Financing Rolling Stock

Thelo finances all aspects of “rolling stock” that incorporates all movable vehicles that operate on a rail network, excluding the tracks and infrastructure. It is a crucial part of the rail transport system, enabling the movement of goods and people, and includes:


  • Diesel locomotives
  • Electric locomotives
  • Shunting locomotives

Freight wagon

  • Open wagons
  • Covered wagons
  • Tank wagons
  • Hopper/Bulk wagons
  • Platforms/Intermodal wagons

Passenger trains

  • Electric multiple units
  • Diesel multiple units
  • Coaches
  • Light rail vehicles
  • Metro vehicles
  • High-speed trains
  • Very high-speed trains (>250 kmh)
  • Maintenance vehicles
  • Cars used for track maintenance, repair, or inspection

Maintenance vehicles

  • Cars used for track maintenance, repair, or inspection

Our Clients

Thelo is a leading independent financier of rolling stock to rail operators and freight owners

Thelo is a leading independent service provider for rolling stock finance solutions to rail operators, concession holders and freight owners, allowing access to quality modern rolling stock.

Rail operators – Description

  • These are generally state-owned enterprises that operate as self-regulating monopolies providing the integrated national railway service from infrastructure ownership to freight and passenger operations
  • Where inter-railway agreements exist, the train service operations may transcend borders into neighbouring countries within the region, despite infrastructure being limited to the nation state
  • Emergence of private rail operators collaborating with state-owned infrastructure owners to access rail networks through an Open Access System

Rail operators – Opportunities

  • Investment backlogs and pressure to contribute to development in the country by increasing rail capacity.
  • Improved efficiency: Encouraging operators to optimise resources and reduce costs.
  • Increased rail usage: Attracting more passengers and freight to the rail network, reducing congestion and pollution.
  • Economic growth: Stimulating economic activity, creating jobs, and attracting investment.
  • Regional development: Improving connectivity and accessibility to remote areas, promoting regional growth.
  • Increased rail network utilisation: Optimizing asset use, reducing idle capacity, and extending the lifespan of infrastructure.
  • Encouraging private investment: Attracting private sector investment in rail infrastructure and services.
  • Reduced congestion: Shifting freight and passengers from road to rail, reducing highway congestion and pollution.

Thelo client base

Concession holders – Description

  • These are private sector enterprises that participate in the operation and management of either sections of state-owned railway networks or purpose-built corridors
  • The concession holders’ legal relationship is generally structured by way of a PPP, ranging from track access arrangements to manage and operate the network for a specified period through to concession contracts

Concession holders – Opportunities

  • African States that were showing a declining performance within the railway sector are increasing private participation in sections of state-owned railway networks by entering into partnerships with freight owners
  • A large percentage of rail transportation activities in the Sub-Saharan Africa region are managed by private operators
  • Private sector investment: Attracting new investment in rail infrastructure, reducing the financial burden on the government.
  • Efficiency gains: Private operators introduce new technologies, processes, and management practices to improve efficiency.
  • Improved service quality: Concessionaires focus on customer service, leading to improved customer experiences.
  • Reduced subsidies: Private operators operate the network at a lower cost, reducing the need for government subsidies.
  • Increased competition: Concessioning may encourage competition among operators, driving innovation and better services.
  • Expertise transfer: Private operators may bring international expertise and best practices to the rail sector.
  • Revenue generation: Governments may receive concession fees, royalties, or taxes from the private operator.
  • Risk transfer: Private operators assume operational and financial risks, reducing the burden on the government.
  • Network expansion: Concessionaires may invest in expanding the rail network, improving connectivity and access.
  • Improved safety: Private operators may prioritize safety, leading to improved safety standards and reduced accidents.

Thelo client base

Freight owners – Description

Also known as cargo owners or shippers, are individuals or companies that own or are responsible for the goods being transported and have identified rail as the most effective solution for transporting its goods across long distances on the continent, either for regional trade or export markets
They are the parties that:

  • Produce or manufacture the goods
  • Purchase or own the goods
  • Are responsible for the transportation of the goods
  • Bear the costs and risks associated with the transportation

Examples of freight owners include:

  • Manufacturers
  • Importers/Exporters
  • Distributors
  • Wholesalers
  • Retailers
  • Agricultural producers
  • Mining companies
  • Energy companies

Freight owners – Opportunities

  • In most instances, these enterprises have no option but to independently source rolling stock and deploy it to transport its products under some form of track access arrangement due to the inefficiency and lack of capital and/or rolling stock of the rail operator
  • Freight owners typically contract with freight forwarders, logistics companies, or transportation providers to move their goods from one location to another. They may also work directly with railroads, trucking companies, or shipping lines to arrange transportation services.
  • Large international corporations with strong balance sheet support efficient and reliable operators with a clear capacity to generate cash flows

Thelo client base

  • Mining companies
  • Containerisation

Financing Mobility

  • Track record to become the leading rolling stock financier and asset manager in Africa
  • Highly experienced and proven team with deep expertise in the sector
  • Well-established relationships with Rail Operators, Freight owners and Equipment Manufacturers
  • Strong and well-defined growth drivers which support the Company’s competitive advantage
  • Track record of delivering financial and operational performance underpinned by long-term leases