[EU] Consolidation in locomotive leasing: Beacon Rail buys MRCE


Breaking: On 07.08.2023, Beacon Rail Metro Finance B.V. (“Beacon Rail”) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mitsui Rail Capital Europe B.V. (“MRCE”) from Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (“Mitsui”). The transaction is expected to complete before the end of March 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.

About Beacon Rail

Beacon Rail (together with its affiliates) is headquartered in Luxembourg and focused on serving the UK and European markets. Beacon Rail’s current portfolio includes 507 locomotives, 1,200 freight wagons, and 572 passenger train vehicles and intercity coaches on lease across 18 countries.

About MRCE

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in the Netherlands, MRCE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui. The company has a fleet of 222 electric locomotives. MRCE offers a full-service offering delivered through a network of third-party workshops, which include maintenance, training and logistical support services.

Railcolor comment: Beacon Rail has a relatively small fleet of electric lease locomotives in Europe, including many smaller task-specific fleets acquired through sale and lease-back deals or by financing business cases for specific operators (Class 88, Bitrac, Hector Rail Vectron, RP 207E for example). Beacon Rail is a very relevant player in the market for diesel locomotives.

With the MRCE fleet of Siemens electrics, Beacon Rail will become a key player in the market for interoperable lease-locomotives. Almost all Beacon electrics are single-system (AC or DC electric) which combines nicely with the MRCE fleet with a more significant number of multi-system locomotives (Vectron and ES64F4).

It will not be the first time MRCE locomotives make a transfer to Beacon Rail. In 2022, Beacon Rail already acquired several TRAXX machines from MRCE (TRAXX AC1, AC2, MS2). The 222 locomotives of MRCE included in this deal are TRAXX AC3, ES64U2, ES64F4 and Vectron locomotives.

Beacon Rail 186 567 in Kassel on 23.01.2023 © Christian Klotz