TfL silent on true cost of Crossrail trains sale


Transport for London (TfL) has sold its Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) trains in a lease-back arrangement to help raise £1bn capital to pay for new Piccadilly line trains, the first of which will appear in London from 2023.

The transport operator has refused to say how much more the 20-year deal will cost over the long-term but stated it will still be responsible for paying for the operation and maintenance of the new fleet despite not owning it.


TfL completed the sale and leaseback deal for the new Class 345 'Elizabeth line' trains with 345 Rail Leasing - a consortium comprising Equitix Investment Management Ltd, NatWest and SMBC Leasing.

The deal was approved by TfL's Finance Committee in December.

The arrangement also secures TfL savings across its current five-year Business Plan, 'as the cost of the lease will be less than that assumed in that plan' - and includes an option for TfL to purchase the fleet back at the end of the initial lease term.

A TfL spokesperson said: 'As with all leaseback contracts entered into by TfL, all other financial details are commercially sensitive.'

At the time of writing, Transport Network was awaiting a response on the annual payments under the deal. 

The new Class 345 trains have been specifically designed to serve the Elizabeth line when it launches.

They are being built at Bombardier Transportation's UK site, helping to support 760 UK jobs and 80 apprenticeships in Derby.

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