Keolis on the shortlist for South Eastern rail franchise

south eastern train

Passenger transport operator Keolis UK has been shortlisted by the Department for Transport (DfT) to rebid for the South Eastern rail franchise with its joint venture partner Go-Ahead.

The partners’ long-term joint venture, Govia (Go-Ahead 65%, Keolis 35%), has operated the franchise since 2006 under the South Eastern brand. It will now put forward a bid to retain the franchise from December 2018.

Alistair Gordon, CEO, Keolis UK, said: “South Eastern is one of the UK’s most advanced rail networks and, in delivering 640,000 passenger journeys every weekday, it is a vital part of the region’s economic infrastructure. Alongside Go-Ahead, we have helped to transform the service over the last decade, significantly boosting passenger numbers, capacity and introducing customer-focused innovations like smart-ticketing. We hope to continue our journey under a new franchise.”

The South Eastern franchise includes the UK’s only high speed domestic service, HS1. Govia has invested £120m in station improvements and major customer service initiatives since the start of the franchise.


The Department for Transport and the Govia joint venture have agreed a short-term extension to the current passenger franchise until November 10 2019, the operator confirmed on June 13, with an option for a further extension to April 1, 2020.