Rock Rail sets up in Australia

01 April 2020 - 12:00 am UTC

UK train rolling stock lessor Rock Rail today in an emailed statement said it has set up its first office in Australia headed by Jim Eldridge, a former infrastructure banker at Commonwealth Bank.

The company has also appointed Natalia Slavianskaia as Rock Rail Australia’s commercial project manager. She was formerly at European transport operator Abellio’s Greater Anglia business, which runs rail operations across eastern England.

Eldridge (pictured), who will be based in Sydney, worked as a consultant at Rock Rail for six months in 2016 as part of a 14-year career as a senior vice president at Commonwealth Bank in London – where he led debt financing on large rolling stock deals – and Sydney, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Rock Rail said it offers an alternative, “asset-specific, off balance sheet” financing for rolling stock as opposed to standard PPP financing.

“We are already working on a number of opportunities in Australia and look forward to introducing what is a unique and well-honed funding model to local operators and procurement authorities that is backed by global rolling stock manufacturers and major international providers of capital,” Chief Executive Mark Swindell said in a statement.

Rock Rail is part of Rock, an infrastructure developer and financier. Its other arm, Rock Infrastructure, invests in and develops greenfield infrastructure projects in the defence, energy, healthcare and transport sectors.

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