Keolis joint venture retains Southeastern, one of the busiest rail networks in the UK

09/04/2020
On 30 March 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded Govia, the joint venture (JV) between Keolis and Go-Ahead Group, an extension to its current contract to operate the Southeastern railway network, in the London area, up to 31st March 2022. The UK’s first high speed rail network, Southeastern is also one of the busiest rail networks in the UK, carrying over 180 million passengers per year. This extended contract will enable Keolis and its partner to boost capacity and punctuality of the network and, in the short term, to focus on providing services for key workers during the Covid-19.

Govia, the joint venture (JV) between Keolis (35%) and its partner Go-Ahead (65%) has secured a direct award contract from the Department for Transport (DfT) to continue operating the Southeastern railway network. Commencing on 1st April 2020, the contract will run for 18 months, with the option to extend by a further six months until 31st March 2022.

The UK’s first high speed rail route, Southeastern (1,751 km long) is also one of the busiest rail networks in the country, completing 640,000 passenger journeys every weekday and carrying 183 million passengers annually. It covers the south east of England, including Kent and parts of East Sussex, as well as the south eastern suburbs of London.

The service has been operated by the Govia JV since 2006, with punctuality up nearly 10 per cent in the past two years, and passenger satisfaction hitting a six-year high, of 81 per cent, in the most recent National Rail Passenger Survey.

Under the new contract, Govia will deliver a range of customer service improvements, including boosting capacity through additional trains, and through continued partnership with Network Rail, to develop a long-term capacity, rolling stock and punctuality strategy for the network beyond 2022.

In the short term, it will focus on providing services for key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are delighted with the confidence placed by the DfT in Keolis and our partner Go-Ahead to pursue the operations of one of the UK’s busiest networks. The role of Southeastern in supporting British workers during this unprecedented time has never been more important. We’re proud of our track record at Southeastern that we have been operating for 14 years and the improvements we have delivered for passengers in recent years. This new contract is an opportunity for us to build on those successes and continue delivering improvements to the passenger experience.

Bernard Tabary, CEO International at Keolis

A presence in the UK for more than 20 years

Keolis has been present in the United Kingdom for more than 20 years. It counts today around 16,000 employees and has carried nearly 750 million passengers in 2019.

In addition to Southeastern, Keolis and Go-Ahead JV also operates:

  • Govia Thameslink Railway network (1,300 km), the suburban train network in the London area, since 2014.

Another JV, KeolisAmey, created by Keolis and Amey in 2014, operates:

  • Docklands Light Railway (40 km), an elevated automated metro system in London, since 2014.
  • Greater Manchester’s Metrolink, the UK’s largest tram network (97 km), since 2017.
  • Wales and Borders, a train network in Wales (1,623 km), since October 2018.

Finally, the Tramlink Nottingham, the JV between Keolis and Wellglade Limited, operates:

  • The Nottingham tram network (32 km), since 2011.
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