The company, which operates the London-Southend c2c route, has secured two contracts worth £1.4bn in Germany's most populous region, North Rhine-Westphalia, for the Rheine-Münster-Cologne-Krefeld and Bonn-Cologne-Wuppertal services.
Mainland European markets are usually closed to external operators and largely the domain of state-owned companies such as the powerful Deutsche Bahn. This has in turn allowed the likes of DB to enter the UK market, acquiring Arriva, the owner of the Arriva Train Wales and CrossCountry franchises.
The move marks another step in the recovery in fortunes for the rail arm of National Express, which was stripped of the British East Coast mainline in 2009.
The company, which also has transport services in North America, Spain and Morocco, is in the running for three other franchises in Germany and is applying for licences to operate coach services in that country.
Link from Tony Wilson