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Industry Rail, road, public transport
Headquarters Paris
Area served
France, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States
Key people
President & Group CEO: Jean-Pierre Farandou
Group Executive Vice President & CFO: Michel Lamboley
CEO International: Bernard Tabary
CEO France: Patrick Jeantet[1]
Revenue €5.1 billion (2013)
Number of employees
54,400 (December 2013)
Parent SNCF (70%)
Quebec Deposit & Investment Fund (30%)

Keolis is the largest private sector French transport group. It runs passenger railways, tramways, bus networks, funiculars, trolley buses, and airport services. Based in Paris, Keolis is 70%-owned by the SNCF (French National Railways Corporation) and 30%-owned by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (Quebec Deposit and Investment Fund; public pension plans in the province of Quebec).

In 2013 Keolis turned over €5.1 billion.[2] As at December 2013, Keolis employed 54,600 people in France, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is the largest provider of public-transportation services in France.


Keolis Downer trams at Flinders Street station in February 2013


Keolis holds a 51% shareholding in Keolis Downer, which has operated the Melbourne tram network since November 2009.[3][4] Keolis Downer has operated the G:link light rail line on the Gold Coast since July 2014.[5]

In March 2015, Keolis Downer purchased bus operator Australian Transit Enterprises, which operates the Hornibrook Bus Lines, Link SA, Path Transit and SouthLink operations with 930 buses.[6] In July 2017, Keolis Downer trading as Newcastle Transport took over the Newcastle Buses & Ferries business under a 10-year contract.[7][8] Newcastle Transport will also operate the Newcastle Light Rail when it opens in 2019.


Keolis Canada operates as a subsidiary of Keolis America. The majority of its Canadian operations are located in Montreal, where it operates the Quebec intercity bus company Orléans Express and part of the Exo Mascouche sector.

From 2004 to 2012 it also operated Acadian Lines intercity buses in The Maritimes. The latter services have since been taken over by independent operator Maritime Bus.

Keolis is a partner in the GrandLinq consortium and will operate the Ion rapid transit system in Waterloo Region, Ontario.


In China, Keolis and Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, the owner of Shanghai Metro, created a joint venture called Shanghai Keolis in March 2014.[9] Shanghai Keolis started operating the Pujiang line (formerly Phase 3 of Shanghai Metro Line 8 ) in March 2018.[10] It would also be operating Shanghai Pudong International Airport's people mover system in 2019, which will link the proposed satellite concourse building with the existing Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. as well as the Songjiang tram network within the Songjiang Region, a suburb west of Shanghai downtown, in 2020.

An agreement had been signed between Keolis and Hubei Province Government, and Keolis will be responsible for Greater Wuhan area's suburban railway operation.[11]


Keolis Danmark is the second biggest bus operator in Denmark with 500 buses and 1.500 employees, Keolis entered the Danish market in 1999 when they bought 49% of the Danish bus operator City-Trafik[12] in 2007 City-Trafik became a wholly owned subsidiary of Keolis,[13] in 2014 City-Trafik surprised the Danish bus industry when they announced their plans to merger with Nettbuss Danish subsidiary in a joint venture[14] where Keolis owned 75% and Nettbuss 25%, until the merger was accepted by the Danish authorities the former City-Trafik was named Keolis Bus Danmark and the former Nettbuss Danmark was named Keolis Danmark the Danish authorities accepted the merger in late 2014 and in 2015 both the companies were merged into Keolis Danmark. It was also in 2015 that Keolis won the contract on operating the first tram in Denmark in Aarhus set to open in 2017. In 2016 Keolis SA bought the last 25% of the shares from Nettbuss AS making Keolis Danmark 100% Keolis owned[15]


Keolis has extensive operations in France. It provides transit services in many cities including Bordeaux, Brest, Dijon, Lille, Lyon, Orléans, and Rennes. In January 2016, the 260 vehicle Transports Daniel Myers business was purchased. Based in the Essonne/Val-de-Marne basin, its main operations are in Montlhéry, Etampes and Avrainville.[16]


Stadler Flirt Class 428 in Westönnen, 2009

Under the brand name eurobahn Keolis is operating multiple regional train services in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and in the Netherlands. They also operated, and will do so again in a few years, in Lower Saxony. Eurobahn uses Stadler FLIRT electric multiple units and Bombardier Talent diesel cars to serve these lines.

Maas-Rhein-Lippe-Netz December 2009 to December 2025:

Hellweg-Netz December 2008 to December 2018:

OWL-Dieselnetz December 2013 to December 2025:

Future services[edit]

Teutoburger Wald-Netz December 2017 to December 2032:

S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr December 2019 to December 2034:

For these services, Eurobahn will be leasing DBAG Class 422 trains from Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr. The trains will be running in a neutral VRR design.

Former services[edit]


In 2012 Keolis won the Operation and Maintenance contract of the Hyderabad Metro Rail project.[17] This marks Keolis's foray into the Indian Market. The "Hyderabad Metro rail project" is valued at 22,000 Crores and is forecasted to be commissioned by 2017. Its first Indian employee is Mr. Sudeep Kumar Batha, a mechanical graduate from MIT.

The Netherlands[edit]

Keolis FLIRT EMU at Almelo de Riet station

Keolis's subsidiary in Netherlands is Keolis Nederland, originally named Syntus.

In 1999, Keolis commenced operations in The Netherlands through a 33% shareholding in Syntus.[18] In 2007 this was increased to 50%.[19] In 2012, Keolis purchased Nederlandse Spoorwegen's 50% share to give it 100%.[20][21] The Syntus brand was retired in October 2017 and replaced by the Keolis Nederland brand.[22][23][24]


Keolis's subsidiary in Norway is Keolis Norge. It was first formed in 2008 as Fjord1 Partner AS, a joint venture between Fjord1 Nordvestlandske (49%) and Keolis Nordic AB (51%). It is fully owned by Keolis since 2014.

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, Keolis owns 35% of Govia that currently operates the Govia Thameslink Railway and Southeastern franchises and previously operated Thameslink and London Midland.[25][26][27] Keolis also had a 45% shareholding in First TransPennine Express from February 2004 until March 2016. Upon being re-tendered, FirstGroup took full control.[28]

In 2012, Keolis lodged a joint bid with SNCF for the aborted InterCity West Coast franchise[29] and in 2014, in partnership with Eurostar, lodged a bid for the InterCity East Coast franchise.[30][31]

Keolis is part of a consortium that commenced operating the Nottingham Express Transit tram operation in December 2011.[32] Keolis in partnership with Amey operates the Docklands Light Railway[33] and Manchester Metrolink[34] concessions and on 14 October 2018, KeolisAmey Wales will commence operating the Wales & Borders franchise.[35]

United States[edit]

Keolis America is based in Boston, Massachusetts. It does business under the moniker Keolis North America because it operates public transportation contracts in both the U.S. and Canada. In the U.S., Keolis subsidiaries operate commuter rail systems in Virginia and Massachusetts, as well as fixed-route and shuttle bus systems in several states. In Nevada, Keolis provides bus service for the Las Vegas strip through a contract with the Regional Transportation Commission.

On 16 October 2009, the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Operations Board approved an $85 million contract with Keolis Rail Services America to operate and maintain VRE trains for five years.[36] Keolis began operating VRE on 12 July 2010 after a two-week delay, ending Amtrak's 18-year tenure as operator.[37] Both Amtrak and Keolis had staffed the VRE lines with about 80 employees.[36][37] However, during the bidding, a group of Holocaust survivors and Maryland politician Heather Mizeur called for investigations into SNCF's role in transportation of Nazi prisoners to concentration camps during World War II before the Keolis contracts could move forward.[38] The operator of the train line, Amtrak, also challenged the propriety of hiring a foreign company.[37]

Keolis has also bid to run some California commuter rail segments and two MARC lines in Maryland, even though with the latter, the company is running into similar issues with the VRE bidding. Another group of Holocaust survivors, led by now-deceased Leo Bretholz also requested investigations of SNCF's involvement in the war.[39] As a result, a law was passed to enforce this, leading to major criticism because SNCF had already documented their role in the deportation and had in fact released their archives for research and educational purposes in 1996.[40] Eventually however, Keolis would lose to Canadian company Bombardier Transportation.[41]

On 29 November 2011, Keolis Transit America, Keolis' US subsidiary, announced the acquisition of Tectrans Inc., a California-based privately held provider of contract transportation services. Tectrans holdings included in the acquisition included Mobility Plus Transportation, Western Transit Systems, and Diversified Transportation.[42]

In August 2012, Keolis Commuter Services was one of two companies, Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company (MBCR) and Keolis Commuter Services (KCS),[43] to bid on a commuter rail contract for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston, Massachusetts. The contract was to operate 664 miles of passenger service.[44][45] On 8 January 2014 it was released by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority that Keolis had won the contract for $2.68 billion over eight years, with the possibility for two two-year extensions that could bring the total price to $4.3 billion. Keolis began operating the MBTA Commuter Rail on 1 July 2014.[46]


  1. ^ Keolis - organisation Archived 15 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Keolis
  2. ^ Keolis' revenue exceeds 5 billion euros in 2013 Archived 17 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Keolis March 2014
  3. ^ Melbourne tram and train operators selected Railway Gazette International 25 June 2009
  4. ^ New train, tram operators for Melbourne The Age 25 June 2009
  5. ^ GoldlinQ selected to build Gold Coast light rail Railway Gazette International 6 May 2011
  6. ^ Operator ATE Sold Australasian Bus & Coach 11 March 2015
  7. ^ Keolis Downer awarded contract to run light rail, buses and ferries says Baird government Newcastle Herald 12 December 2016
  8. ^ Keolis Downer awarded Newcastle Transport Contract Keolis Downer 12 December 2016
  9. ^ "Keolis et le métro de Shanghai concrétisent leur alliance au sein de " Shanghai Keolis Public Transport "" (in French). Médias. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Shanghai Keolis Runs First Fully Automated Metro Line in Shanghai". Mass Transit Magazine. 3 April 2018. Archived from the original on 9 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018. 
  11. ^ "Keolis signe un accord avec la Province chinoise du Hubei sur les trains de banlieue de Wuhan" (in French). Médias. Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Keolis acquires Transport Daniel Myers Bus & Coach Buyer 22 January 2016
  17. ^ L&T selects Keolis as O&M contractor for Hyderabad Metro Rail System
  18. ^ Voith wins Syntus train maintenance contract Railway Gazette International 1 September 2009
  19. ^ Annual report for year ended 31 December 2007 Connexxion
  20. ^ Keolis buys NS stake in Syntus Railway Gazette International 6 August 2012
  21. ^ Keolis completes Syntus takeover International Railway Journal 6 August 2012
  22. ^ Stadler EMUs enter service with Dutch operators International Railway Journal 14 December 2016
  23. ^ "Wie zijn we (Who are we)" (in Dutch). Keolis Nederland. Retrieved 8 February 2018. 
  24. ^ "Naam Syntus definitief vervangen door Keolis Nederland" (in Dutch). OV PRO. Retrieved 8 February 2018. 
  25. ^ About Us Govia
  26. ^ Govia chosen for new Thameslink contract Railnews 23 May 2014
  27. ^ Govia wins TSGN franchise, beating FirstGroup Rail Technology 23 May 2014
  28. ^ Who we are First TransPennine Express
  29. ^ Shortlisted Bidders for Greater Anglia and Intercity West Coast Rail Franchises Department for Transport 24 March 2011 Archived 6 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  30. ^ East Coast rail shortlist revealed BBC News 17 January 2014
  31. ^ InterCity East Coast franchise shortlist announced Railway Gazette International 17 January 2014
  32. ^ Consortium Members - Keolis Tramlink Nottingham
  33. ^ French firm wins 7-year Docklands Light Rail franchise BBC News 4 July 2014
  34. ^ Southern Rail operator to take over running of Metrolink Manchester Evening News 18 January 2017
  35. ^ "Contrat historique pour Keolis". SNCF (in French). Retrieved 12 June 2018. 
  36. ^ a b Buske, Jennifer (6 November 2009). "VRE plan to oust Amtrak up for vote". The Washington Post. 
  37. ^ a b c Buske, Jennifer (10 July 2010). "Amtrak ends role as VRE operator; Keolis to start Monday". The Washington Post. 
  38. ^ Shaver, Katherine (7 July 2010). "Holocaust group faults VRE contract". The Washington Post. ISSN 0740-5421. 
  39. ^ Holocaust Survivor: Don't Let Train Co. Operate MARC Rails[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ Lind, Michael (5 June 2011). The Washington Post. No way to run a railroad".
  41. ^ Shaver, Katherine (17 October 2012). "New company to operate some MARC trains". Washington Post. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  42. ^ Keolis Transit America (29 November 2011). "Keolis expands into the transit market in the United States" Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine., Keolis Press Release.
  43. ^ Technically, KCS is a joint venture between Keolis Rail Services America and the SNCF, the French National Railway.
  44. ^ Metzger, Andy, "State House News -- Only two companies vie for commuter rail contract", State House News Service, 6 August 2012
  45. ^ "Two transit giants seek MBTA commuter rail deal", Gloucester Daily Times, Gloucester, Massachusetts, 17 September 2012
  46. ^ Powers, Martine (8 January 2014). "French firm Keolis wins commuter rail contract - Massachusetts news". Retrieved 12 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°52′15″N 2°19′41″E / 48.87083°N 2.32806°E / 48.87083; 2.32806