Australian train operator Keolis Downer has won a contract worth AUS$ 2.14 billion (£1.2 billion) from South Australia’s Department of Infrastructure and Transport to operate and maintain the Adelaide commuter rail network, the first time this network will be managed by a private operator.
The contract is for an initial period of eight years from 31 January 2021, extendible to twelve years.
Adelaide’s commuter rail network is 131km long, including 39 kilometres of electrified track. It features four main lines – Belair, Gawler, Outer Harbor, and Seaford, and two spur lines, Grange and Tonsley (which will be extended by 650 metres in 2020 with the Flinders extension) and serves 89 stations.
The network has a fleet of 92 trains, of which 22 are currently electric, with 12 more electric trains to be added in 2021.
As part of this contract, Keolis Downer, the joint venture that already employs nearly 5,000 people and more than 250 million passenger per year across five states, will deliver more services and improve passenger experience.
Corey Wingard, South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, stated: “This is about delivering better outcomes and a modern public transport system for South Australians.
“Keolis Downer places safety and customers at its core and is focused on making public transport the first choice and delivering a world-class experience in providing a train service that is reliable, safe, efficient and integrated.
“This contract delivers greater benefits to customers and will see an operator with demonstrated experience bringing that expertise to Adelaide.”
Bernard Tabary, CEO International at Keolis Group, responded: “We are delighted that the Government of South Australia has placed its trust in us.
“We are looking forward to delivering better train services to residents and visitors of Adelaide, improving passenger experience and encouraging more people onto public transport.
“To do so, we will harness our experience and expertise in our rail operations across the UK, the US and France”.