EUROPE: The Association of European Rail Rolling Stock Lessors has been formed to promote ‘interoperable, efficient, sustainable and safe’ rolling stock in the European Union and Switzerland.

Based in Brussels, the non-profit organisation aims to enhance technical collaboration and engage with public bodies at the European level to represent the interests of lessors and their clients such as businesses and national and regional authorities.


Akiem, Railpool, MRCE and Northrail have joined the association as full members, with Cargounit, ELP and Beacon Rail Finance as associate members.

Akiem CEO Fabien Rochefort has been elected Chair, with Chief Commercial Officer of MRCE Bart Lam and Railpool CEO Torsten Lehnert as vice-chairs. Carole Coune has been appointed Secretary General, her previous roles having included Acting Secretary General of the European Rail Freight Association.


‘The EU is currently at a crossroads, seeking to strengthen its industrial base, further consolidate territorial cohesion and decarbonise its economy’, explained Rochefort on May 26. ‘We are convinced we can contribute to meeting these challenges.’

Coune said the rolling stock leasing industry had a strategic role at the interface between operators, manufacturers, maintenance providers, financers and regulators. She believed that AERRL would ‘make a powerful contribution’ to initiatives to improve the competitiveness and performance of the European rail industry.


AERRL said its members own more than half of all leased rolling stock in the EU, Switzerland and Norway, with 1 850 locomotives out of 2 850 and more than 400 coaches and multiple units.

In 2016-20, 40% of new locomotive deliveries in the EU, Switzerland and Norway were to lessors, up from 25% in 2011-15. More than 150 freight and passenger operators now use leased locomotives, with a quarter of these being state incumbents, and the remainder new entrants and competitors. Around 75% of the operators lease fewer than 10 locomotives.