• Abellio UK was recently awarded the new East Midlands rail franchise, (commencing on 18 August 2019) by the Department for Transport (DfT), on an eight-year basis with the option to extend a further two years at the DfT’s discretion
  • As part of the franchise, Rock Rail East Midlands was selected to procure a new fleet of 33 five-car bi-mode multiple unit trains which will upgrade the rolling stock on the mainline services between London and regional cities such as Nottingham, Leicester, and Sheffield
  • The new state-of-the-art Hitachi AT300 trains, which will be built for the needs and specifications of the East Midlands rail network, are fully bi-mode, having the ability to operate at their top speed in both diesel and electric fuel mode. The fleet will begin operations in 2022


  • DC Advisory (DC) was mandated to provide debt advice to Rock Rail and supported Rock Rail throughout the process
  • DC engaged with funders during Rock Rail's initial bid to support Abellio UK in their bid for the franchise concession
  • DC ran a focused process, covering a number of detailed workstreams working with a group of four institutional funders to achieve an optimal long-dated financing outcome, as well as leading the overall execution protocol


  • The debt package was highly attractive and executed on very competitive terms
  • The senior financing was signed with a group of four institutional investors containing Aberdeen Standard Investments, Aviva Investors (on behalf of Aviva Life & Pensions UK), Scottish Widows, and Sun Life Investments