škoda 2024

Flexible leasing model for regional trains: Smart Train Lease

posted on 14th Feb 2024 15:34

On 14 February 2024 Siemens Mobility announced that it has founded the subsidiary Smart Train Lease GmbH to enable customers to flexibly supplement their fleets with rented Mireo Smart battery, hydrogen, and electric units. They are available at short notice, approved for operation, and meet all required standards for modern regional passenger transport. 

By providing preconfigured trains and additional services such as maintenance, this new offer provides an economical alternative for quickly and flexibly expanding fleets. It also enables customers to easily test innovative and sustainable rail technologies. Smart Train Lease (at Krauss-Maffei-Str. 2, München) is initially offering this rental model in Germany and plans to expand it throughout Europe in the medium term.

It is worth remembering that this is a similar step to that taken in 2001 when Siemens established Dispolok as a locomotive leasing company. However, later the concept put it in competition with the main customers of Siemens-built vehicles (like DB), thus Dispolok was created as an independent company with limited liability in order to avoid possible legal conflicts. Subsequently, Mitsui Rail Capital Europe (MRCE) purchased Dispolok in 2006. In January 2008, the company was renamed MRCE Dispolok. The integration was completed on 1 April 2008. In order to create more unity, the shareholders have made the decision on 7 March 2013, to rename the company to MRCE GmbH.

Albrecht Neumann, CEO Rolling Stock at Siemens Mobility, said: “The mobility transition has led to an extremely dynamic market for regional trains. Rail operators today are looking for more flexible and quickly available offers as new technologies further increase sustainability in rail transport. By founding Smart Train Lease, we’ve created an innovative rental model for highly standardized regional trains. Its cost position, reliability and speedy delivery time make it a new and especially attractive offer for our customers.” 

In the rail sector, rental contracts were previously available only on a long-term basis, with terms of more than twelve years and including subsequent use or residual value guarantees. Until now, there were no offers for short- and medium-term rentals of regional trains or small fleets. In particular, operators were unable to rent state-of-the-art regional trains with alternative drive systems. Smart Train Lease has stepped in here to meet this demand and create a new market.

For example, numerous private rail companies now offer regional passenger service and are looking for new, more flexible offers with competitive installments to cover their need for new trains without long-term investment commitments. Smart Train Lease offers such a fast and high-quality solution.  

The company aims to make the rental process as easy and simple as possible, comparable to renting a car. It offers a standard contract with various service options that best fit the operator’s rail infrastructure and experience of its workshops. By providing centralized fleet maintenance management, even the smallest fleets with short rental terms can be smoothly integrated into ongoing operations without requiring extensive changes to the existing maintenance organization. Standard maintenance work can be carried out by existing staff at any time without extensive training, and Smart Train Lease provides direct on-site support for all other activities. The entire train, including its maintenance, is rented as a complete package.

Related news