Keolis, through its German subsidiary, commenced operation of the Teutoburger-Wald-Network (TWN) in the North Rhine Westphalia region in western Germany. The 15-year contract was awarded in 2015 with Zweckverband Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe and Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen in Germany, and with Provincie Overijssel in the Netherlands.
The TWN consists of five lines, approximately 310 miles of track and 52 stations. Its 27 trains are expected to cover a distance of approximately 3.2 million miles per year.
The TWN will operate with 27 FLIRT trains manufactured by Stadler, with 19 existing trains refurbished to meet the high comfort and security standards required by Keolis, and eight new trains to be added to the fleet.
The new trainsets are composed of five cars and can carry up to 532 passengers, with 266 seated. In the first class carriage, seating capacity has been doubled. The overall comfort of the 19 trains has been enhanced through careful refurbishment. Each of the 27 trains can accommodate 24 bicycles and features enlarged entrances, facilitating easier passenger boarding, and alighting. The trains are equipped with state-of-the-art ticketing machines. They will run at speeds of up to 99 mph.
Largest private operator in North Rhine Westphalia, Keolis will open two other networks in the next couple of years, one in December 2018 (extension Hellwegnetz) and another in 2019 (new rail contract for S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr). The company will grow from 600 employees in December 2017 to 900 by December 2019.