Keolis Downer and KiwiRail partner to deliver world-class rail for Wellington

23 December 2014 2:02PM

World-leading passenger transport operator, Keolis Downer, and New Zealand’s premium rail operator, KiwiRail, have announced a partnership for the tender to operate and maintain Wellington’s Regional passenger rail services from 2016.

The partnership strengthens the long-term offering of incumbent operator, KiwiRail, who has operated commuter rail services in New Zealand since 1938, including under the Tranz Metro brand in Wellington since 2006.

“Over the last decade, KiwiRail has established Wellington Region’s Tranz Metro services as one of Australasia’s best performing commuter railway services and we want to help lift the service to one of the world’s best. Both Keolis Downer and KiwiRail are pleased to have been invited to tender for the Metro contract and we will be submitting a strong bid,” said Keolis CEO – International, Bernard Tabary.

“KiwiRail is already providing a great customer experience, with customer satisfaction at 93 percent and punctuality at 95 percent.  We believe we can provide even greater service and long term performance for Wellington customers through a partnership with proven international experience and a great New Zealand pedigree,” said KiwiRail General Manager Metro, David Shepherd.

Keolis Downer, and its international sibling organisations, have deep experience in heavy rail operations in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States; and operate transport operations in Australia through Yarra Trams in Melbourne and G:Link on the Gold Coast.

“Across our operations, the customer is at the heart of everything we do at Keolis Downer. We pride ourselves on our mantra of Think like a Passenger, and apply it to our operations across the globe,” said Keolis Downer CEO, Benedicte Colin.

“There is a great deal of knowledge and experience in the local KiwiRail team at Tranz Metro. We will bring our processes and ’know-how’ of operating world-class passenger rail services to the existing team to help the Wellington region benefit from our combined experience. 

“By partnering with KiwiRail, Keolis Downer will give the people of the Wellington region world-class innovation and operational experience delivered by a safe-pair of hands,” said Benedicte Colin.

David Shepherd is confident that Keolis Downer’s impressive track record of transitioning into new cities, and a strong culture of developing and implementing new rail initiatives for customers, will be a great complement to the strong Wellington based team and provide more professional development opportunities within the Metro business.

“The partnership recognises the outstanding contribution of KiwiRail’s staff to achieving high levels of service delivery, and the opportunity to enhance this contribution into future.

“Through our partnership with Keolis Downer, KiwiRail will work to ensure the rail services and network are contributing to the economic future of Wellington, tapping into global expertise, experience, people and innovation,” said David Shepherd.

ENDS – Background follows

Media Contact:             Keolis Downer, Peter Tran, 022 406 8612

                                    KiwiRail, David Miller, 021 804 906


Background information

On 2 October, Keolis Downer and KiwiRail signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which we agreed to work together to bid for the new Metro contract that starts in 2016.  Ahead of the tender, KiwiRail will continue to operate Tranz Metro services as a standalone operation with a jointly staffed bid team already established.

Keolis Downer

Keolis Downer brings together Keolis, one of the world’s largest and most experienced passenger transport providers, as well as leading Australia and New Zealand engineering and infrastructure service providers, Downer.

Keolis employs 54,600 people in France, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. It is the largest provider of public-transportation services in France. Keolis provides transport services to more than 2.5 billion people annually.

Downer is an integrated engineering and infrastructure services provider. Downer Rail has over 100 years’ experience and is a leading provider and maintainer of passenger and freight rolling stock. 

Keolis Downer employs more than 2,000 staff and operates the world’s largest light rail network, Yarra Trams in Melbourne, as well as one of the world’s newest, G:Link on Australia’s Gold Coast. Keolis Downer providers services to more than 190 million passengers annually.