Legal practices Stephenson Harwood, Osborne Clarke and Clyde & Co have advised their respective clients, the Spanish train manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), Eversholt Rail and Arriva Rail North Limited on the recently-announced €600,000,000 (c.£490,000,000) procurement of two substantial new fleets of CAF-built Civity UK rolling stock units that will serve the Northern passenger rail franchise. The deal also involves CAF providing technical support and spares supply services to the new fleets.
The delivery of new, state-of-the-art trains was a stipulated requirement of the bidding process for the Northern franchise, which has been mandated to deliver the calibre of modern transport infrastructure that is intended to befit the Chancellor’s vision for the “Northern Powerhouse”.
Over 280 vehicles, comprising both electric and diesel trains, will be manufactured by CAF and are expected to be delivered into service from late 2018. The Units will be financed and acquired by Eversholt Rail and leased to Arriva Rail North Limited, which takes over operation of the Northern franchise from the current Serco/Abellio joint venture on 1 April 2016.
The Stephenson Harwood team advising CAF was led by Rail Partner, Tammy Samuel, who also advised CAF on its recent order for 75 x Mk 5 carriages for the Caledonian Sleeper franchise with Serco (expected to be in service in 2018) and its contracts for Birmingham Trams with Centro. Tammy said: “This transaction is a major break-through for CAF in the UK passenger market, in terms of both the size and importance of the order. We are delighted to have supported them.”
Arriva was advised by Clyde & Co's Rail Partner, David Moore, who has previously advised Arriva both on the Northern Franchise and on rolling stock procurement. David commented: "This transaction is important as it will help deliver a step-change in the quality of the services offered by the Northern Franchise and we are very pleased to have been part of this."
Eversholt Rail, meanwhile, sought the services of Osborne Clarke’s Rail and Asset Finance Partner, Clive Smith, for whom the transaction represents the latest in a series of significant mandates with Eversholt Rail, including its £361,000,000 financing of Hitachi AT300 units for First Greater Western in Summer 2015.