Transport for London completes sale of Class 345 trains

Elizabeth line train
Credit: Bradley Langton

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Transport for London has announced that it has completed a sale and leaseback for the new Class 345 trains that are being used on the Elizabeth Line.

The deal has been completed with 345 Rail Leasing, a group consisting of Equitix Investment Management Ltd, NatWest and SMBC Leasing.

The deal will release approximately £1bn to TfL. This will be reinvested in infrastructure across London’s transport network.

Similar leasing deals have previously enabled TfL to introduce new trains onto London Overground since it began running services in November 2007.

Additionally, the deal includes an option for TfL to purchase the fleet back at the end of the initial lease term if it wishes to do so.

The completion of the sale and leaseback deal will have no impact on the operation or maintenance of the Elizabeth line fleet, which will remain with TfL and MTR Crossrail.

What did the officials say?

Simon Kilonback, Chief Financial Officer at Transport for London said:

‘As is standard practice across the rail industry, we have been looking to sell and lease back our Elizabeth line rolling stock.

‘This will help us purchase new trains on London Underground’s Piccadilly line, where there is a clear need for a modern fleet.

‘This is a positive deal for London, releasing almost a billion pounds of funding for TfL which can be immediately reinvested into delivering transport improvements, while still allowing us to operate these trains on our network.

‘We look forward to working with the 345 Rail Leasing consortium as we progress towards delivering the Elizabeth line, which once open will support the capital’s growing economy.’

Hugh Crossley, Chief Investment Officer for Equitix, said:

‘Equitix and its consortium partners are very pleased to be the new owners and lessors for the new fleet of Class 345 trains due to run rail services on the Elizabeth line.

‘We have a strong history of being long-term owners and managers of core infrastructure and look forward to working with TfL as they establish the Elizabeth line as a leading presence within the UK’s transport network.

‘We are especially mindful of its important role as a source of reliable transportation for London, and will support TfL as it delivers this new rail line for both its long-standing customers and the communities it serves.’

Andrew Blincoe, Head of Structured Finance at NatWest said:

‘This is a great deal for London and one we are delighted to have been able to support. To be able to back an infrastructure project of this nature is very exciting and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits of the new service being delivered in the near future.’

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  1. Will TfL also sell the Class 710 London Overground Aventra trains as it’s been delayed and was due to be in service or introduced in service from December last year. Which might not be in service until May or Summer.

    So why was the reason that TfL want to sell the Class 345s. Since the Crossrail project isn’t finished and is behind schedule that it was suppose to be completed by December this year. Just because TfL wants to save money for the new Piccadilly Line tube stocks and new deep level tube stocks for the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City Lines.


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