Keolis secures the biggest contract in its history by winning the entire railway network of Wales

On 4 June 2018, Transport for Wales, the organising authority for mobility in Wales, entrusted KeolisAmey – a joint venture created by Keolis and the British infrastructure management specialist Amey – with the operation, maintenance and renovation of the Wales and Borders railway network (32.3 million annual journeys – 247 stations). The 15-year contract will generate a cumulative turnover of 6 billion euros. The launch of the new service is scheduled for 14 October 2018. The contract covers the operation and maintenance of the entire Welsh rail service as well as the launch, from October 2018 onwards, of an ambitious renovation plan to modernise Wales’ entire railway network. With this new win, Keolis obtains its first rail contract in the UK as a majority partner.

On 4 June 2018, the Welsh Government appointed KeolisAmey, a joint venture created by Keolis and Amey, to manage the operation of its national railway network.

1,623 km long, this railway network comprises 247 stations and over 2,000 employees. Over the life of the contract, KeolisAmey is envisaging the creation of 600 new jobs and 450 new apprenticeships (30 every year).

For the next 15 years, KeolisAmey and Transport for Wales will share the ambition to propose a renewed, modernised mobility offer to the 32 million annual passengers travelling on the network, in particular thanks to the renovation of railway infrastructure and rolling stock. 

2.1 billion euros (£1.9bn) will therefore be invested from October 2018 to:

  • renovate the 247 existing stations and create 4 new ones,
  • replace a large part of the existing fleet with 148 new trains. By 2023, the average age of the fleet will therefore fall from 25 years to 7 and 95% of the journeys will be carried out on new trains, 
  • create extra services on Sundays (+61%), thereby switching to a continual 7-day service for the first time,
  • invest in new technologies to optimise the overall performance of the network,
  • develop new digital services (new website, application, on-board Wi-Fi).

This is therefore a major win for the Group, as it allows it to become one of the leading players of rail in the UK while also reinforcing its expertise in rail.

Keolis reinforces its presence in the UK

Based in the UK since 1996, Keolis, which already employs 13,300 people in the country, has become a benchmark operator with the award of several emblematic contracts, notably in London, Manchester and Nottingham. Keolis has partnered with various British companies and created several joint ventures to operate five other networks.

KeolisAmey, the joint venture created by Keolis and the British company Amey in 2014, already operates:

  • The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) elevated automatic metro system in London, since 2014: 40 km of track, 45 stations and 125 million annual passengers.
  • Greater Manchester’s Metrolink, the UK’s largest tram network, since 2017: 96 km of track, 93 stations and 41 million annual passengers.

With its British partner the Go-Ahead Group, through the Govia joint venture, Keolis operates:

  • The Southeastern railway network, in the London area, since 2006: 1,751 km of track, 176 stations and 82 million annual passengers.
  • The Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) network, in the London area, since 2014: 1,186 km of track, 239 stations and 327 million annual passengers.

Finally, with the company Wellglade Limited through the Tramlink Nottingham joint venture, Keolis operates:

  • The Nottingham tram network, since 2011: 32 km of track, 51 stations and 18 million passengers per year.

Keolis consolidates its expertise in rail on the international market 

As the world leader in trams and automated metros, Keolis continues to reinforce its expertise across all daily mobility modes. The win of the Wales & Borders railway network consolidates the Group's expertise in operating rail networks. 

Keolis already operates 11 rail networks internationally, representing 1,290 trains and 5,575 km of track, and transports over 600 million passengers annually by rail. 

  • 2 networks in the United States with the regional train network for Boston and for Virginia Rail Express in Washington D.C. 
  • 5 networks in Germany in the North Rhine-Westphalia region: 

    -    Ostwestfalen-Lippe-Netz 
    -    Hellwegnetz 
    -    Maas-Rhein-Lippe-Netz 
    -    Teutoburger-WaldNetz
    -    S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr
  • 2 networks in the Netherlands in the region of Twente and the province of Overijssel.
  • 2 other networks in the United Kingdom where 1 in 3 passengers is transported by Keolis: Govia Thameslink Rail and Southeastern. 

Thanks to this iconic win, Keolis changes in scale in the UK and confirms its position as a world-class mobility operator, particularly in the railway sector. This new victory demonstrates our ability to accompany transport authorities through mobility improvements in their region. KeolisAmey will thus play a key role in enhancing the attractiveness of the country while offering an optimised daily mobility service to all the people of Wales


Jean-Pierre Farandou, Group Executive Chairman