Angel Trains

Angel Trains is a British rolling stock company (ROSCO) established in April 1994 as part of the privatisation of British Rail. Together with Eversholt Rail Group and Porterbrook, it is one of the three original ROSCOs.

Angel Trains
PredecessorBritish Rail
FoundedApril 1994[1]
Area served
United Kingdom
ProductsRolling stock leasing
ParentAMP Capital Investors (55%)
PSP Investments (30%)
International Public Partnerships (5%)


Angel Trains was established in April 1994 as a subsidiary of British Rail in preparation for the privatisation of British Rail.[1] It was named Angel Trains after the London suburb in which British Rail's offices were located.[2] In November 1995 it was sold to a consortium of Nomura Holdings (85%), Babcock & Brown (10%) and former InterCity manager John Prideaux (5%).[3][4][5]

In December 1997, Angel Trains was purchased by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.[6][7][8]

The company expanded its leasing business, especially in Europe. A joint venture with Vossloh formed another leasing company Locomotion Capital in 2000. Additionally, through investment in its international branches Angel Trains Cargo (leasing freight rolling stock) and Angel Trains Europa (leasing passenger rolling stock) it became one of the largest rolling stock leasing companies in Europe - specifically in terms of freight locomotives.

In June 2008, Angel Trains was sold to a consortium of Babcock & Brown, AMP Capital, Arcus European Infrastructure Fund and Deutsche Bank.[9][10]

As part of the takeover, the international operations were split out into Angel Trains International that in January 2010, was renamed Alpha Trains.[11][12][13] In 2015 AMP Capital Investors and PSP Investments increased their shareholdings to 55% and 30% after purchasing the stock owned by Arcus European Infrastructure Fund.[14][15]

As at June 2019, Angel Trains owned 4,421 vehicles.[16]

In July 2020, Riding Sunbeams formed a consortium with train and power companies to power AC rail networks with 100 percent renewable energy,[17][18] and Angel Trains is one of them. Alex Byford, chief technology officer of Riding Sunbeams said in an article by Engineering & Technology, "Working in conjunction with Angel Trains, we have sourced an AC/DC bi-directional power electronic device, which forms part of a traction converter as is standard on an electric train powered by 25kV 50Hz overhead wires. We plan to re-use this device and a 25kV/LV transformer from a train and also re-purpose some DC-DC converters, which are common in the renewables industry – with some new software algorithms that we will develop. The main aim, however, is to prove that we can directly power both new and existing AC railways with direct-wire renewables with technology that is already at a high technology readiness level, so that we can progress with development of these sites in both the UK and abroad. Once we have completed our demonstrator project our next step will be to finalise the design and begin the product approval and safety methodology requirements for use on the operational railway."[19]

Initial fleetEdit

The fleet Angel Trains inherited from British Rail in 1994 comprised:[1]

Class Number
of carriages
First generation 137
43 115
142 190
150 146
153 30
156 124
165 180
166 63
303 144
305 75
308 63
312 180
314 48
317 288
421 332
423 264
442 120
465 200
507 96
508 93
Mark 3 coaches 416


  1. ^ a b c 25 Years of ROSCOs Rail Express issue 281 October 2019 pages 18/19
  2. ^ Why Angel Trains? Today's Railways UK issue 113 May 2005 page 25
  3. ^ ROSCOs sold for £1,699.5m Rail Privatisation News issue 18 16 November 1995 page 16
  4. ^ BR's passenger trains fleet sold-off for £1.8 billion Rail issue 266 22 November 1995 page 6
  5. ^ Nomura's Angel looks for train merger The Independent 14 September 1996
  6. ^ Ex-InterCity chief makes pounds 15m from Angel Trains sale The Independent 18 December 1997
  7. ^ RBS buys Angel Trains for £395m Rail Privatisation News issue 69 8 January 1998 page 1
  8. ^ Royal Bank Buys Angel Train Contracts Today's Railways UK issue 26 February 1998 page 8
  9. ^ Angel Trains sold to Australian-led consortium for £3.6 billion International Railway Journal July 2008 page 4
  10. ^ Babcock & Brown buys Angel Trains for £3.6bn Rail issue 595 2 July 2008 page 20
  11. ^ New names Railway Gazette International February 2010 page 20
  12. ^ 2010 brings company rebranding Today's Railways Europe issue 171 March 2010 page 7
  13. ^ Name changes for rolling stock leasing companies The Railway Magazine issue 1307 March 2010 page 8
  14. ^ AMP Capital takes majority stake in Angel Trains Railway Gazette International 19 August 2015
  15. ^ Arcus sells Angel Trains stake International Railway Journal October 2015 page 17
  16. ^ Investor report for year ended 30 June 2019 Angel Trains
  17. ^ "Green tech start-up wins funding for solar rail demonstrator". Smart Cities World. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Solar trains: Government confirms funding for low carbon rail projects, but does it go far enough". 31 January 2019. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  19. ^ Sharpe, Lorna (13 July 2020). "Rail solar projects pave the way for renewables". Retrieved 16 July 2020.

External linksEdit