Keolis Nederland has commenced the operation of regional train services in the Eastern Netherlands, representing the second rail network to be operated by the company in the country.

The rail service contract covers the province of Overijssel and was originally awarded in June 2015.

It will see the company manage the network from 2017 to 2032 and is expected to generate revenues of €300m over the duration of the deal.

"Not only are these our first projects in the Netherlands being operated under the name Keolis Nederland, but they also comprise Keolis’ first BRT system in Europe outside France."

Keolis will operate 16 electric Stadler FLIRT trains composed of three to four cars on the 81km-long network, which comprises a total of 14 stations between Zwolle and Enschede and between Zwolle and Kampen.

Each trainset is able to carry up to 260 passengers and features bright interior spaces with large window areas, comfortable seating and air-conditioning, as well as wide entrance doors on each side, power sockets, Wi-Fi and wheelchair space.

The trains are capable of running at a maximum speed of 160km/h.

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By GlobalData

In addition, Keolis has begun operating a bus network in the city of Almere, near Amsterdam, which includes both BRT and electric buses.

Keolis International CEO Bernard Tabary said: “Not only are these our first projects in the Netherlands being operated under the name Keolis Nederland, but they also comprise Keolis’ first BRT system in Europe outside France.

“They also expand our rail business and we have 16 brand new electric trains to start the service.”

Keolis has been present in the Netherlands since 1999 via its subsidiary Syntus, which was rebranded as Keolis Nederland in October.