A joint venture partnership of UK public transport operator, Keolis, and infrastructure asset management specialist, Amey, has been named as the new operator of Greater Manchester’s Metrolink light rail network.
The partners will operate and maintain the network – which is now the largest of its kind in the UK – from July 2017. The contract will run for up to ten years.The appointment follows a competitive process led by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), which involved three other shortlisted bidders.
KeolisAmey currently runs the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London, which boasts one of the best performance and reliability records in UK rail. The JV partners will bring their proven expertise to provide a high-quality, customer-focused service to the 37 million passengers who use the Metrolink system every year.
Alistair Gordon, chief executive of Keolis UK, said: “We welcome this opportunity to bring our expertise to bear on the Greater Manchester Metrolink network and provide an excellent public transport service to the city and surrounding areas.
“Our international experience tells us that a reliable, safe and customer-focused transport network is a crucial part of the engine for economic growth. We will build on Metrolink’s success and ensure we provide the support to help meet the city region’s social and economic ambitions. We look forward to working closely with TfGM to deliver the highest levels of performance and customer satisfaction in the coming years.
“This contract award underlines the success of our long term strategy to develop a presence across all sectors of British transport and marks another significant milestone in our growing partnership with Amey.”
Andy Milner, Amey’s Chief Executive, said: “We’ve worked in the Manchester region for many years and know how significant Metrolink has been in supporting the growth and outstanding success of the region as a whole.
“We look forward to bringing our capabilities and expertise as part of our proven partnership with Keolis to ensure the ongoing success of this vital service, working collaboratively to create better journeys for Greater Manchester’s residents and visitors.”
The contract award comes at an exciting time, as 2017 marks Metrolink’s silver jubilee and will see the completion of the Second City Crossing (2CC), a crucial part of an expansion that has already trebled the size of the original network, making it the largest of its kind in the country.
KeolisAmey will inherit a fleet of 120 modern trams that offer free Wi-Fi to passengers, and the recently approved Trafford Park Line extension – which is expected to be operational by 2020/21
Launched in 1992, Metrolink now covers almost 60 miles of track and serves 93 stops between Manchester city centre, Altrincham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, East Didsbury, Eccles, MediaCityUK, Oldham and Rochdale town centres, and Manchester Airport via Wythenshawe.
Keolis has been in the UK for over 20 years and today it employs over 13,000 people. During this time Keolis has introduced more new trains to its franchises than any other operator.Keolis is the world’s largest tram operator and a market leader in the UK. It has been appointed to run three of the UK’s seven light rail networks, including its busiest (Dockland Light Railway), largest (Manchester Metrolink) and the award-winning Nottingham Express Transit, where it is a member of the Tramlink consortium which has delivered a major expansion of the network adding two new lines totalling an extra 17.5km.
Through its joint ventures, Keolis currently handles 414 million UK rail passenger journeys every year – equivalent to one in three train journeys made in Great Britain. Its franchises include London Midland, GTR, and the nation’s only high-speed rail network, HS1, in Kent.Keolis is 70% owned by SNCF – France’s state-owned railway operator – and 30% owned by Canadian pension fund, Caisse de depot et de placement du Québec. Globally, Keolis operates in 16 countries across four continents.
Amey is a leading UK public and regulated services provider with over 21,000 employees.Amey operates over 320 contracts, providing an unrivalled range of services including utilities, highways, waste management, rail, justice solutions, social housing and facilities management. Services are underpinned by our leading consulting and asset management capabilities, which allow us to offer stand-alone or integrated service solutions to a range of clients.
Amey is owned by Ferrovial. They are one of the world’s leading infrastructure management and investment companies. Ferrovial has approximately 65,000 employees and operates in over 25 countries. Ferrovial’s activities focus on four business sectors: construction, airports, toll roads and services. Amey is part of the Services division.