Rail Networks

Rail is in the DNA of Keolis and Downer. Keolis is a subsidiary of the world-leading French national rail operator SNCF. Downer is one of the pioneers of rail in Australia. Our pedigree as a rail operator reaches back more than 150 years, and our operations span three continents.

The Keolis Downer capability in rail includes the standard urban and suburban train networks we see in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Wellington and Auckland. These services cater to large volumes of commuters during both peak and off-peak hours.

We are proud to operate the Adelaide Metro train services in South Australia. The state of South Australia retains ownership of all rail assets including trains, tracks and stations. Our vision is to deliver sustainable, revitalised train services for the people of metropolitan Adelaide and its visitors. Keolis Downer brings a strong focus on safety and customer service through its Zero Harm and Think Like a Passenger values.

Rail: Critical to our Cities

Reliable and efficient rail is crucial for all large Australasian cities to maintain productivity and liveability. As traffic congestion worsens, trains play a greater role in preserving the fabric of the city.

Customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and selective about their transport services. They are no longer happy with a train arriving in mere proximity of the scheduled time. They are now looking for;
  • Better service quality
  • Real-time information for making informed decisions
  • Consistent services throughout the day
  • Flexibility in ticket prices, such as off-peak rates.
Franchising the operating and maintaining of train networks to the private sector can help to meet these customer needs and reduce the drain on the public purse.

More About Keolis Downer

Our Pedigree in Rail

Downer has been a rail company for more than a century, from the manufacture of Queensland’s first steam train through to the recent supply of the Waratah vehicles in New South Wales. Downer’s services cover the entire lifecycle of a rail network. The company not only manufactures trains but also builds railways, provides systems and manages the whole maintenance process. In this context, Downer has developed partnerships with international suppliers that are crucial to delivering innovation and value for money.

The maintenance of rolling stock is a key Downer capability, as is managing and maintaining track and related infrastructure.

World-Class Knowledge, Local Experience

Keolis operates rail networks in France, is involved in more than a third of rail franchises in the UK, and manages rail networks in the US, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, directly and through partnerships. Keolis is also currently engaged in rail projects in China and India.

Keolis Downer is committed to working alongside Governments to deliver world-class rail operations across Australasia. An expanding role for the private sector will allow the application of our experience in bringing world-class services to local customers.

Ever-increasing customer expectations bring an opportunity to deliver international best practice to the intercity/regional rail market. These service enhancements would encourage more passengers to use trains through the creation of a segmented rail market that offers tourist, business traveller and low-cost service alternatives. This approach has been central to increases in rail patronage across Europe. It has also ensured economic benefits for regional communities and provided new opportunities to support population growth outside major metropolitan cities.

Fast Facts & Figures

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Why Choose Keolis Downer?

  1. Modern infrastructure: current network assets improved and new technology and maintenance systems introduced.
  2. Cost efficiency: the natural focus of the private sector on costs sees a reduction in the cost to taxpayers of running rail networks, with some of those savings reinvested to improve both services and assets.
  3. Customer service: applying the Thinking Like a Passenger philosophy ensures that Keolis Downer always focuses on what is best for the customer, from journey start to finish.
  4. Operational excellence: more than a century of combined experience from SNCF, Keolis and Downer means strategies and key personnel ensure that good operations become excellent.
  5. Industrial relations: applying our proven methodology and approach to managing our people ensures strong partnership and alignment between the company and its workforce.