Keolis, in a joint venture partnership with Amey (70:30), has secured the franchise to operate and maintain the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London for the next six and a half years.

The franchise agreement established by Docklands Light Railway Limited (DLRL) gives the new  joint venture responsibility for all train and passenger services across the network, including the maintenance of over 34km of infrastructure, 38 stations, as well as rolling stock.

The franchise will commence in December 2014 and will run until 2021 – with the possibility of extensions. The DLR is an essential part of London’s internationally recognised public transport network and the new franchise will ensure that it becomes a showcase for automated light rail networks globally.

Alistair Gordon, chief executive of Keolis UK, said: “This win is a major achievement for Keolis and we are delighted to be working with Amey and DLRL to deliver the next chapter in the successful history of the DLR.

“As the world’s largest operator of light rail networks Keolis looks forward to using our global expertise to enhance one of the capital’s iconic public transport networks and we will work closely with all stakeholders to deliver a world-class service both during this franchise and beyond for London.”

Mel Ewell, chief executive for Amey, added: “We are delighted that DLR has selected the joint venture to deliver train and passenger services across this strategic network in London.

Keolis’ global experience combined with Amey’s UK rail and asset management expertise will deliver a specialist service that provides value and ensures London’s travelling public experiences a reliable and high-quality service.”