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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Rail<br />


Global Rail

The rail industry is prepared to make sizeable investments in the coming years to meet the needs of the 21st century.

The global rail industry has not been immune to recent challenges, such as the crisis in the financial markets, the slowdown in the manufacturing sector across many industries, and shifts in global trade. In this environment, meeting increasing demand for freight and passenger transportation poses a series of challenges.

With an anticipated US$300 billion being invested globally to upgrade, expand and initiate railway networks, the rail industry needs to solve substantial business issues, such as capacity and congestion, operational efficiency and reliability, structural and competition issues, and safety and security.

Clifford Chance's Rail Industry Group works with its clients locally and internationally to help them address these issues, drawing on industry knowledge gained from our regular involvement in some of the most important, innovative and complex projects in this sector.

How can we help you?

Offering clients the benefit of a highly experienced Rail Industry Group

Clifford Chance's dedicated, cross-practice Rail Industry Group – part of our global Transport & Logistics Group – comprises a team of experts in the field who have worked extensively in the rail industry in the UK and internationally and offer clients an in-depth knowledge of the rail sector and projects market.

Working together with you on your priorities

We advise on both heavy and light domestic and international projects and act for governments/public sector entities, infrastructure operators, passenger rail operators, project sponsors, banks and financial institutions, leasing companies and equipment manufacturers.

Members of our Rail Industry Group have worked on a number of significant rail-related projects, including the British Rail privatisation and the majority of major UK rolling stock new-build projects since then.

Private finance and the public sector

Clifford Chance holds deep experience in PFI/PPP projects that invariably need strong legal counsel to achieve workable structures to meet the needs of all concerned. Our lawyers advise on domestic and international transactions, providing legal services to project sponsors, financial institutions and advisers, consortia, independent contractors and governmental bodies.

Recent client highlights

  • Advised the banking consortium on a EUR 180 million refinancing by Touax Rail Limited combining a 5-year multicurrency green loan of EUR 120 million and a 3-year multicurrency revolving credit facility (with a 2-year term loan conversion option) of EUR 60 million.
  • Advised Hitachi on its agreement to acquire Thales' Ground Transportation Systems business.  Hitachi, Ltd. through Hitachi Rail ("Hitachi") has entered into exclusive negotiations with Thales with a view to acquire its Ground Transportation Systems business ("GTS") for an enterprise value of EUR 1,660 m.
  • Advised the prospective lending group to a consortium bidding for participation in the Tel Aviv Light Rail PPP in Israel.


  • Advised the Rock Rail and Abrdn consortium on the EUR 450 million financing of new Alstom rolling stock, to be leased to DB Regio and deployed on the Main-Weser rail network in Germany. The financing was provided by MEAG through 30-year fixed-rate loan notes, supported by an assignment of concession payments from the German local public transport authorities overseeing the Main-Weser network. The deal is the consortium's first European deal as part of a large strategic move into the European rolling stock market (having previously successfully closed a number of UK rolling stock transactions) and is documented under both German- and English-law.


  • Advised Lenders in relation to the procurement, leasing and financing of rolling stock in an aggregate amount of £1 billion from the rail manufacturers Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) and the Stadler Rail Group for the Wales & Borders rail franchise.
  • Advised the funders in connection with the £1 billion financing of the sale and leaseback of the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) trains to 345 Rail Leasing Limited – a consortium comprising Equitix Investment Management Ltd, NatWest and SMBC Leasing (UK) Limited.
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