The Elizabeth Line

Client: Transport for London (TfL)

Equitix investment: £485 million

Financial close: March 2019

In February 2019, Equitix formed a consortium with SMBC Leasing and Finance, Inc. to acquire 100% of the equity interests in the Elizabeth Line, formerly known as Crossrail.

The construction of the Elizabeth Line is one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects, delivering a new high-frequency, high-capacity railway service for London and the South East. The line is set to run from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through 42km of new tunnels under London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. When fully operational, the Elizabeth Line will serve more than 200 million passengers annually.

London Rail, together with Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd, has contracted for both the manufacture and maintenance of the new fleet via a 32-year Rolling Stock and Depot Services Provision Agreement intended to provide long-term asset protection. TfL will continue to manage the maintenance contract.

With a credit rating of AA-, TfL will fully guarantee all payments under the 20-year lease. Rental payments commence on a fixed date regardless of any delay to delivery or receipt of trains.

At the time of acquisition, 57 rolling stock units had already been built. The first train entered passenger service on the TfL Rail network between Liverpool Street and Shenfield in June 2017 as a seven-car unit. The fleet of 70 trains is being introduced gradually with full fleet deployment expected by Q4 2020.

The Greater London Authority is providing a grant of up to £1.4 billion to TfL to complete the remaining construction work.

Watch footage of the new trains at the Old Oak Common depot in North London here