Keolis starts operation of regional train network in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany

On 10 December 2017, Keolis commenced operation of an extensive regional rail network comprising five lines and 52 stations. The 27 Stadler FLIRT trains circulating on the network are expected to cover 5.3 million kilometres per year. This contract includes a cross-border connection between Germany and the Netherlands. The trains will offer passengers exceptional levels of comfort and safety. This new milestone reinforces Keolis’ presence in Germany and builds on its experience in regional train management already gained in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Keolis, through its German subsidiary, has commenced operation of the Teutoburger-Wald-Network (TWN) in the North Rhine Westphalia region in western Germany. The 15-year contract was awarded in 2015 with Zweckverband Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe and Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen in Germany, and with Provincie Overijssel in the Netherlands.  The TWN consists of five lines, 500 kilometres of track and 52 stations. Its 27 trains are expected to cover a distance of 5.3 million kilometres per year.

From 14 January 2018, one of the five lines will extend into the Netherlands.

More comfort and safety for passengers    

The TWN will operate with 27 FLIRT trains manufactured by Stadler, with 19 existing trains refurbished to meet the high comfort and security standards required by Keolis, and eight new trains to be added to the fleet. 

The new trainsets are composed of five cars and can carry up to 532 passengers, with 266 seated. In the first class carriage, seating capacity has been doubled. The overall comfort of the 19 trains has been enhanced through careful refurbishment. Each of the 27 trains can accommodate 24 bicycles and features enlarged entrances, facilitating easier passenger boarding and alighting. The trains are equipped with state-of-the-art ticketing machines. They will run at speeds of up to 160 km/h.

Keolis largest private operator in North Rhine Westphalia 

Largest private operator in North Rhine Westphalia, Keolis will open two other networks in the next couple of years, one in December 2018 (extension Hellwegnetz) and another in 2019 (new rail contract for S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr). The company will grow from 600 employees in December 2017 to 900 by December 2019.

Keolis’ activity in the regional rail sector

This new milestone reinforces Keolis’ experience in regional commuter rail services. Keolis operates around 1,150 trains in ten networks in the U.S. (MBTA in Boston, MA; Virginia Rail Express towards Washington DC), Germany (4 networks in the East Westphalia-Lippe region ), in the Netherlands (in the province of Overijssel and in the region of Twente) and in the UK (Southeastern, Govia Thameslink Railway). Keolis transports around 600 million passengers per year aboard its regional trains.

The five Teutoburger-Wald-Net lines

  • RB 61 Bielefeld - Bad Bentheim – Hengelo (the cross border line between Germany and the Netherlands)
  • RB 66 Munster – Osnabruck
  • RB 65 Munster – Rheine
  • RB 72 Herford – Altenbeken – Paderborn
  • RE 78 Bielefeld – Minden – Nienburg