03 April 2024

Independent UK law firm Burges Salmon has advised West Midlands Trains Limited (WMT) on a £66 million investment by Porterbrook into its Bletchley rail depot in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

The depot is being refurbished so that it can properly accommodate the long-term maintenance requirement of WMT’s fleet of 36 brand new electric 5-car Class 730 Aventra trains that are being delivered by manufacturer Alstom over the next year and are essential for a Net-Zero railway in the future.

This Bletchley depot financing follows on from the £50m Tyseley depot financing that was announced in December 2023, and which Burges Salmon also advised on, demonstrating WMT’s ongoing commitment to the West Midlands and its rail passengers, whose customer experience will be significantly improved when the new trains are introduced.

The Burges Salmon team advising on the transaction was led by partner Chris Simms, supported by partner Colin Ligman and solicitors Louis Bothamley and Madeleine Henson. The firm provided finance, real estate and rail regulatory expertise.

Chris Simms comments: “It has been a pleasure to advise WMT once again on a significant rail sector project. We’re proud to have played our part in this latest venture, which will further add to the modernisation of the UK’s rail network along with contributing to a Net Zero railway for the future.”

Robert Stansfeld, Financing & Treasury Director at Transport UK Group, adds: “This deal will enable WMT to undertake major refurbishment of the depot at Bletchley and is a critical part of our fleet and infrastructure investment programme. As always, the Burges Salmon team worked side-by-side with us to provide the excellent levels of support and legal advice that we needed to complete this latest project.”

Burges Salmon’s Sustainable Transport team works across the entire transport sector including rail, highways, road transport, aviation and marine and ports. With strong expertise and insight into the sector, the firm covers all aspects of transport law; from funding and operations to construction, development and disputes. Working at the forefront of new transport technologies, the firm recently won The Legal Award at the 2023 Self-driving Industry Awards.

Key contact

Chris Simms

Chris Simms Partner

  • Rail
  • Transport
  • Asset Finance and Asset Backed Lending

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