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Keolis in the UK

Commuter, regional and inter-city rail services



The UK rail market is divided into 19 rail franchises which go to tender approximately every six years. The central government's Department for Transport issues the invitation to tender.

Keolis in the UK

Keolis has holdings in two joint ventures which operate 4 franchises overall. These Train Operating Companies (TOCs) together cover more than 1 in 4 passenger rail journeys each year.


Govia runs the Southeastern, Southern and London Midland franchises. The joint venture is held by Keolis (35%) and Go-Ahead Group (65%).



FirstKeolis (45% Keolis, 55% FirstGroup) runs First Transpennine Express.

For details on Go-Ahead and FirstGroup, see Partners.



Southeastern covers the south east of England: Kent and parts of East Sussex, as well as the south east outskirts of London. The network was redesigned and boosted in December 2009 with the full introduction of the High speed service using the High Speed 1 line shared with Eurostar, considerably cutting journey times. (More on High Speed: click here)

Key figures

  • 400 trains,
  • 1760km of track,
  • 170 million passengers/year,



Southern serves the southern outskirts of London and the mainline towards Brighton, extending to Portsmouth and Southampton. The new franchise started in September 2009 for a 5 year 10 month period. The network also includes the Gatwick Express service which carries passengers between London Victoria and Gatwick airport in a mere 35 minutes.

Key figures

  • 300 trains
  • 666 km of track
  • 164 million passengers per year
  • 4200 employees


London Midland

London Midland is an intercity service running from London Euston to Birmingham and on to Liverpool. The current franchise was won by Govia in 2007 for a period of 7 years and 10 months.

Key figures

  • 163 trains
  • 867 km of track
  • 60 million passengers/year
  • 2350 employees


First TransPennine Express

First TransPennine Express (FTPE) runs inter-city train services on three main routes across the North of England. It links Liverpool and Manchester with Leeds, York and the North East, with Sheffield and Doncaster, and with the Lake District and beyond.

In December 2007, our rail network expanded to link Manchester with Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Key figures

  • 60 trains
  • 1251 km of track
  • 25 million passengers/year
  • 1040 employees


Nottingham tram

Keolis, with Trent Barton, Alstom and Vinci, are the industrial shareholders in the Tramlink Nottingham concession company. In December 2011, Tramlink entered into a PPP contract for 22.5 years to operate, maintain and extend the Nottingham tram system.

The network will be extended by 17.5km and the tram fleet by 22 vehicles. It is expected to carry 20 million passengers per year.

Operation and maintenance is undertaken by Nottingham Trams Ltd, a subsidiary of Keolis (80%) and Trent Barton (20%).

Special features

  • Several sections of single line using former railway alignment
  • Extensive shared street running
  • 3100 Park and Ride spaces

Key figures

  • 14.5 km
  • 15 Bombardier Incentro trams
  • 210 employees