Revamped Ganz Mavag Ready
Wellington’s first recently refurbished Ganz Mavag train is going to be shown off publicly tomorrow week (Sat Feb 19), at the official opening of the new Wellington to Waikanae commuter service.
That service, following the double tracking and electrification of the rail from McKays Crossing to Waikanae, starts on the following Monday morning.
The 88 car strong Ganz Mavag fleet was introduced into service in Wellington in the early 1980s. The fleet was given a minor refurbishment in the mid- 90s. The fleet has been the mainstay of Wellington metro services and demand for capacity has required a very high level of vehicle availability. As the units have aged, a more intensive maintenance regime has been hampered by the required availability.
The units are now officially deemed relatively unreliable from both an ability to complete a service perspective and the ability to maintain all on board systems (ie. heaters). They are prone to parts obsolescence and generally look tired.
The Ganz Mavag refurbishment includes major mechanical and cosmetic improvements aimed to greatly improve reliability and comfort.
The new refurbishment makes it look similar to aspects of the new Matangi trains, including the green interior.
Work included reconstruction and modification of the pantograph well (a major source of water ingress), internal/external stripping and hydro blasting of the exterior painted surface.
The refurbishment restores the vehicle water tightness by replacing the corroded material and refreshing the corrosion protection system. It restored as required the structural integrity of underframe mounting points, such that the vehicle bodies will be deemed fit for service for at least the next 10 years.
The regional council says it will make a full assessment of the prototype in the next few months, and then decide whether to refurbish the rest of the Ganz Mavag fleet or replace them.
But what of the new electric trains for Wellington?
It was announced that a four-car Matangi is due to start running on the Upper Hutt line late this month but there is still no date.