All five new Matangi trains that have been introduced on the Wellington commuter run so far have been withdrawn from service after an electrical fault was discovered.
The trains were due to be running from late November last year but so far only the five are in operation.
Fran Wilde, Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council says the fault was found when a routine maintenance check was being carried out on one of the units in the depot.
She confirmed that a similar discovery occurred a few weeks ago in the depot with another unit that was being commissioned.
“Obviously Hyundai Rotem, the train manufacturer, has warranty obligations and it is working with ourselves and KiwiRail to investigate the cause and resolve the issues promptly.”
The source of both incidents is the auxiliary power unit, the equipment that supplies power to the non traction systems, e.g. heating, lighting and control systems, of the train.
“For safety reasons it is imperative that all the new trains are taken out of service until the matter is resolved.
“Work has begun to try and resolve the problem and the Matangi trains will return to service as soon as we’re satisfied with the actions taken by Hyundai Rotem.
“It’s frustrating, for train users as well as ourselves, that this has happened. But it’s better that these problems are detected sooner rather than later and we will make sure that the problem is fixed as soon as it can be.”
So far 12 of the new trains, a quarter of the 48-unit fleet, have arrived in New Zealand.
But only seven trains had been cleared for service and five were in regular passenger service on the Upper Hutt and Melling Lines.
Three more new trains are due in Wellington next week.