Siemens Mobility Forms Leasing Model for Regional Trains

Siemens Mobility founded Smart Train Lease, a leasing model for regional trains that will enable customers to supplement their fleets with rented battery, hydrogen and electric multiple-unit trains.

Through the subsidiary, Mireo Smart trains from Siemens Mobility will be available at short notice and approved for operation all while meeting 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 expanding fleets. It also enables customers to easily test rail technologies. Smart Train Lease will initially offer its rental model in Germany and plans to expand it throughout Europe in the medium term.

“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 GmbH, 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,” Albrecht Neumann, CEO of rolling stock at Siemens Mobility, said.

“We want to make renting trains as easy and simple as renting a car, and thus help accelerate the mobility transition. This service will further enhance the attractiveness of rail transport for passengers and enable our customers to react quickly to fluctuating demand,” Benjamin Dobernecker, CEO of Smart Train Lease, said. 

The technological shift from diesel to alternative technologies such as batteries and hydrogen is driving significant market changes that present challenges as well as opportunities. The trend away from private transport to public options, helped in part by Germany’s €49 monthly regional ticket and its simplification of rail travel, has considerably boosted demand for trains. In addition, 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.

In the rail sector, rental contracts were previously available only on a long-term basis, with terms of more than 12 years and including subsequent use or residual value guarantees. Until now, there were no offers for short- and medium-term rentals of multiple-unit regional trains or small fleets. In particular, operators were unable to rent regional trains with alternative drive systems.

Smart Train Lease aims to make the train rental process as easy and simple as possible, comparable to renting a car. The company will offer a standard contract with various service options. Standard maintenance work can be carried out by existing staff at any time without extensive training, and Smart Train Lease will provide direct on-site support for all other activities. The entire train, including its maintenance, is rented as a complete package.

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