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Locomotives and wagons got sold by the rail company Lineas.

Locomotives and wagons got sold by the rail company Lineas.
photo: Lineas press materials/Locomotives and wagons got sold by the rail company Lineas.
29 / 11 / 2021

The Belgian railway corporation Lineas sells part of its locomotives and wagons and rents them back. The sale-and-lease-back method helps to lower the debts. The firm needed financial aid to survive the corona crisis since Lineas was already facing large debt. Last fiscal year (until the end of June 2020), they lost almost 57 million euros on a turnover of 462 million. The year before, the turnover was just below half a billion while they had to face another loss, of estimated 10 million euros. Sadly, Lineas employs nearly 2,000 people who are all in danger of losing their job.

 A plan of restoration got presented to the public.  Lineas reports a sale-and-lease-back operation for a large part of its rolling stock.

It includes 109 diesel locomotives and about 4,000 wagons. The wagons will go out this year and the locomotives in the 2021-2023 period. According to its website, Lineas has a total of 250 locomotives and 7,000 wagons. The buyers are the expert train leasing companies Beacon Rail Leasing from Luxembourg (for the locomotives) and an established giant Ermewa from France (for the wagons) to lease them right back to Lineas.

Lineas proudly states that their firm is the largest private rail freight company in Europe. The company, based in Brussels, dates back to the cargo division B Cargo of the NMBS. The Belgian railways got rid of the unlucrative division and gradually bartered their shares of the firm.


Lineas, formally known as SNCB Logistics and B Logistics, is 90% owned by the private investment group Argos Wityu. The federal investment company FPIM owns the remaining 10 percent. The SFPI ended up in the capital of Lineas at the beginning of this year with a capital increase of 60 million euros, as the firm took over the last shares of the NMBS. According to the Lineas communication director, the financial records won't be published in a press release because these are confidential.

Lineas stated that this financial aid is paying off all outstanding bank debt and strengthening its financial buffers.

The last balance sheets available to the public show more than 270 million euros in debts, but by the first look, we can see that these aren't all just bank debts.

Promised flexibility and freeing up additional funds to invest are part of the agreement to enhance Europe's growth strategy and plans.