Posts by: Nancy Hodges

SMBC Leasing

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Angel Trains is pleased to announce that it has acquired a 50% share in SMBC Leasing’s UK rail rolling stock portfolio. The portfolio is a diversified fleet of modern rolling stock, serving rural and urban areas throughout the UK. The assets are on long-term lease arrangements with highly rated counterparties.

Angel Trains supports next generation of scientists in changing the future of rail travel

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Angel Trains, the UK’s largest rolling stock company, has partnered with the University of St Andrews to support an innovative hydrogen train project, which could change the future of rail travel as we know it. 

On Friday 29th September, an event was held to mark the donation of a hydrogen electrolyser to the university by Angel Trains. This will form an integral part of ongoing, cutting-edge green hydrogen research.

During the event, guests toured the Eden Campus and listened to how the electrolyser will contribute to the University’s plans to develop a Green Hydrogen Accelerator – a purpose-built innovation centre for research and development.

The donation of the hydrogen electrolyser follows the support that Angel Trains provided to the University of St Andrews, and other industry partners, in delivering Scotland’s first zero-emission hydrogen-powered train. The project entailed the conversion of a three-car Class 314 train to a hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain. The electrolyser was key to enabling the trial to successfully demonstrate how a green-energy fuel cycle would work, which is a major step in getting hydrogen-powered trains off the ground.

The Zero Emissions project also marked a significant step forward for the industry in laying the foundations for the future of rail travel, creating cleaner transport, and supporting the drive to achieve net zero targets by 2045.

Malcolm Brown, CEO of Angel Trains, said: “We continue to invest heavily in green hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and innovation, to help drive down operational costs and to make trains the cleanest and greenest mode of long-distance travel.

“The electrolyser offers the university a huge amount of learning for its students, which has real-world benefits, as well as giving them hands-on experience with sustainable travel solutions. We look forward to seeing the further benefits the electrolyser will bring to accelerate the decarbonisation of the rail industry.”

Professor John Irvine from the School of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews added: “It’s wonderful to get the chance to thank Angel Trains for their generous contribution and celebrate the continued research this has allowed us to carry out. 

“To ramp-up the deployment of zero emission technologies, it is imperative that we collaborate with commercial organisations who are making decisions about long-term assets. I’d like to commend Angel Trains for actively engaging with us in our efforts towards achieving a more sustainable rail sector”.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony concluded the event, with industry professionals and government officials hearing speeches from Malcolm Brown, Dr Paul Webb and Professor John Irvine on a greener future and how the electrolyser would be used for future research at the university.

World-Class Workplace

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Angel Trains has been named a World-Class Workplace for 2023 by Effectory. Not only that, but we have also won two awards for “Best in UK” and “Best in Industry: B2B Supplier”.

Effectory, being the survey gurus they are, talked to over a million employees at over a thousand companies around the globe to identify which organisations score above the national benchmark for Employership. They look at things like employee engagement, commitment, and how well a business supports its employees in reaching their full potential.

This recognition means a lot to us as we strive to create an environment where our people feel valued and supported in everything they do.

RISE Partnership Award

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All aboard the victory train! Angel Trains, Transmission Dynamics, West Midlands Trains, Network Rail, and Siemens – have just emerged as winners at the Railway Industry Supply Excellence (RISE) Awards.

The winning partnership was announced at the RISE Awards at Railway Industry Association’s Annual Dinner held on the 29th June. This award recognises teamwork, collaboration and innovation.

Let’s talk about what makes our collaboration so special. Working together, we have delivered Transmission Dynamics’s “Trains with Brains” project. The combined use of the PANDAS V hardware and the added sensors on the bogie and underframe generate valuable insight into both the track and train’s health and performance, leading to reduced downtime and maintenance costs.

We are very proud of our amazing partners for their accomplishments and we hope this collaboration will lead to many great things for the rail industry.

Pendolino Mid-Life Upgrade Wins Major Project Award

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The Railway Innovation Awards recognise the very best innovations, companies and people within the rail industry in the UK. We’re extremely proud to have taken home the ‘major project’ winning trophy for the Pendolino mid-life upgrade with our friends at Avanti West Coast and Alstom.

This win highlighted the sustainable approach that was taken in upgrading the UK’s hardest-working train to give passengers reliable, comfortable, state-of-the-art travel.

The Railway Innovation Awards judges commented: “The Pendolino refurbishment is enhancing one of the UK’s flagship train fleets, and while many of the features are what the modern passenger expects, it brings several innovations to the interior as well as the way the project has been delivered collaboratively at a challenging time for the supply chain.”

Malcolm Brown, CEO of Angel Trains, said: “Our iconic Pendolino trains have been refurbished to provide a comfortable, connected, best in class passenger experience at a lower cost and carbon footprint than building new. Working together with Avanti West Coast and Alstom, this project has supported UK suppliers and skilled jobs the length of the West Coast Mainline. This award is testimony to the exceptional contribution from all involved.”

Readypower Group Acquires Force One Ltd

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Last week, Readypower Group announced the acquisition of Force One Ltd – a market leader in suction excavation services for the rail industry.

The move follows the recent acquisition of Readypower by Angel Trains in February 2022, which enhances our house service provision capabilities. 

Malcolm Brown, CEO of Angel Trains and Chairman of Readypower said, “This is an exciting new chapter for Readypower, and meets the growing demand for excavations involving buried infrastructure.”

Russell Jack, CEO of Readypower Group, said, “In line with the company’s clear objective of acquiring high-quality asset-led infrastructure services businesses, I am delighted to announce the acquisition of Force One. It is a business that we have greatly admired over the last few years.”

Declan Burke, Managing Director of Force One said, “We are all delighted to be joining the Readypower Group and look forward to working with them, along with Angel Trains, to drive forward the Readypower Force One suction excavation business to new and greater heights.”

Angel Trains Celebrates ‘Innovation of the Year’ Award

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It’s official! Our work to revolutionise overhead line monitoring has been awarded ‘Innovation of the Year’ by Rail Business Awards.

This award is a testament to the power of collaboration, and we’re proud to have worked with Transmission Dynamics, Network Rail, DB ESG and One Big Circle to make this happen.

Malcolm Brown, CEO of Angel Trains said “I’m extremely proud of what the team has achieved. This is innovation with a purpose and a solution that will deliver improved reliability and reduced costs for the rail system as a whole. It’s a great example of what cross-industry collaboration and private investment in innovation can deliver.”

Judges said “while the technology is novel, the most impressive innovation was the way the team had been brought together to play to their strengths.” And we couldn’t agree more!

We hope this recognition will inspire others in the industry to join forces and create innovative solutions for generations to come.