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Veolia takes over Öresund train services

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Veolia takes over Öresund train services
10:06 CEST+02:00
Veolia Transport is to take over rail operations on the Swedish side of the Öresund after an agreement reached in light of financial difficulties at Danish-British operator DSB First, according to a statement from regional transport firm Skånetrafiken.

Veolia will operate services until the end of 2013, by which time a new tender procurement process will have been completed.

"It is a comprehensive transport system which can not be easily taken over from one day to another. We are therefore happy with this solution, which means that DSB First will progressively hand over responsibility over six months," said Gunnar Wulff, CEO of Öresundtåg AB, the firm which represents Swedish stakeholders.

Wulff welcome the deal which ends months of speculation and uncertainty over the future of the services after it emerged that DSB First had run into financial difficulties.

DSB First's precarious situation was cited as the reason for terminating the agreement and it was assured that the deal would ensure that trans-Öresund trains would continue to operate as normal in the interim period.

"We will immediately commence a new tender procurement process. This will take at least two years to complete, and Veolia's contract thus runs to the end of 2013/ beginning of 2014."

DSB First will furthermore be paid 45 million kronor ($7 million) in compensation for additional expenses incurred as a result of the rebuilding of Malmö central station.

Öresundståg AB will also cover losses incurred by DSB First on rail services in Sweden until full control is handed over to Veolia by December.

Since DSB First reported problems with its finances back in March several firms have expressed an interest in taking over the Öresund services, with Veolia considered to be the best option in the circumstances.

The agreement has also been heralded as a step in the right direction for DSB First's battle to avoid bankruptcy.

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