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Keolis wins first heavy rail contract in Australia

The SNCF subsidiary has been chosen to operate commuter trains in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia—its first heavy rail contract Down Under.

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In September 2020, Keolis landed a coveted contract to operate the commuter network in Adelaide, Australia—the first time that this task has been entrusted to a private operator. The SNCF subsidiary is the world leader in automated metros and light rail, and its existing business in the country includes operation of Melbourne’s iconic light rail system.

Eight-year renewable contract

Keolis will operate the network for eight years, beginning on 31 January 2021, with an optional four-year renewal. If the contract runs for a full 12 years, total revenue could reach €1.32 billion. Priorities include improving service, upgrading the network and enhancing the passenger experience.

Adelaide is the capital of South Australia, with a population of 1.3 million. Keolis already operates a bus network and an experimental autonomous shuttle service in the city.

  • 131 km of networks, including 39 km of electrified line

  • 6

    lines and 89 stations

  • 92

    trains, including 22 electric trains

  • 14.2 million passengers carried in 2018

Serving nine Australian cities

Keolis has been doing business Down Under for over a decade, with a workforce of nearly 5,000. Last year its Australian revenue accounted for €595 million out of a worldwide total of €6.58 billion.

Through its in-country subsidiary Keolis Downer, Keolis operates a wide range of transport services in nine Australian cities:

  • 3 light rail networks on the Gold Coast and in Melbourne and Newcastle
  • 6 bus networks in Adelaide, Brisbane, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Newcastle and Perth
  • a ferry service in Newcastle
  • 3 autonomous electric shuttle trials in Adelaide, Newcastle and Sydney
  • 3 real-time, on-demand transport services, also in Adelaide, Newcastle and Sydney

Even so, this the first time that Keolis has landed a contract to operate and maintain a heavy rail network in Australia.

A force for mobility around the world

A global pioneer in the development of large-scale public transport systems, Keolis operates mass transit networks for some 300 organizing authorities.

This SNCF subsidiary does business on five continents, carrying over 3.4 billion passengers a year and serving 15 countries, including the US, Denmark, China, Qatar and Australia.  And thanks to its expertise in shared mobility, Keolis is now present in 21 of the world’s largest metropolitan areas.

Learn more about Keolis