porterbrook leasing company

October 2013


First Group awarded a new 23 month contract to operate the Great Western franchise

On 3 October First Group was awarded a new 23 month contract to operate the Great Western franchise to September 2015.

As part of the new franchise Porterbrook has secured leases for all of its rolling stock operating with the previous franchise and has committed to undertake the modifications required for compliance with the forthcoming Passengers of Reduced Mobility Technical Standards for Interoperability (PRM TSI) to its Class 150 and 158 fleets.

This work is being carried out well ahead of the regulations which take effect from 1 January 2020 and will be combined with a package of Continued Service Operation (CSO) enhancements ensuring that the trains deliver both benefits as soon as possible.

July 2013


Commuters to benefit from state-of-the-art electric trains

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has welcomed an order for more than 100 new electric train carriages while seeing the first of a British-built fleet being readied for use at a London depot today.

Following an open procurement competition Southern has signed a second contract with Derby-based train builders Bombardier, worth £180m, for an additional 116 carriages, which will serve some of the capital's busiest commuter routes from 2015.

Confirmation of the deal came as the Transport Secretary visited the Stewarts Lane Depot in Battersea where the train operator is currently preparing a new fleet of 130 carriages for use on its services from December. A further 40 vehicles will be delivered in the early part of next year.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

“London's commuters deserve a first class rail network and comfortable modern trains, Southern is delivering that. This second order will also provide a further boost to the thousands of passengers who travel into London every day.

“A successful rail network is vital for the economic prosperity of the country and its standing in the global race. The fact that these trains are made in Britain also protects jobs outside of the capital.”

The 116 new carriages will initially be used on the Thameslink route allowing the release of existing rolling stock to newly electrified routes across the country.

Southern Managing Director Chris Burchell said:

“We are delighted that the order we have signed today will help our industry grow. Southern has a great record in new train introduction and we are pleased to be able to offer our expertise in helping the Department for Transport deliver the benefits of the Thameslink programme.”

Meanwhile, Southern is currently testing its new fleet of carriages ahead of their introduction on the network just two years after the deal with Bombardier was signed. This will allow up to ten-car trains to run on some of the operator's busiest Metro routes, including trains via Norbury, Streatham Hill and Hackbridge, boosting capacity by ten per cent.

Southern Fleet Director Gerry McFadden said:

“Getting the trains built, tested and in service within a two year time scale is setting a new record for train delivery, but we and Bombardier are determined to provide our passengers with the longer trains they have been promised.”

The Commercial Director for Bombardier Transportation UK, Des McKeon, said:

“It is great to see the first of Southern's 130 new carriages being delivered here today. Production of the rest of the order is progressing on time in Derby . We are confident of delivering the rest of the fleet in line with Southern's requirements and meeting their challenge of getting these units ready for passenger service later this year.

“The order underlines the strength of the relationship Bombardier has with Southern and the DfT – a relationship born out of our strong performance on existing contracts. It reinforces the quality of our products and our ability to deliver on time to demanding schedules. It is further evidence of the dedication and skills of our people in the UK ."

Paul Francis Managing Director of Porterbrook which financed the 130 carriages being introduced in December, said:

“We're delighted to have been appointed financier for the purchase of these new Electrostar trains which will operate with the other 792 Electrostar vehicles we have on lease with Southern. We reiterate our hope that this is only the start of ongoing investment opportunities in new and existing rolling stock over the coming years as franchises are re-let.”

Notes to editors

•  In December 2011, Southern signed a deal worth £188m with Bombardier for 130 carriages following an extensive procurement process which will see the trains delivered in 2013. An option for a further 40 vehicles was confirmed in December 2012. They will enter service in the early part of 2014 on the South London network.

•  The company ran a second open competition in December 2012 for 116 carriages, with the option of a further 140 if further investment opportunities can be identified. Bombardier was announced as the preferred bidder earlier this year, with the contract being agreed this month.

•  Southern will hold an open competition to finance the second order in due course.

•  The permanent rolling stock for the Thameslink project is being delivered by Siemens, who are building 1,140 carriages for the programme. The first trains will enter service in 2016, with the introduction of the full fleet by the end of 2018. Once the new Thameslink rolling stock has been delivered these 116 carriages will also transfer to operate on newly electrified roués elsewhere in England .

•  Ten-car Metro trains will be introduced on the following routes this December:

•  Victoria to Dorking/Horsham via Hackbridge and Epsom

•  Victoria to Epsom Downs via Norbury

•  Victoria to West Croydon via Streatham Hill

•  Victoria to London Bridge via Streatham Hill and Crystal Palace

•  London Bridge to Epsom/Guildford via Norwood Junction

•  London Bridge and Victoria to Caterham and Tattenham Corner (train divides Purley).


April 2013


Porterbrook Awards £5M Contract to Railcare

Porterbrook Leasing has awarded a contract to Railcare to undertake a C6 overhaul of its Mark 3 coaches currently on lease with Greater Anglia.

The contract, valued at £5M, will start in October 2013 and will see all 111 vehicles undergo a full C6 overhaul at Railcare’s Wolverton facility. The programme is expected to be completed by July 2016.

Porterbrook Finances Fitment of Driver Advisory System

Porterbrook Leasing financing the fitment of state-of-the-art LEADER® Driver Advisory Systems its trains, valued at £860k.

The system will be installed on 23 Class 170 DMUs and 27 Class 172 DMUs operated by London Midland and 16 Class 171 DMUs operated by Southern.

The LEADER® Driver Advisory System is an advanced computerised system which assists drivers to deliver optimum performance by improving train handling performance and effectively managing trip time. The system will also result in less fuel being used, giving energy savings and a reduction in carbon emissions.

Installation and commissioning of the system on both fleets is due to be completed by Autumn 2013.

Porterbrook signs contract with Vossloh Kiepe to fit AC traction equipment to the South West Trains Class 455 fleet

Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited has signed a contract worth £40m with Vossloh Kiepe UK Limited to fit state of the art ‘IGBT’ traction equipment to its 91 class 455 units operating with South West Trains. Although prototype retractioning work is currently being undertaken on other EMU classes, Porterbrook believes that the business case for the 455s is sound so awarded a contract to carry out the work on the entire fleet. The trains are currently undergoing a C6 overhaul which includes the work necessary for PRM TSI compliance.

The class 455s were manufactured in the mid 1980s and underwent a £67m refurbishment and upgrade through 2004 to 2008 including the removal of any corrosion that was found whilst the equipment was stripped down. The effect of this work was that the passengers felt that they were travelling on almost new, if not new trains, and since then the fleet has continually improved in reliability such that it is now the most reliable pre privatisation EMU fleet.

As a result of discussions between South West Trains and Porterbrook, and after a full evaluation of the project, the decision was taken to completely replace the original traction equipment because of identifiable benefits and a belief that these trains will continue to provide a quality service for some years to come. They will also deliver an economical solution to increasing passenger demand with a cost for leasing and maintaining this fleet substantially lower than the new train alternative.

In addition to the reduction in maintenance costs of AC traction equipment over DC equipment, these new trains will be able to ‘re-generate’ electricity and feed this back into the system resulting in an expected 20%+ saving in electricity supply costs; with the environmental benefits that this brings. Also, as the distance between servicing events will increase by 50% (10,000 miles to 15,000 miles) the trains will spend less time ‘on works’ increasing their availability and freeing up space at Wimbledon depot where they are currently based. The space that is freed up at Wimbledon will enable South West Trains to acquire more trains for their passengers without the need and considerable cost of building a new depot.

The first of the retractioned trains is due for completion late 2014 with the final unit programmed for delivery February 2016. The equipment package and design developed by Vossloh Kiepe means that only 2 units will be on works at any one time and installation will take only 6 days to complete once production is in full flow. This limited time out of service is of great importance to South West Trains and was a major consideration when awarding the contract.

This contract, together with the reconfiguration of the class 458s and 460s which is currently being undertaken and the forthcoming introduction and refurbishment of the class 456 fleet, delivers an investment by Porterbrook of almost £100m in South West Trains rolling stock.

Porterbrook is currently looking at the possibility of undertaking similar retractioning work on its 86 class 319 units and is evaluating the opportunities that this may bring.

February 2013


Rail industry sets out future potential requirements for trains and carriages

A report published today by the rail industry marks a key step towards a market-led approach for delivering rolling stock which meets passengers' needs over the next 30 years.

The report, welcomed by Rail Minister Simon Burns, sets out a range of scenarios for the future size and makeup of the national passenger rolling stock fleet needed for the next three decades in the context of growing demand, infrastructure enhancements and greater electrification of the network.  The high level analysis suggests a possible near doubling of the fleet could be needed by 2042.

At the heart of this growth is a potential requirement for between 13,000 to 19,000 new electric vehicles by 2042, compared with around 8,500 electric vehicles in Britain today.  That would be equivalent to delivering an average of eight to 12 electric vehicles every week, and would increase the proportion of the fleet made up of electric vehicles from around 68% today to over 90% by 2042.

Requirements for new non-electric vehicles could be small by comparison, possibly as few as 400 to 800 vehicles over the period.

This is the first time since privatisation that the industry has joined together to outline a long term, cross-industry strategy on rolling stock.  

The work was overseen by a group chaired by Richard Brown, Eurostar Chairman, and made up of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), the three main train leasing companies (Angel Trains, Eversholt Rail Group and Porterbrook Leasing), and rail infrastructure owner and operator Network Rail.

Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of ATOC, said: “The boom in passenger journeys heralds a bright future for the railways.  A long-term rolling stock strategy helps the industry prepare for that future and underpins franchising as the best way to drive efficient delivery of fleet which meets passengers' needs.”

Malcolm Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Angel Trains on behalf of the three rolling stock companies involved with the report said: “Rightly, the three rolling stock companies have been a corner stone in the development of the strategy to meet passenger demands for the next 30 years.

“The businesses will actively compete with each other to invest in existing and new rolling stock, having already secured over £10 billion of investment since rail privatisation. This will ensure the UK has one of the youngest train fleets in Europe.”

Paul Plummer, Network Rail group strategy director, said: “This strategy marks the first time that the long-term rolling stock implications of passenger growth and infrastructure upgrades such as electrification and HS2 have been modelled and considered together.

“Our investment programme will increase capacity on some of the busiest part of the network, enabling more people than ever before to travel by train. The approach set out in this strategy will ensure the industry works together to deliver a bigger and better value railway for Britain.”

Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy for the Rail Industry (February 2013)

January 2013


Porterbrook gets RISAS certification

Porterbrook has become the third major train fleet owner and asset manager to achieve the much-coveted and highest certification level in the procurement of maintenance and overhaul processes for rolling stock.

Porterbrook, which owns and manages a large portfolio of rail assets, has achieved the sought-after RISAS (Railway Industry Supplier Approval Scheme) certification, with effect from 13 November 2012.

The train continues to become an even more popular transport mode. In 2011-2, the mainline railway saw about 1.5 billion passenger journeys made and about 100 million tonnes of freight carried. To make this happen, maintaining the safety and reliability of trains is critical, and relies on suppliers and customers both having a lucid appreciation of the risks, and a proven capability to manage them.

RISAS certification means that rail operators and suppliers can assume a high level of assurance in companies like Porterbrook, based on one universally accepted, rigorous assessment.

Alex White, Operations Director at Porterbrook commented: ‘We are proud to have achieved RISAS accreditation. RISAS is tangible proof of our capabilities in controlling the risk generated by procuring rolling stock maintenance and overhaul requirements.'

The assessment was undertaken by Lloyds Register Rail as a Rail Industry Supplier Approval Body (RISAB), accredited by RSSB. Such assessments pose ambitious challenges to candidates like Porterbrook, to be able to demonstrate excellence across their entire spectrum of activities.

Margaret Nixon, who led the Lloyds Register RISAS team during the assessment added: ‘This certification gives operators and suppliers the assurance that Porterbrook has proven its capabilities in buying, managing and overseeing the maintenance of those aspects most critical to rolling stock safety, reliability and performance - in accordance with the industry's own benchmark scheme.'

RISAS can provide certification for the whole supply chain for rolling stock maintenance, so can test both ‘maintenance buyers' such as ROSCOs and train and freight operating companies, as well as the suppliers and providers of that maintenance.

Chairman of the RISAS Board, Tim Dugher said: ‘Porterbrook's achievement means that all three major ROSCOs now have RISAS certification for the procurement of rolling stock maintenance, covering the majority of the GB mainline passenger fleets and a substantial volume of freight fleets. This sends a clear signal to companies either side of the ROSCOs in the supply chain, that RISAS is industry's first preference for assuring the supply of critical products and services associated with rolling stock maintenance.'

RISAS is facilitated by RSSB combining expertise in administration of national programmes with knowledge and experience of rolling stock standards and competence.  For further information, go to: www.risas.co.uk 


For further information, please contact the RSSB press office, on
020 3142 5333 / 5332 / 5331 or email pressoffice@rssb.co.uk or visit the website www.rssb.co.uk


As part of the extension of the West Coast franchise, Porterbrook has extended its lease for the set of Mk3 coaches with Virgin.

With regards to the remaining 7 class 57/3 locomotives that Virgin used for recovery and diversional running, 3 have been leased to Direct Rail Services and 4 have been sold to West Coast Railways.


On 20th December 2012 Porterbrook signed the contract to purchase 170 new class 377 Electrostar vehicles and associated spares for Southern Railway at a value of over £260m.

The trains will be delivered as 34 5 car units; 8 of which are dual voltage, the remainder being capable of conversion at a later date.

This new order takes Porterbrook's investment in passenger rolling stock since privatisation to over £2bn and, when delivered, will bring Porterbrook's fleet of passenger rail vehicles to over 4,000 of which 1,146 will be Electrostars.


Railcare Delivers First Fully Compliant Class 156 to Porterbrook

Railcare has delivered back into service the first Class 156 unit for Greater Anglia after undergoing an extensive refurbishment and overhaul programme.

This first two-car unit, 156402, was returned to service on 4 th December after receiving a complete interior overhaul as part of the planned C6 maintenance programme, including new carpets, dado panels and seat covers. The scope also includes a heavy clean of the interior, full exterior repaint and fitment of controlled emission toilet retention tanks.

In addition to the scheduled C6 overhaul Porterbrook Leasing, the vehicle owners, extended the scope to include work required to make the units compliant with Passengers of Reduced Mobility Technical Specification for Interoperability (PRM TSI) regulations ensuring the fleet can continue to operate beyond 1 st January 2020.

This additional work includes fitting a new accessible toilet, ensuring wheelchair access including a ‘call for aid button'; a revised seating layout to provide priority seats and two wheelchair spaces also with ‘call for aid buttons' and a passenger information system (PIS). By redesigning the interior, access will be improved with the removal of the doors between the vestibules and passenger compartment, giving better passenger flow and comfort. New external door sounders will also be fitted to give an audible warning when the doors are closing and handrails will be replaced. The units will then be repainted in the new red and white Greater Anglia livery.

Work on the refurbishment of the Class 156 fleet commenced in September 2012 at Railcare's Wolverton facility near Milton Keynes and is due to be completed in late 2013.

Alex White, Operations Director for Porterbrook Leasing said, “This is the first of the Sprinter/Super Sprinter series of trains to be made compliant with the current PRM regulations and demonstrates that undertaking the work required for the continued operation of this type of rolling stock is an economic and viable alternative to replacement with new”.

Jamie Borgeat, Commercial Director at Railcare said, “This has been a significant project for Railcare and we are delighted with the outcome. Porterbrook's proactive approach to getting their fleet up to the new TSI standards, in conjunction with regular overhauls, has enable us both to gain invaluable experience. We are now committed to completing the rest of the fleet and getting them back into service on Greater Anglia on time”.

John Ratcliffe, Fleet Director, Greater Anglia said: "I am very pleased with the extensive work that has been carried out to upgrade the first of our Class 156 units which has transformed the passenger environment of the train. The much improved facilities and accommodation is already attracting very positive feedback from our customers, regional stakeholders and Greater Anglia employees who operate these trains. I look forward to good progress with the rest of our Class 156 fleet which will be similarly upgraded as part of this improvement programme."

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Porterbrook Leasing Mid Company Limited (Registration No. 7007965), Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited (Registration No. 2912662), Porterbrook Maintenance Limited (Registration No. 3657463), Porterbrook Leasing Asset Company Limited (Registration No. 635030), Porterbrook March Leasing (4) Limited (Registration No. 2682768) are registered in England and wales.  VAT Registration No. 927439496. Registered Office Ivatt House, 7 The Point, Pinnacle Way, Pride Park, Derby DE24 8ZS