German rolling stock manufacturer Siemens Mobility has founded a leasing subsidiary to allow for short notice and flexible use of its Mireo Smart trains in Europe. 

The Smart Train Lease (STL) subsidiary will offer the battery, hydrogen and electric versions of the multiple-unit trains for rental at short notice, with the service initially beginning in Germany ahead of a planned expansion through Europe “in the medium term”. 

We want to make renting trains as simple as renting a car

Long-time Siemens executive Benjamin Dobernecker, who was previously director for business development and project management in North America, has been appointed CEO of the new company. 

He said: “We want to make renting trains as easy and simple as renting a car, and thus help accelerate the mobility transition. This service will further enhance the attractiveness of rail transport for passengers and enable our customers to react quickly to fluctuating demand.” 

While STL is far from the only rolling stock leasing company in Europe, Siemens said it hopes the company will be able to fill a gap in the rail industry by allowing short and medium-term rentals of multiple-unit regional trains to cater for companies wishing to expand their fleets without making long-term investment commitments. 

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STL’s trains will be preconfigured and already approved for operation, with the company’s leasing offer also being accompanied by other services such as maintenance. 

Albrecht Neumann, CEO of rolling stock at Siemens Mobility, said: “The mobility transition has led to an extremely dynamic market for regional trains. Rail operators today are looking for more flexible and quickly available offers as new technologies further increase sustainability in rail transport. 

“By founding Smart Train Lease, we’ve created an innovative rental model for highly standardized regional trains.” 

The Mireo Smart was first launched by the company in 2020, with the electric version of the train rolling out at the end of 2023, and has a top speed of 160 km/h.