Vossloh Locomotives, Nexrail Lease (Nexrail) and InfraVia Capital Partners (InfraVia) are pleased to announce that they have entered into an exclusive agreement to carve out the existing leasing pool of shunting locomotives under operating leases to European rail operators and industrial groups in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg and build up to 50 new DE 18 Stage V SmartHybrid locomotives for the Benelux market.
The pool consists of 53 modern and fuel / emission efficient Vossloh shunting locomotives with an average age of less than 5 years. The main types are DE 18, DE 12, G 6, and G 1000. The locomotives, together with the underlying lease, will be transferred to Nexrail, a newly created rolling stock lessor. In addition, up to 50 DE 18 Stage V SmartHybrid locomotives were ordered. The new, universal, four-axle mid-cab locomotives features a powerful (1,800 kW) and fuel-efficient diesel engine with reduced ecological footprint (Stage V emission standard) as well as an additional traction battery (144 kW), enabling up to one hour of emission-free operation combined with fuel savings of 20–50 %. Equipped with ETCS, including an upgrade option to level 2, the locomotives will cover a unique homologation area consisting for Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany and parts of the Netherlands. By combining the latest technological advancements, the DE 18 Stage V SmartHybrid is considered as the most flexible locomotive of its kind, equally suited to heavy shunting and mainline operations as well as infrastructure tasks in construction site operations. Under the agreement, Nexrail will be the exclusive provider of this type of modern locomotives for the Belgium market.
As the European market leader for mid-cab locomotives, Vossloh Locomotives, based in Kiel, Germany, is a subsidiary of CRRC ZELC since 2020 and thus belonging to the world's largest manufacturer of rail vehicles, China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation Ltd. (CRRC). By combining the extensive experience gathered over 150 years of building locomotives with the latest international expertise, Vossloh Locomotives is building rail vehicles that constantly set new standards in their respective fields of application. With its rail vehicles, platform concepts and in close partnership with CRRC ZELC, new opportunities to make an important contribution to safe and eco-friendly freight transportation throughout Europe are presenting themselves.
Supported by infrastructure private equity investor InfraVia, Nexrail is a new ROSCO established by a strong management team chaired by Neil Bennett, the founder and former COO of Beacon Rail. Key Executives of the Nexrail team include CEO Luuk von Meijenfeldt, CCO Mark Remie and CTO Bernd Wagner. Nexrail ambitions is to become a leading platform offering hybrid/dual mode traction and innovative locomotives and specialized rolling stock to its clients. With this partnership with Vossloh Locomotives, and the ongoing development of partnerships with the biofuel and e-fuel ecosystem, Nexrail will be at the forefront of the energy transition journey of the non-electrified part of the railway network.
At the signing ceremony in Kiel, Dr. Bernd Hoppe, Executive Director and General Manager of Vossloh Locomotives, stated: "We have put a lot of energy and know-how into the development of the DE 18. We are proud to say that it is a fuel efficient locomotive without compromise in every respect, offering our customers maximum versatility in terms of applications, economic and ecological advantages, and thus investment security, both in its mature configuration and in the SmartHybrid version. Through the transactions with Nexrail and InfraVia, we will jointly make a significant contribution to the provision of highly efficient and environmentally friendly rail freight services in the extended Benelux region for decades to come."
Neil Bennett, Executive Chairman of Nexrail Lease stated: "Nexrail brings together a team of locomotive investment and management specialists to deliver innovative, full-service leasing solutions through a fleet of modern locomotives that enable operators and industrials to meet their sustainability targets. Nexrail is already developing plans to introduce sustainable fuels and battery hybrid solutions across all its markets. This transaction with Vossloh Locomotives and the order of th e DE 18 Stage V SmartHybrid for the Benelux market is the inaugural step of our own journey as a lessor. We are looking forward to working with Vossloh Locomotives in multiple markets and I am very excited to be starting this journey with the management team and InfraVia."
Luuk von Meijenfeldt, CEO of Nexrail: "With the investment that Nexrail is making today, we are sending a strong signal to the market that Nexrail is their partner for locomotives on non-electrified parts of the network all over Europe. For our Belgium clients, it is a particularly important message because our DE 18 Stage V SmartHybrid is not just the first hybrid locomotive of its kind but also the first mid-cab locomotive introduction to Belgium in twenty years. You can expect more of such introductions from us all over Europe. The whole management team is looking forward to discussing with our clients their locomotive needs across all power ranges, all innovative traction technologies, and all alternative fuels."
Athanasios Zoulovits, Partner at Infra Via Capital Partners, stated: "We are very pleased to announce the signing of this landmark agreement between Nexrail and Vossloh Locomotives. The rail freight transport market is growing continuously. This positive tailwind is expected to gain further momentum driven by the virtuous role rail plays in reducing carbon intensity of supply chains. The strong replacement needs of the aged European rail locomotive stock driven by regulatory requirements on emissions and signalling and the increasing demand of operators for innovative full-service leasing solutions provide further support to the investment thesis of the Nexrail team which we are delighted to support."
About Vossloh Locomotives
State-of-the-art mid-cab locomotives from Vossloh Locomotives lead the way throughout Europe. For the European market leader, attributes such as economy, flexibility, and environmental friendliness are in focus during development, construction, and production. For all kinds of maintenance issues, Vossloh Locomotives also offers solutions that are oriented toward the specific needs of customers. In the competence centres, operators also obtain extensive services involving all aspects of state-of-the-art shunting and mainline locomotives. With the changeover in 2020 to the new parent company CRRC ZELC, the long-established company has opened another international chapter.
For more information, visit www.vl-rs.com
About Nexrail Lease
Nexrail is a rolling stock lessor operating in Western Europe. Its current portfolio of ca. 100 locomotives (53 operational and 50 under order) is currently dedicated to the freight and shunting market s with clients located in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg. Nexrail was created by a group of seasoned rail leasing professionals with the ambition to become the leading European platform offering hybrid/dual mode traction and innovative locomotives and specialized rolling stock to its clients. Nexrail Lease is a portfolio company of funds managed by InfraVia Capital Partners.
InfraVia is a leading independent private equity firm, specialized in infrastructure and technology investments. InfraVia supports entrepreneurs and companies in their growth journey and help them to expand their businesses and transform them into top-tier platforms. Since 2008, InfraVia has been raised more than EUR 7.4 billion of capital and invested in 30+ companies across 13 European countries.
For more information, visit www.infraviacapital.com