Leasing company Angel Trains, working with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, has won the contract to finance the new fleet of Bombardier Aventra trains for Abellio’s new East Anglia franchise.

The deal, worth around £900 million, is to finance the supply of 665 Aventra carriages, making up 22 10-car and 89 five-car trains. All will be built at Derby’s Litchurch Lane factory, giving work to some 1,600 people.

Since privatisation, Angel Trains has invested over £4.7 billion in new rolling stock and refurbishment programmes in the UK.

The company has a wealth of asset management experience in the rail industry and has an ongoing commitment to further investment to increase capacity, to enhance the service passengers experience through new and improved rolling stock, and to provide long-term employment in the UK.

Abellio UK managing director Dominic Booth said: “We are pleased to have finalised the agreement with our financier Angel Trains that is part of the largest-ever privately-procured train order in the UK.

“It will give the people of East Anglia high-quality trains as part of an ambitious transformation of the region’s railway.

“We look forward to working with Angel to deliver the 665 air conditioned Bombardier Aventra train carriages that will greatly improve the journey experience of millions of passengers.”

In return, Angel Trains chief executive Malcolm Brown commented: “We are delighted that, through the supply of 665 new Bombardier Aventra vehicles, Angel Trains will be contributing to an improved service and experience for passengers in the region.

“This project, one of the largest private investments into rolling stock in the last 20 years, reiterates Angel Trains’ ongoing commitment to the UK rail industry.”

Report by Nigel Wordsworth


  1. The glamorous image of the future shows electrification with the elegant head spans which is no longer being employed on new schemes by Network Rail. Now rather clunky gantries and cantilever arms are being used. Or has Network Rail changed its policy? We can hope.

      • Can we not have robust AND elegant overhead? What would Brunel have thought about what is happening to GWML? He would have been enthusiastic about electrification but I think that he would be horrified by the structures now appearing on that line – as I suspect many others are as well.


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