On Sunday 11 December 2016, Abellio Rail Nordrhein Westfalen successfully took over operations on the lines RE 19, RB 32 and RB 35 from DB Regio NRW. Klaus Paeßens, former DB Regio employee, symbolically passed over the baton to his new colleague Klaus Gunkel from Abellio at Emmerich station. They started their service together and will be driving trains on the Niederrhein network.
From now on, the silver-black Abellio trains will be operating 36 stations on the 189 kilometer long Niederrhein network between Bocholt, Emmerich, Dusseldorf, Mönchengladbach and Wesel. Twenty new FLIRT vehicles will be used on lines RE 19 and RB 35. The five-part vehicles are air-conditioned, have infinitely variable entry areas and more seats than previously used cars. The new vehicles will provide for the mobility of approximately 7 million communters in the North Rhine – Westphalia area. On line RB 32, Abellio will be using modern Alstom Coradia LINT diesels to complete the electrification of the line from Wesel to Bocholt.
On 6 April 2017, the line RE 19 will be extended from Emmerich via Zevenaar to Arnhem (Netherlands) after the necessary approval for the vehicles for the Dutch Railways.