Railcolor Analysis: The ELL lease locomotive fleet

European Locomotive Leasing (ELL) is a full‐service locomotive leasing company, offering solutions to freight and passenger operators throughout Continental Europe. ELL is based in Austria and supported by KKR, a leading global investment firm that provides long-term capital from its global infrastructure fund. The company entered the market for electric locomotive leasing in 2014. 

ELL is a young company, based in Austria, and has only one type of locomotive in its fleet; The Siemens Vectron (November 2017). In total now 108 machines have been ordered officially. The Vectron is a modular platform and ELL has both the Vectron AC (for AC voltage systems only) and Vectron MS (multi systems for both AC and DC systems) in its fleet. The exact configuration of each locomotive depends on market developments/forecasts and/or customer specific contracts. All locomotives have built‐in European Train Control System (ETCS), have a maximum output rating of 6400 kW and are built with a top speed of 160 km/h. It is already wired to accommodate other train control systems.

ELL 193 208, the only machine in full ELL livery – Photo: Siemens

ELL decided to enter the locomotive leasing sector in Europe because it “benefits from highly attractive market dynamics (..). These include rail traffic liberalization and promotion across the continent, the growing prominence of private rail operators more likely to favor leasing rather than owning locomotives, and an improving macroeconomic outlook.”

ELL cooperates with maintenance and repair workshops throughout Europe and offers a large inventory of Siemens Vectron spare parts.

Fleet age

At this moment the ELL fleet is not complete yet. 108 locomotives have been officially ordered, we have documented 98 different locomotives until 23.11.2017. Their designations:

  • 193 201-277, 279-286, 289-298, 721, 831, 832 (all taken into account in this fleet analysis)
  • not taken into account: 193 821 and 822, being hired from Siemens

The Vectron AC and Vectron MS locomotives are documented separately. The average age of the ELL fleet is 1,4 years (!):

You may like this one too:  [AT] Stern & Hafferl buys Siemens Vectron diesel locomotive no. 247 905 [updated]

One sees the market for AC electrics in Germany and Austria is quite saturated. This year only three new AC machines were added to fleet. The number of multi system electrics has been growing steadily. Note that the specific contracts with the Czech railways (10 locomotives in 2017) and PPD Transport (7 locomotives in 2016-2017) have their effect. ELL did not fetch the ZSSK contract, the operator tendered for another ten multi system electrics last year.

The electrics for AC voltage systems (53x)

The ELL fleet of Vectron locomotives for AC voltage systems only, has one base type operated in Germany, Austria and Hungary predominantly. There are some exceptions, but generally these machine are used for freight services connecting freight hubs/harbours in Germany to various destinations in Central Europe and vv.

The designated 193 253, 254 and 255 are ‘outliers’ in this analysis, are they are used for customer specific contract in Sweden, where they haul passenger trains.

Locomotive specific designations:

  • 2x AC DE-AT: 193 250-251
  • 3x AC DE-AT-HU: 193 247-249-252
  • 45x AC DE-AT-HU-RO: 193 201-202-203-204-208-209-210-211-212-213-217-218-219-223-224-225-228-229-230-231-233-234-235-236-237-238-240-241-242-243-244-245-246-248-264-265-266-267-274-275-277-284-721-831-832
  • 3x AC SE-NO (for Transdev Sverige): 193 253-254-255

The multi system electrics (45x)

The infographic below shows it clearly; the ELL multi system fleet is a heavy weight in the Central European market. The 4 locomotives with the DE-AT-PL-CZ-SK-HU-RO-NL configuration were the first ever of the Vectron type to be commercially used in the Netherlands. Currently the fleet is DE-AT-CH-IT-NL (Transalp) locomotives is growing opening new markets and corridors to ELL.

Locomotive specific designations:

  • 25x MS DE-AT-PL-CZ-SK-HU-RO: 193 205-206-207-214-215-216-220-221-222-226-227-239-270-272-276-289-290-291-292-293-294-295-296-297-298
  • 4x MS DE-AT-PL-CZ-SK-HU-RO-NL: 193 232-261-262-263
  • 7x MS DE-AT-PL-CZ-SK-HU-RO-HR-SI: 193 268-269-271-273-279-285-286
  • 9x MS DE-AT-CH-IT-NL: 193 256-257-258-259-260-280-281-282-283

Note: 193 214 has no PL in its UIC raster, a mistake most likely.

The ELL customers

When one takes a close look at ELL customer pool, two things can be concluded. Firstly, ELL has been able to attract customers new to the market of new modern lease locomotives. Secondly, certainly at the beginning there was a strong focus on Germany AND the Central European market, as ELL was serving many operators from Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

You may like this one too:  [EU] From East Coast to West Coast: ELL and LTE celebrate interoperability with 193 232

An overview of the most important customers:

  • Germany: OHE Cargo, VTG Rail (Retrack), RTB Cargo, TX Logistik
  • Austria: LTE, SETG, ecco-rail, WLC
  • Hungary: MMV, GySEV (mixed services)
  • Czech Republic: LokoTrain, RegioJet (passenger services), ČD (passenger services)
  • Croatia: PPD Transport
  • Switzerland: SBB Cargo International
  • Sweden: Transdev Sverige (passenger services)

For PPD Transport, specifically the DE-AT-PL-CZ-SK-HU-RO-SI-HR locomotives were built. The Transdev Sverige contract required 3 special units only equipped for Sweden and Norway. For the ČD contract (10 locomotives), the number of locomotives on order was increased from 100 to 108 in June 2017. SBB Cargo was the first to use the (for ELL) new DE-AT-CH-IT-NL version.

Remarkable is relative large number of locomotives used for passenger services only. ČD, RegioJet and Transdev hired to machines exclusively for passenger services. The GySEV and Lokotrain locomotives have also been used for passenger trains (other than charter trains).

ELL’s main characteristics:

  • Very young company, active since 2014
  • ELL entered the market very fast
  • Full service lease company
  • Homogenous fleet, one type, one manufacturer
  • Strong presence in Central European market

The complete fleet list of ELL Vectron locomotives is available on Railcolor.net for further orientation.

For the fans: the colours of the ELL fleet

We would not be ‘Railcolor’ if we would not analyse the liveries of the ELL fleet too. When ELL announced its first locomotive order, it released a design in a distinctive color combination with white, bright green and dark blue. The arrow shape is the main design element and used in both the logo and the livery. There is only one locomotive (193 208) in a ‘full ELL design’ meaning it has green arrows on both sides and large ELL logos. For all other machines that have the ELL livery, the large white space on both sides of the locomotive remained white, so operators can apply their own design/logo on the locomotive.

You may like this one too:  [SE] Hector Rail is investing in new Siemens locomotives: and this is the first one

In principle, Siemens delivers all ELL locomotives in the standard ELL design with a large white space on both sides. But, of course, exceptions are made. Several machines to be operated by freight operator SETG were delivered in a plain white standard livery (193 204, 240, 247 and 831) as they received a full wrapping in a SETG specific design. Recently also 193 289-298 were delivered by Siemens in white to ELL as these will be used by the Czech railways for the Eurocity passenger services connecting Prague with Berlin and Hamburg and will get a ČD designed wrapping.

Other locomotives got a full customer specific design from factory, such as the 193 253-255 for Transdev Sverige and the machines hired to RegioJet. Other operators restricted their creativity to the available white space on the sides.

And there is something else. In early-2016 we noticed that the dark blue color tone on the ELL machines can vary. To be more precise, there are two different blue colors. Some machines seem to have a very dark, anthracite colored base color, were others appear to be more blueish. A possible explanation is: paint vs. wrap. The locomotives with a more blueish colour have a painted ELL livery, were the machines with a anthracite base color have stickers over a white base coating.

ELL > TX Logistik 193 274 for the first time in Hungary – with a freight train to bound to Budapest at Budaörs on 08.10.2017 – Photo: Gergő Dávid Kalmár