MORE detail has been revealed after the Dutch province of Gelderland awarded Keolis Nederland the contract to operate Valleilijn passenger services between Amersfoort in Utrecht province and Ede-Wageningen in Gelderland.

The 34km line, currently operated by Transdev Nederland subsidiary Connexxion, serves eight stations, with services operated with five two-car Protos EMUs and two Stadler GTW EMUs. The new 13-year contract will come into effect in December and is expected to generate €150m in revenue over that term.

The contract will see the line’s 35 staff and trains transferred to the new operator. In the first two years under Keolis the trains will be renovated to improve passenger comfort with wider, more comfortable seats and a new seating layout to optimise passenger flows and increase the number of seats. The refurbished EMUs will also have more powerful Wi-Fi, USB connection points and power outlets.

The quality of passenger information systems will also be improved, including green, orange and red indicators on the outside of the cars to indicate real-time occupancy rates. In addition, inside the trains green lights above seats will indicate which ones are unreserved.

One of the Valleilijn's two Stadler three-car GTW EMUs, currently operated by Connexxion. Photo credit: Larsvr6/Wikipedia Commons

Following modernisation the trains will operate under the branding RRReis used for public transport across the provinces of Flevoland, Gelderland and Overjissel. As part of the contract, Keolis says it will also recruit new employees, some of whom will be responsible for passenger service and safety.

In December 2022, Keolis lost the €300m concession to operate Blauwnet regional services on the route from Zutphen to Hengelo and Oldenzaal to Arriva Nederland. However, Keolis has retained the Zwolle - Kampen and Zwolle - Enschede routes, also operated as part of the Blauwnet network, under a concession awarded by the Overijssel province.