[passenger] Metronom wants to quit – German State starts negotiations with operator on cancellation of Hansenetz contract

At a special meeting, the Supervisory Board of Niedersächsische Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft (LNVG) authorised the management of LNVG to negotiate an early termination of the transport contract with Metronom Eisenbahngesellschaft, the operator of the so-called Hanseatic network. The current contract runs until 2033, but Metronom wants to get out from under it and quit as early as 2026. The why and how:

Metronom has found itself in a difficult economic situation due to the recent sharp rise in costs. The Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s war against Ukraine have fundamentally changed the framework conditions for rail providers in Germany. It also faces infrastructural challenges and a shortage of skilled workers.

In December 2023, Metronom asked LNVG to enter into negotiations in order to limit losses from the transport contract. The common goal is now to terminate the existing contract by June 2026. At the same time, a new concept for the Hanseatic network is being developed and put out to tender.

Lower Saxony’s Transport Minister Olaf Lies: “Metronom has been a reliable partner in recent years and the Metronom brand is firmly established. Our aim is therefore, on the one hand, to maintain all services on the route until June 2026 and to improve the offer again. On the other hand, we now want to offer our employees reliability and good prospects.”

All Metronom rolling stock vehicles come from the state’s vehicle pool, the employees will be taken on directly by any future operator in the event of a transfer of operations in the event of a new tender, and the Metronom company can also reapply.

The fleet in use by Metronom on lines RE2, RE3/RB31, RE4/RB41:

The fleet is currently in the process of overhaul and modernization.

LNVG > Metronom 146-14 / 146 514 in Hamburg-Harburg on 01.05.2021 © Patrik’s Bahnwelt
Photo credit: LNVG