LUXEMBOURG-based rolling stock leasing company Beacon Rail signed a share purchase and transfer agreement on August 7 with Mitsui & Co, Japan, to purchase its Amsterdam-based locomotive leasing subsidiary Mitsui Rail Capital Europe (MRCE).

The transaction is due to be completed by March 2024 but will require prior approval from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, with a request for approval request to be submitted soon. The MRCE shares have been purchased by Amsterdam-based Beacon Rail Metro Finance, a subsidiary of Beacon Rail.

MRCE provides full-service locomotive leasing, in which various services are performed through third parties for maintenance, staff training and logistical support services. One of them is the LWR locomotive workshop based at Maasvlakte in the port of Rotterdam.

MRCE currently operates a fleet of 222 Siemens electric locomotives, largely comprised of Vectron locomotives. Last year, MRCE sold its fleet of Siemens ES64 F4 multi-voltage electric locomotives to French leasing company Akiem. MRCE had earlier sold its entire diesel locomotive fleet of class 66 locomotives, Siemens ER 20 Hercules locomotives and Vossloh locomotives including the G1206 and G2000 types to Beacon Rail.

Mitsui said that while it had contributed to the sustainable growth of European freight and passenger rail over the past two decades, the sale of the locomotive leasing company was part of the group’s ongoing strategy to reorganise its business portfolio.

MRCE entered the rolling stock leasing market in 2004 and has since continued to steadily expand its fleet and business. Mitsui says it based MRCE’s headquarters in Amsterdam as the historic trade relations between the Netherlands and Japan offered the best opportunities for entering the European market. In 2006 Mitsui took over Siemens’ operational locomotive leasing subsidiary Siemens Dispolok, including the locomotive fleet. The takeover was accompanied by an order for additional Siemens locomotives. The Dispolok name was abandoned in 2013.

Beacon Rail has activities in Britain and on the European continent. It currently owns 507 locomotives, 1200 wagons and 572 coaches operating in 18 countries.