News from Alpha Trains


  • Passenger News
  • 23. August 2021
  • Press Release | Alpha Trains

Upgrade from three- to four-car trainsets – increasing capacity for passengers

Alpha Trains upgrades its regional trains in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for the Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn GmbH

  • First approval to expand the Desiro ML in Europe
  • Early and flexible capacity increase without interrupting operations

Cologne, 23 August 2021 - On behalf of Alpha Trains, continental Europe’s largest lessor of trains and locomotives, Siemens Mobility has converted the multiple train units currently leased to ODEG - Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn GmbH from three- to four-car trainsets. With this upgrade, Siemens has completed the approval process to enlarge the capacity with Alpha Trains Desiro ML-trains for the first time at European level. According to the specifications of the EU’s Fourth Railway Package, an expansion from three to four-unit trains needs to be approved by the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) with the involvement of the national supervisory authorities.

The plan to expand the capacity of the multiple-unit trains is made possible by the flexible single-car concept of the Desiro ML platform, which makes it  possible to insert an additional unit. The optimal use of the entire length of the train for seating means that over 90 per cent of the vehicle is available to passengers. 

“As the original launch customer for the Siemens Desiro ML series, we are particularly proud to be pioneers in the expansion of these trains as well. The combination of our know-how and a wealth of experience enabled us to offer a fast, flexible solution that will add to the satisfaction of customers and passengers alike. With this move we hope to make rail travel more attractive than ever as a sustainable and therefore future proof means of transport,” said Shaun Mills, CEO of the Alpha Trains Group.

“The plan to expand the capacity of the Desiro ML trains is facilitated by the flexible single car train concept of our platform which makes it straightforward to add a further car. With its conversion of the Desiro ML trains for Alpha Trains, Siemens Mobility has for the first time completed the certification process for expanding capacity on a European level. We are proud to have facilitated this expansion of capacity on time, even under pandemic conditions,” states Albrecht Neumann, CEO Rolling Stock at Siemens Mobility.

Stefan Neubert, Managing Director of ODEG: “We are delighted that, together with our partners Siemens and Alpha Trains, we have quickly achieved our goal to be in a position in the future to offer our passengers on the Baltic Sea coast even more space on our trains. The holiday region is enjoying increasing popularity, and we are proud to have made our contribution to enabling a growing number of people to reach it in our modern, comfortable trains in an eco-friendly, relaxed style.”

Berthold Witting, Managing Director of VMV-Verkehrsgesellschaft Mecklenburg-Vorpommern mbH: “We welcome the longer regional trains and now we can offer our passengers across the Hanseatic cities of Rostock, Stralsund and the island of Rügen 68 additional seats and a 1st class area. Extending the trains to a four-car system is especially beneficial for the popular tourist route to Rügen. Germany’s largest island with its spa towns of Bergen, Sassnitz and the Baltic Sea resort of Binz is a popular destination and thus regularly at full capacity during the season. The expansion of the regional trains’ capacity along the Baltic Sea represents a further step towards climate-friendly, comfortable travel. Hop aboard and discover Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Baltic Sea coast!”

The background: at the end of 2018, Alpha Trains ordered seven three-unit regional trains of the Desiro Mainline (ML) series from Siemens Mobility – including subsequent expansion by adding a fourth unit. Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn GmbH (ODEG) is leasing the vehicles for use in its “Baltic Sea Coast-East network part II”, which it has been operating on behalf of Verkehrsgesellschaft Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (VMV) mbH since December 2019. The trains were originally supplied as three-unit versions and are currently deployed on the RE9 (Rostock–Stralsund–Binz/Sassnitz) and RE10 (Rostock–Stralsund–Züssow) routes.

About Alpha Trains

Alpha Trains is the leading rolling stock lessor in Continental Europe. 125 employees from 15 countries work in offices in Luxembourg, Antwerp, Cologne, Madrid and Paris. Alpha Trains owns more than 850 locomotives and passenger trains and offers tailor-made leasing solutions, comprehensive know-how in maintenance and vehicle repairs as well as long-term experience in the financing of new build projects. Alpha Trains′ fleets are in use by many public and private operators in 19 European countries. Alpha Trains′ shareholders are APG, Arcus European Trains and PGGM.

Heike Zimmermann
Group Head of PR & Marketing
Phone: +49 221 9140 9063

About ODEG

One of the greatest success stories of the German railways begins with the inception of ODEG in 2002. As a subsidiary of BeNEX and Prignitzer Eisenbahn GmbH, ODEG has today become the largest private railway in eastern Germany. The regional railway operates a total of 12 lines on behalf of the states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, Berlin, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. In the process, ODEG uses the infrastructure of Deutsche Bahn AG in return for a fee. The vehicle fleet, consisting of around 49 multiple unit trains, currently comprises 16 KISS, 7 Desiro MLs, 6 Desiro Classics, 6 GTW 2/6s and 13 RegioShuttle RS1s as well as 1 FLIRT. Maintenance of the vehicles is carried out by the wholly-owned subsidiary ODIG – Ostdeutsche Instandhaltungsgesellschaft mbH. For more information about the company, please go to

Dietmute Graf
(Head of Marketing and Communication) +49 (30) 81 40 77 165
Swantje Mielke (Officer Marketing and Communication) +49 (30) 81 40 77 157