Rail finance

Ranked amongst the top firms by leading legal directories for rail finance, our award-winning team has a well-established reputation for excellence. We have extensive international experience in all areas of rail finance, including regularly advising financiers on new markets, new fleets of rolling stock and portfolio transfers as well as infrastructure investment.

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Our award-winning team is led by partners who all have deep industry knowledge and expertise across a range of jurisdictions.

We advise on both single-jurisdiction and cross-border financings including complex loan financing transactions, leasing transactions, and portfolio transactions. We are acknowledged market leaders for advice on the development of new and innovative financing structures for the global rail sector and are the "go to" counsel for an impressive group of leading clients.

We regularly host top table dinners, conferences, seminars and forums which facilitate discussion within the industry and regularly contribute to industry press.

Our team works with a network of international counsel who are experts in the rail sector to deliver specialist advice around the world.

Twitter: @legalrail

"Stephenson Harwood shows a hands-on approach across all complex matters. The firm knows what the client wants and needs, and at the same time it is also aware of market practice."

Chambers UK 2024

Rock Rail Limited

Advising new entrant into the rolling stock market on new rolling stock financing including the East Anglia, Moorgate, Northern and TPE rolling stock procurements.

Vivarail – Island Line Rolling Stock

Advising Lombard North Central, part of the RBS Banking Group, in relation to the manufacture and supply by Vivarail to South Western Railway of five class 484 two-car electric multiple units, which will be manufactured by Vivarail using bodyshells and bogies from former London Underground District Line cars. SWR is responsible for the infrastructure and issues relating to testing and transportation of the rolling stock meant that this matter was, in some areas, unique.


Advising CAF on the Caledonian Sleeper rolling stock financing arrangements.

Corelink Rail Infrastructure Limited

Advising Corelink Rail Infrastructure, a new entrant to the rail finance market, on the financing of 100+ new trains from Bombardier Transportation and CAF for the West Midlands rail franchise.


Advising the financiers on the new rolling stock for London Overground.  Advising CAF on its bid to supply a new fleet of trains to TfL for that concession.

Rolling stock financing

Advising on the financing of rolling stock transactions in the UK including East Anglia, Moorgate, Northern, Southern, TPE and West of England.

Norwich Crown Point

Advising on the debt financing for the substantial upgrades of the light maintenance rail depot at Norwich Crown Point. These upgrades were part of the Transport UK Group (formerly Abellio) East Anglia franchise bid and were necessary to accommodate their upgraded fleet.


Advising Lloyds Bank and RBS on the sale of the Voyager passenger train fleet of 352 vehicles to Beacon Rail, a division of JP Morgan, following an auction process.


Tammy Samuel Partner and co head of rail

T:  +44 20 7809 2227
M:  +44 7766 991 053 Email Tammy | Vcard Office:  London


Suzanne Tarplee Partner and co head of rail

T:  +44 20 7809 2389
M:  +44 7718 247 220 Email Suzanne | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

17 Jul 2023

From Insights

Putting the “AI” in rail: How will AI impact the rail industry and its employers?

The transformative power of artificial intelligence (“AI”) has been hitting the headlines recently.


07 Jul 2023

From Insights

Delivering strategic projects in the rail industry: Digital signalling – a case study in how the industry should work?

How do we deliver strategic projects in the rail industry and can digital signalling provide a case study in how the industry should work? That was the question posed ..


20 Jun 2023

From Insights

Signalling the way forward: What the Hitachi and Thales provisional merger decision could mean to the rail industry in the UK

In August 2021, Hitachi Rail, Ltd ("Hitachi") announced it had agreed to acquire Thales SA's Ground Transportation Systems Business ("Thales" and together with Hitachi..


16 Feb 2023

From Insights

All aboard for local bus services: Bus franchising vs enhanced partnerships

In this article, the Stephenson Harwood rail and bus team explores the key characteristics of both franchising and EPs, as well as some of the potential benefits – and..


14 Feb 2023

From Insights

Waterloo sunset

Few will suggest the post-Brexit world is quite the paradise envisaged by the song. But there are opportunities following the United Kingdom's departure from the Europ..


05 Nov 2021

From Insights

What role can rail play in achieving COP26's objectives?

Unlike shipping and aviation, rail transport is probably one of the simplest ways of delivering a lower carbon economy.


01 Apr 2020

From Insights

COVID-19: Force majeure in the rail industry

As the impact of COVID-19 builds every day, supply chains are being significantly disrupted and businesses' rights and obligations under contracts are coming into shar..


06 Feb 2020

From Insights

Brexit snapshot - Brexit and finance transactions

In this article, we set out an overview of the status of Brexit in relation to issues in finance transactions. We look at the position where there is a deal between th..


05 Dec 2019

From Insights

Rail: a round-up of 2019 and looking forward to 2020

With the end of 2019 rapidly approaching rail partners Tammy Samuel, Suzanne Tarplee and Darren Fodey offer their thoughts on rail in 2019 and look forward to what are..


17 Oct 2019

From Insights

What impact would a no-deal Brexit have on rail finance?

Lisa Marks and Darren Fodey assess the implications that a no-deal Brexit scenario would have on the rail finance market.


21 Aug 2019

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises Abellio on £3.3 billion franchise

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has advised long-standing client Abellio on the mobilisation of its new East Midlands franchise for the Department for Transport (DfT),..


07 May 2019

From Insights

Funds for investment

In a recent Rail article, senior associate Richard Hughes discusses the use of private finance to deliver railway infrastructure, and the common themes that are emergi..


08 Apr 2019

From Insights

Settling the score

Writing for Rail Professional, Paul Thwaite and James Hammond consider the issues that arise when a bidder for a public contract wants to challenge the scores awarded ..


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.