Keolis Welcomes Direct Award For The Transpennine Express Franchise

Keolis has welcomed a Direct Award by the Department for Transport (DfT) following its successful operation of the TransPennine Express (TPE) rail franchise.

This new franchise agreement will see Keolis (in its joint venture with First Group) continue to operate the service until at least April 2016, and provides DfT with the option to extend the contract further until February 2017.

Alistair Gordon, CEO, Keolis UK, said: “We’re pleased to be in a position to continue to deliver a high-quality service to TPE customers over the next 12 months.

“We’re focused on delivering the substantial timetable expansion, which started in May 2014 and continue to invest in our people and services to meet the needs of our passengers.

“We look forward to ongoing, close collaboration with DfT to support the exciting devolution agenda in the North, while preparing for a smooth transition to the new franchise in April 2016.”

The Direct Award would also allow the UK public transport operator to support Network Rail in the delivery of major infrastructure and capacity improvements, including the electrification of key routes.

TPE includes three main intercity routes across the North of England, carrying 25 million passengers every year and has been operated by the joint-venture partners (Keolis: 45% FirstGroup: 55%) since 2004.

The TransPennine Express service links Liverpool and Manchester with Leeds, York and the North East – in addition to Sheffield, Doncaster, through the Lake District and into Scotland, serving both Glasgow and Edinburgh.