1995 - 2001
1995: Recognition as a public railway (Kopie 1)
800,000 tons were carried by freight transport, therefore new contracts were made. For instance, EIB became operator of Schwarza Faser Gmbh (connecting railway). By proving their abilities, Erfurter Bahn GmbH gained the recognition for being a public non-federally-owned railway (“Öffentliche nichtbundeseigene Eisenbahn”).
1997: Public service contract with the Free State of Thuringia (Kopie 1)
EIB received permission to render rail passenger services in April; accordingly, the contract with the Free State of Thuringia was signed in September. Furthermore, Erfurter Industriebahn GmbH won the bid for public transport on the 100 kilometers between Erfurt and Heiligenstadt via Döllstädt, Bad Langensalza, Mühlhausen and Leinefelde (route 604). To this end, five shuttles were purchased, sponsored up to 50 percent by the Free State of Thuringia.
1998: The new cars on tour (Kopie 1)
From 24/05/98 the five “Regio-Shuttle” run between Erfurt and Eichsfeld. By the end of the year EIB counted 630,000 passengers and 9,300,000 kilometers.
1999: …as far as Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe (Kopie 1)
Just in time for the timetable change in May 1999, EIB extended their services beyond Eichenberg as far as Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe in Hesse. For that, three additional “Regio-Shuttle” were purchased. In November, the advanced maintenance facilities including a washing installation (located in the extension beneath the work shop) started operations. On 10th December 1999, Erfurter Bahn GmbH and Hessische Landesbahn GmbH established the subsidiary Süd•Thüringen•Bahn GmbH (S•T•B).
2000: Gotha – Bad Langensalza (Kopie 1)
After the timetable change, “New Erfurter Bahn” took over the entire regional services between Gotha and Bad Langensalza. On 28th November 2000, the enlarged rail yard with a new installed under-floor wheel lathe was dedicated. Aside from that, the first “Regio-Shuttle” was officially presented to Süd•Thüringen•Bahn (S•T•B).
2001: Süd·Thüringen·Bahn takes off (Kopie 1)
On New Year´s Day 2001, Süd•Thüringen•Bahn GmbH started operations - for the time being on behalf of DB Regio AG - and commencing operations on 10th June 2001, independently runs between Eisenach and Zella-Mehlis via Meiningen, Eisfeld and Wernshausen. Furthermore, the entire services between Erfurt and Meiningen are rendered. Annually, S•T•B runs 2,300,000 kilometers using 26 “Regio-Shuttle”.