Virginia Railway Express (VRE) in the US has exercised its option to extend its contract for a further five years with French firm Keolis to operate its Northern Virginia commuter rail trains.
The contract, including train maintenance, is worth $21m in the first year and provides Keolis with an option for an additional extension of up to five years from 2020.
Since Keolis started operating VRE trains in 2010, customer service scores have increased sharply and on-time performance has shown continuous improvement.
VRE chief executive officer Doug Allen said: "Keolis assumed operations of the VRE five years ago with a strong focus on safety, operational excellence and providing an outstanding passenger experience, and they have more than delivered.
"Passengers often tell us how pleased they are with our service and that is due in large part to the work of the Keolis team."
VRE is a joint project of the Northern Virginia and Potomac & Rappahannock transportation commissions and it provides commuter rail services over CSX and Norfolk Southern tracks on two routes from northern Virginia suburbs into Washington DC, carrying around 20,000 passengers daily.
Keolis rail services America president Gregg Baxter said: "Our commitment to the VRE was to provide passengers with an outstanding service."
"Our strong relationship with the VRE was an important factor, and we look forward to being part of the ongoing success of the service as the VRE system continues to grow in the coming years."