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New passenger coach leasing company set up in Europe

4 July 2023
Reading time ~ 2 min
Rendering of an advanced passenger car of Ace4Rail
Rendering of an advanced passenger coach of Ace4Rail. Source: Ace4Rail
Belov Sergey, Editor-in-Chief, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 2 min
Savenkova Ekaterina, Editorial Contributor to International Projects of ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Stolchnev Alexey, Russian Projects Editor, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Switzerland: Set up in 2022 in Basel-Stadt, Ace4Rail has already started operations. According to its website, the company plans to lease the first train for commercial operation in 2028, and the talks are underway. Its founder Axel Kiese revealed some details of the project in his recent interview with Railcolor News.

As a reason to set up Ace4Rail, Kiese cites the revival of night travelling in Europe and the energetic efforts the European rail agency ERA makes to harmonise standards and simplify the law regulating the operation of passenger coaches. The demand for night travelling grew as the current goals to reduce harmful transport emissions emerged. So, passengers stop travelling by air and road transport and switch to trains. The most significant project in the segment is Nightjet by OBB. Now, the Austrian operator expects 231 long-distance Viaggio coaches of the new generation by Siemens Mobility to arrange 33 trainsets.

According to Axel Kiese, to stand out from the competition, Ace4Rail will provide the rolling stock for platforms heights of 550 and 760 mm that are most common in Europe, so coaches will have doors at different levels. The company will also offer maintenance and insurance services.

Ace4Rail will purchase rolling stock through tenders. The plans provide for RIC passenger coaches, including push-pull ones for certain countries. Coaches will be designed for operation on electrified and non-electrified 1,435 mm lines and comply with the requirements of the European PRM TSI. Each train is expected to carry up to 1,300 passengers at a maximum speed of 230 km/h. A trainset length will vary from 50 to 400 m, and at least one coach should be adapted for disabled passengers.

The company does not set any requirements for interiors, and an operator can specify them. However, basic interior options will be available in three classes: first, economy, and budget.