ZUG.SH founding (Photo Land of Schleswig-Holstein)

GERMANY: The Land of Schleswig-Holstein has established its own train leasing company ZUG.SH, saying this will lower financing costs and widen the pool of potential bidders for train operating contracts.

ZUG.SH will finance the €500m purchase of 42 Coradia Max partly double-deck electric multiple-units already on order from Alstom. These will be leased to the future contracted operator of Mitte/Süd-West services: RE7/70 Kiel/Flensburg – Hamburg and RB 61/71 Wrist/Itzehoe – Hamburg, from December 2027.

The Land’s Secretary for Transport Tobias von der Heide said the creation of ZUG.SH was necessary because no financial service provider submitted a bid to finance the fleet, owing to high interest rates. The Land estimates that it will save €70m to €110m over 30 years by financing the fleet through ZUG.SH.

‘With ZUG.SH, the Land will continue to ensure that less capital-rich railway companies will also be able to take part in tenders for rail networks in the future’, said von der Heide on July 8. ‘This is because they do not need their own train fleet and therefore do not have to set up their own financing.’