Rock Rail South Western
Rock Rail provided financing to the winning train operating company, South Western Railway, a joint venture between FirstGroup and MTR. First MTR was selected by the DfT in April 2017 enabling Rock and First MTR to jointly select the preferred manufacturer; Bombardier.
Building on its precedent transaction structure, Rock was able to broaden and deepen the funding available, and complete the £1bn transaction within 3 months of the announcement of franchise award. The equity was provided by Rock Rail, SL Capital and GLIL Infrastructure, while the debt was provided by an expanded group of institutional investors.
The new trains will be manufactured in Derby by Bombardier Transportation, endorsing the skilled UK workforce by ensuring a long-term workload for the Bombardier staff in Derby, and benefiting the UK economy.
The new trains will enhance the travelling experience for customers by providing:
- Free reliable Wi-Fi
- At-seat charging points
- Real time information screens
- Air conditioning
- Wide gangways and wide doors to improve ease of boarding and alighting