The EU bank is supporting Rheinbahn’s extensive modernisation programme with a EUR 150m loan. For local public transport in the Greater Düsseldorf area new trams and buses are to be purchased and the passenger service is to be improved and extended. The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Rheinbahn signed the loan contract today in Düsseldorf.
More than a million people live in the Düsseldorf region. Rheinhahn AG’s catchment area extends over 570 km2. “Given the size of this area, local public transport is of crucial importance, especially in the metropolitan area of the regional capital of North Rhine-Westphalia”, said EIB Vice-President Wilhelm Molterer when the contract was signed. “The criteria for a modern and competitive transport services provider are efficiency, reliability and low environmental impact”, added the Vice-President, who is responsible for financing operations in Germany. “The EIB loan will enable Rheinbahn to cope better with the ever-increasing demand for a means of transport that will have minimal impact on the climate and at the same time facilitate travel for those living in the area.”
This was also underlined by the Rheinbahn Board Spokesman Dirk Biesenach: “The long-term finance guaranteed by the loan contract will be used both to purchase the necessary rolling stock and extend the local transport network for the benefit of our passengers. It is the biggest loan ever agreed by Rheinbahn. It will cover most of the capital that will be required over the next four years, especially for the investment that will be needed to renew local rail transport.”
Procurement, rehabilitation, system renovation, conversion and new construction work
The funds will be available for a four-year investment programme that is due to be completed by 2018. It will cover both infrastructure measures and investment in the rolling stock. In particular, the purchase of around 40 new high-floor trams and some 87 buses is to be financed, together with the refurbishment of around 100 B80 and NF6 series trams.
The programme will also provide for improved access to platforms, especially for those with reduced mobility, via measures to do away with barriers. A new Intermodal Transport Control System (ITCS) will provide real-time information for passengers and operators. Finally, the loan will enable a new administration building to be constructed in Düsseldorf-Lierenfeld, the centrepiece of which will be Rheinbahn’s Central Traffic Control System (operational headquarters).
The EIB’s financing operations focus on projects that promote climate protection. In 2013 alone finance totalling EUR 19bn was provided for climate protection, including EUR 6.2bn for projects to promote sustainable mobility.