THE Welsh Government has awarded a 15-year contract to the KeolisAmey joint venture to operate the Wales and Borders rail franchise incorporating the future South Wales Metro.
Rail services will transfer from the current operator Arriva Trains Wales on October 14, giving a contract length until 2033.
The successful bidder currently operates the Docklands Light Railway in London and the Greater Manchester Metrolink tram system, and is a partner with the Go-Ahead Group in the GTR and Southeastern franchises. KeolisAmey was preferred to the MTR Corporation, which was the only other bidder left after the withdrawal of Abellio and the current operator Arriva from the competition.
The deal was confirmed on June 4
after a necessary ‘standstill’ period for objections. Keolis has promised a transformative new rail service for Wales and its borders when combined with Amey’s engineering excellence. It is acknowledged that proposed changes will not happen overnight, but there is the promise that the railway will be unrecognisable in five years as a result of what the Welsh Government is seeking to achieve.
Read more in the July issue of Rail Express, on sale now.