Keolis Downer has started the operation and maintenance of Adelaide commuter rail network in the State of South Australia for a period of eight years with potential extensions.
Over the contract period, Keolis Downer will introduce 12 additional electric trains to the currently 92 – train fleet, which already features 22 electric locomotives, to offer a more comfortable passenger experience and increase vehicle capacity by 15% during peak hours.
Under the contract, Keolis will deliver better and more frequent services focusing on safety and reliability.
In September 2020, the South Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport awarded Keolis a EUR 1.32 billion (AUD 2.14 billion) contract to operate and maintain the city’s rail network for a period of 8 to 12 years. This is the first time this network will be managed by a private operator.
Keolis will be responsible for a network spanning 131 km which includes 39 km of electrified lines. 89 stations, four depots and six railway lines – Belair, Gawler, Outer Harbor and Seaford, Grange and Tonsley lines, form South Australian capital’s network.
Under the agreement with the Transport Department, Keolis will partner to successfully operate the 650 metre Flinders Link extension launched in December 2020 to enhance access to the Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University precinct.
Two hundred employees, including drivers, passenger service assistants (PSAs) and customer information officers, were transferred from the South Australian government or recruited externally. As Keolis Downer continues to expand its staff numbers to ensure the highest levels of safety, operational efficiency and passenger satisfaction, new staff members have been trained in Keolis’ “Zero Harm” safety culture and “Think Like a Passenger” approach.
“As we warmly welcome new staff members to our global team, we are delighted to embark on this exciting journey with them and bring our strong safety and customer service culture to Adelaide’s commuter rail network. We look forward to building our partnership with the Government of South Australia to optimise the commuter rail passenger experience in Adelaide,” Bernard Tabary, CEO International at Keolis Group, said.
The Adelaide commuter rail network is carrying more than 15 million passengers per year.