FC on UK rail boost

Aviva Investors has announced an eco-train deal.

About GBP200m of debt-financing, provided by Aviva UK Life and other third-party clients, will be put towards a fleet of new rolling stock for the West Coast Partnership rail franchise.

Set to operate under the new ‘Avanti West Coast’ rail service, the 135 Hitachi vehicles are scheduled to enter service from 2022, and will connect North West England, North Wales and the Midlands with London.

The introduction of the “bullet train technology” trains will reduce carbon dioxide emissions across the franchise by 61%.

The deal marks the third major rail industry deal in 2019 from Aviva.

Sinéad Walshe, Director, Infrastructure Debt at Aviva Investors, spoke to Partnerships Bulletin about investing in rolling stock:

“Our investments in rolling stock reflect the network’s material replacement needs, as part of a sector that has previously suffered from perennial underinvestment. Given the scale of new rolling stock on order, our expectation is that the future pipeline will be lower. That said, we continue to be interested in investment opportunities within UK rolling stock and the UK rail market more broadly, as do our institutional clients.”