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Keolis is the largest private sector French transport group. It runs passenger railways, tramways, bus networks, funiculars, trolley buses, and airport services. The company, based in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, is majority owned by SNCF
The SNCF , is France's national state-owned railway company. SNCF operates the country's national rail services, including the TGV, France's high-speed rail network...

, the French state rail operator. AXA Private Equity
AXA Private Equity
AXA Private Equity is a diversified private equity firm with $ 25 billion of assets managed or advised and with an international reach across Europe, North America and Asia...

 and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec manages public pension plans in the Canadian province of Quebec. It was founded in 1965 by an act of the National Assembly...

 also hold ownership shares. Its turnover (revenue) reached €4,1b in 2007. Keolis has over 47,000 staff in France, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Canada and the US. It is the largest provider of public-transportion services in France.

In the UK, Keolis is a minority partner in the Govia
Govia is a transport company based in the United Kingdom. A joint venture between Go-Ahead and Keolis SA it is a key operator of commuter services in London, the South East and on the West Coast Main Line...

 rail operating company with Go-Ahead Group
Go-Ahead Group
The Go-Ahead Group plc is a rail and bus operating company that was created following the privatisation of the UK's train and bus industries. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.-Early history:...

. Govia currently operates the Southern
Southern (train operating company)
Southern is a train operating company in the United Kingdom. Officially named Southern Railway Ltd., it is a subsidiary of Govia, a joint venture between transport groups Go-Ahead Group and Keolis, and has operated the South Central rail franchise since October 2000 and the Gatwick Express service...

, Southeastern
Southeastern (train operating company)
London & South Eastern Railway Limited, trading as Southeastern is a train operating company in south-east England. On 1 April 2006 it became the franchisee for the new Integrated Kent Franchise , replacing the publicly owned South Eastern Trains on the former South East Franchise...

 and London Midland
London Midland
London Midland is a train operating company in the United Kingdom. Legally named London and Birmingham Railway Ltd, it is a subsidiary of Govia, and has operated the West Midlands franchise since 11 November 2007....

 franchises. Keolis itself also operates the Transpennine Express rail franchise in partnership with First Group.
Keolis designs transportion systems jointly with local governments and claims to strive to provide public transport that allies a spirit of service with innovation and efficiency.


In eastern Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 Keolis is involved in the operation of two intercity bus companies; Orléans Express
Orléans Express
Orléans Express is a coach operator in Quebec, Canada. It runs buses exclusively in Quebec, with service throughout Atlantic Canada provided by subsidiary Acadian Lines.It has a wide network of routes throughout Quebec and the Maritimes...

 and Acadian Lines
Acadian Lines
Acadian Lines, legally incorporated as Acadian Coach Lines LP/Autocars Acadien SEC, is a Canadian coach operator based in Moncton, New Brunswick....

. Keolis is also the operator of Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

's public transit system.

In 2008 it was announced that the company was shortlisted in joint ventures bidding for the rights to operate the tram network
Trams in Melbourne
The Melbourne tramway network is a major form of public transport in Melbourne, the capital city of the state of Victoria, Australia. , the network consisted of of track, 487 trams, 28 routes, and 1,773 tram stops. It was therefore the largest urban tramway network in the world, ahead of the...

and the suburban train network in Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. Keolis won the tram contract but not the train operation.

Keolis is one of four companies to be shortlisted for the UK's InterCity West Coast franchise to be awarded in August 2012.

United States operations

On October 16, 2009, the Virginia Railway Express
Virginia Railway Express
The Virginia Railway Express is a regional/ commuter rail service that connects the Northern Virginia suburbs to Union Station in Washington, D.C., via two lines: the Fredericksburg Line from Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the Manassas Line from Broad Run/Airport station in Bristow,...

 (VRE) Operations Board approved an $85 million contract with Keolis Rail Services America to operate and maintain VRE trains for five years. Keolis began operating VRE on July 12, 2010 after a two week delay, ending Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

's 18 year tenure as operator. Both Amtrak and Keolis had staffed the VRE lines with about 80 employees. However, during the bidding, a group of Holocaust survivors and Maryland politician Heather Mizeur
Heather Mizeur
Heather R. Mizeur is an American politician from Maryland. A Democrat, she is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing the state's 20th district in Montgomery County.-Background:...

 called for investigations into SNCF's role in transportation of Nazi prisoners to concentration camps during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 before the Keolis contracts could move forward. The operator of the train line, Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

, also challenged the propriety of hiring a foreign company.

Keolis has also bid to run some California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 commuter rail segments and two MARC
MARC Train
MARC , known prior to 1984 as Maryland Rail Commuter Service, is a regional rail system comprising three lines in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. MARC is administered by the Maryland Transit Administration , a Maryland Department of Transportation agency, and is operated under contract...

 lines in Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, even though with the latter, the company is running into similar issues with the VRE bidding. Another group of Holocaust survivors, led this time by Leo Bretholz also requested investigations of SNCF's involvement in the war. As a result, a law was passed to enforce this, leading to major criticism because SNCF had already documented their Nazi assistance and have in fact, released their archives for educational purposes in 1996.

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