THIS MONTH German organisation Allianz Pro Schiene will unveil a project to develop a tool which will assist banks and other financial institutions in analysing the long-term risks associated with changing environmental rules governing rail vehicles.The project is being funded by the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation & Nuclear Safety, and will be launched at an event in Berlin in June 14. The study will look at the risks associated with possible future changes in environmental regulations, which may complicate the redeployment of lease fleets on the expiry of existing contracts or if a train operator becomes insolvent. Service-specifying authorities may in future demand that all vehicles meet the then-current standards when new operating contracts are signed. This could increase the costs of transferring rolling stock between operators, or even make it impossible to re-use existing vehicles. Allianz Pro Schiene is acting on concerns that the consequent lack of flexibility would increase the risk of leasing firms being unable to find users throughout the design life of their trains, potentially deterring the financing of innovative vehicles and increasing the risks associated with funding the purchase of DMUs.n