[passenger] Siemens launches Smart Train Lease – Flexible leasing for regional trains


Siemens Mobility has founded Smart Train Lease to enable customers to supplement their fleets flexibly with rented state-of-the-art battery, hydrogen, and electric multiple-unit trains. It offers the recently presented Mireo Smart at short notice.

Smart Train Lease wants to offer an economical alternative for quickly and flexibly expanding fleets by providing preconfigured trains and additional services such as maintenance and making “renting trains as easy and simple as renting a car”. It also enables customers to test new rail technologies. Smart Train Lease will be active in Germany but plans to expand its services throughout Europe in the medium term.

Mireo Smart artist’s impression February 2024 © Siemens Mobility

Smart Train Lease – why now?

According to Siemens, several market trends created this new business opportunity:

  • The technological shift from diesel to alternative technologies such as batteries and hydrogen;
  • Growing ridership boosted by Germany’s 49-euro monthly regional ticket and its simplification of rail travel;
  • Private rail companies that want to enter the market without long-term investment commitments.

In the rail sector, long-term rental contracts are the norm, with terms of more than twelve years and including subsequent use or residual value guarantees. Until now, there were no offers for short- and medium-term rentals of modern/new regional trains or small fleets.

The product: Mireo Smart

Approved Mireo Smart trains are available immediately as FCEMU, B(E)MU, and EMU. These have a top speed of 160 km/h, feature Wi-Fi and ETCS+PZB, have 214 seats, and space for 21 bicycles and two wheelchairs, plus PRM toilets.

Mireo Smart EMU 3464 002 in Krefeld in November 2023 © Siemens

Smart Train Lease offers standard contracts with various service options that best fit the operator’s rail infrastructure and experience of its workshops. It will provide centralized fleet maintenance management, and maintenance work can be carried out by existing staff at any time without extensive training. Smart Train Lease provides direct on-site support for all other activities. The entire train, including its maintenance, is rented as a complete package.

Railcolor: With these trains, Siemens will compete with Germany’s private operators, renting out older rolling stock to public and private regional operators such as TRI and WFL. A fourth trend that we see as to why such trains are needed is the challenges that come with the introduction of new (types of) trains (with or without the change of operator) in many public transport contracts. This is either caused by introducing new trains that have not proven themselves yet in everyday revenue-earning services (mainly hydrogen and battery trains) or because the manufacturer can not deliver the trains on time.

Words like ‘replacement fleets’ or ‘backup fleets’ are relatively new in our dictionary. Examples are the Taunusnetz, where hydrogen trains are too unreliable or the NAH.SH battery train backup fleet. Landesanstalt Schienenfahrzeuge Baden-Württemberg (SFBW) took the concept further and ordered its own ‘redundancy fleet’.

Oh, and we have some ideas for the future – what do you think of a ‘Viaggio Smart’ and ‘Velaro Smart’?

Mireo Smart artist’s impression February 2024 © Siemens Mobility