The Welsh Government has awarded KeolisAmey with a contract to operate the Wales and Borders rail service and the South Wales Metro for 15 years.
KeolisAmey is a joint venture (JV) between public transport operator Keolis and Spanish infrastructure asset management specialist Amey.
The contract, which was awarded following a competitive procurement process, will run from 4 June this year to 14 October 2033, while rail services will be transferred to the JV on 14 October 2018.
Coming up is a procedural ten-day standstill period after which the contracts will be signed and formalised.
Keolis UK chief executive Alistair Gordon said: “This will be a transformative new rail service for Wales and its borders, which will see Keolis once more combine its worldwide expertise in passenger operations with Amey’s engineering excellence.
“We look forward to the successful completion of the procurement process – this exciting contract will deliver for all of Wales. The procurement process was rigorous, resulting in transformative solutions for the benefit of all in Wales, and indeed, future generations.”
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KeolisAmey currently operates the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London, as well as the Greater Manchester’s Metrolink, one of the largest tram networks in the UK.
Amey chief executive Andy Milner said: “This is a great opportunity for us to use our joint capabilities to deliver a first-rate service for Wales.
“We will be focused on working with Transport for Wales to transform the existing infrastructure and introduce new trains to significantly improve the passenger experience, as well as creating hundreds of new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.”
Hong Kong MTR also placed its bids for the project.
According to Wales Online, the overall contract is expected to be worth around £5bn including rail subsidies, procurement of new rolling stock and investment in railway infrastructure.