French regional train (Photo: Christophe Masse)

FRANCE: Leasing company Akiem and Banque des Territoires have formed the TerriTrains consortium to offer rolling stock financing and management services to public authorities and train operators as the French passenger market is opened to competition.

Akiem said the national government and regions spend more than €5bn/year funding TER and TET regional services, and reforms now allow the regional authorities to take over responsibility for their management.

TerriTrains will offer access to outsourced financing via long-term leasing agreements as well as providing fleet management experience. It will work across the complete rolling stock value chain from overseeing calls for tenders through to day-to-day fleet management, offering economies of scale and clarifying the responsibilities of the vehicle owner, transport authority and operator.

The aim is to ‘develop a public-private leasing solution that offers transport authorities the best possible value for money, via a mechanism that is fully professional, sustainable and transparent’, said Akiem CEO Fabien Rochefort on May 31.

Pierre Aubouin, Head of the Infrastructure & Mobility Department at the Investment Division of Banque des Territoires, said this approach ‘transfers the risks of rolling stock ownership, will give transport authorities access to the full range of Akiem’s expertise, and guarantees long-term non-discriminatory access to rolling stock to every rail operator selected by regional transport authorities.’