutschland GmbH was founded in 2016 as a wholly owned subsidiary of DB Regio AG and is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main. In a start-up atmosphere, the Expert:innen team develops innovative solutions for the entire value chain in local rail passenger transport (SPNV) for public transport authorities. The aim is to use the resources of the parent company to successfully win traffic in regional rail transport and operate it in the best possible way for customers. In doing so, start relies on regional business models individually tailored to the respective transport contract and flexible concepts for the regional rail transport of the future.