Angel Trains in HST lease-back deal with Grand Central

Angel Trains, the UK’s leading rolling stock company, has bought 21 High Speed Train (HST) vehicles from Sovereign Trains Limited, the sister company of open access operator Grand Central Railway.

The vehicles have been leased back to Grand Central, for whom they have been in use since the operator began services on the East Coast Mainline (ECML) in 2007. The lease will run until December 2016.

Angel Trains will invest in a substantial programme of engineering works, starting this June, in order to significantly improve performance and reliability of the HSTs for Grand Central. This will include the installation of new MTU engines in the power cars, and various reliability and interior modifications across all passenger vehicles.

The engineering works will be carried out for Angel Trains by Brush Traction at its sites in Loughborough and Kilmarnock.

The HST leasing deal strengthens the partnership between Angel Trains and Grand Central, which includes 25 Class 180 vehicles.

Malcolm Brown, chief executive of Angel Trains, said: “Since 2006 we have invested £110m in our HST fleet, and with the future of the InterCity Express programme in doubt the HSTs and Class 180s may remain the backbone of ECML services for years to come.”

Giles Fearnley, chairman of Grand Central, said: “Today’s announcement builds on Grand Central’s existing highly successful relationship with Angel Trains, from whom we already lease five Class 180 diesel multiple units.

“The sale and leaseback of our HST fleet to Angel Trains will allow us to fast-track the refurbishment and re-engineering of these vehicles. The new engines and associated works will deliver better reliability and greater fuel economy, whilst at the same time reducing noise, vibration and emissions. Not only will this benefit the growing number of passengers who travel with Grand Central, it will also have a positive impact on the environment.

“We are also pleased that the refurbishment work has been awarded to Brush, who have considerable experience of re-engineering High Speed Trains.”


Notes to Editors

Angel Trains

Angel Trains owns and maintains more than 4,400 passenger and freight rail vehicles in the UK, about 37% of the nation’s rolling stock. Its customers include 18 of the 19 train operating companies (TOCs). Since 1996 it has invested £3 billion in new trains and the refurbishment of existing trains, and is one of the largest private investors in UK rail.

Grand Central Railway

Grand Central runs high speed express trains between Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk, York and London King’s Cross. From May 2010 Grand Central will introduce a new West Riding service, providing three return services a day between Bradford Interchange, Halifax, Brighouse, Wakefield Kirkgate, Pontefract Monkhill, Doncaster and London King’s Cross.

Brush Traction Group

Brush Traction offers a wide range of products and services for the rail industry, from design and manufacture to engineering and maintenance, with particular expertise in revitalising and improving older assets.