This is the finding of the second part of a study published on January 27 by Roland Berger for the Rail Working Group, a Swiss not-for-profit organisation focussed on adopting the Luxembourg Rail Prototcol.

The study of 370 rolling stock projects in 19 countries between 2011 and 2013 was conducted to assess the magnitude of private financing in funding rolling stock acquisitions in Europe, and to determine the absolute and relative importance of private financing.

Taking the average annual market volume of €13.33bn for Western and Eastern Europe, only €11.87bn or 88% has been identified as being publicly financed. Of the 370 rolling stock projects analysed, 84 (23%) were in Germany, 74 (20%) in Poland, 39 (11%) in France, 37 (10%) in Italy, 22 (6%) in Britain, and the remaining 114 (30%) in other countries.

Whereas private financing accounts for about 12% or €1.68bn of total market volume, 18% of all projects are related to private financing. Private financing is comparatively important in Britain (46%), the Netherlands (19%), Turkey (18%), Germany (9%) and Italy (9%),
Private financing has considerable importance in the acquisition of locomotives (31% share), EMUs and DMUs (17%), as well as passenger coaches and freight wagons (44%).

As public funding is limited and rail transport will be further liberalised, the Rail Working Group expects private financing to grow significantly. Multiple units are mainly ordered for regional passenger transport which is being gradually liberalised in several European countries. Locomotives are predominantly ordered for freight transport which has already been liberalised across Europe, which is why freight wagons also show a high share of private financing. The study says there is a clear correlation between the liberalisation of market segments and the extent of private financing.

"With the rail market opening up in the EU and beyond, there's an urgent need to create the conditions to attract more private finance of rolling stock at affordable rates," says the Rail Working Group.

"This is where the Luxembourg Rail Protocol comes in," says Mr Howard Rosen, chairman of the Rail Working Group. "When adopted, it will introduce those rules and make private finance for much needed new investment in rolling stock much more secure – and therefore more available and cheaper." The protocol is expected to come into force next year.

The study is available in full on the Rail Working Group website.