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Berlin U-Bahn rolling stock procurement on hold, Germany [free access]

August 21, 2019

Alstom has challenged Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe’s (BVG’s) decision to select Stadler Pankow as the preferred bidder for the contract to replace rolling stock on the U-Bahn network. The scope of contract includes the supply of up to 1,500 metro cars. The tender was launched at the end of 2016, but was delayed several times due to a significant increase in the number of vehicles to be delivered (from 1,050 to 1,500) in the middle of the ongoing negotiation process, . This led to the revision of the offer multiple times.


Alstom has claimed that BVG had changed the terms of the deal multiple times during the 2.5-year-long tendering process and that the deadline had to be postponed several times. In addition, other rail manufacturers have also claimed that the terms  of the tender were not satisfactory or clear, because BVG had included incorrect calculations in the tender documents.


Alstom had initially submitted a petition in May 2018, but it was rejected only at the end of July 2019. Alstom has appealed against the ruling and the case may go to the Berlin Higher Regional Court. As per BVG, the challenge may delay the procurement process by up to two years. The legal challenge can cost up to EUR3 billion.


The average age of U-Bahn’s fleet is around 28 years. Initially, the delivery of the first 24 vehicles was scheduled from mid-2021, followed by the delivery of up to 76 cars in 2022 and the delivery of 138 cars per year from 2023 onwards.


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