Spain 57 South Korea 0
Auckland is getting electric trains from Spain.
The announcement was to have been made this afternoon but negotiations between the Spanish company and Auckland Transport on the finer points including a maintenance contract were continuing.
So finally the successful tenderer for Auckland’s new EMUs has been decided.
The first units are expected to arrive from mid-2013 but KiwiRail has said it does not expect the trains to be operational for commuters until sometime in 2014.
The final decision was between a consortium of Madrid-based Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles ./ and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem Company which is building Wellington’s 48 Matangi EMU trains.
The decision was passed on be decided by Auckland Transport as it will now own the trains.
CAF (Construcciones Y Auxiliar De Ferrocarriles) has focused on the railway industry for the last 90 years, expanding its activities from Spain towards international markets. CAF designs, manufactures, delivers, commissions and maintains a range of vehicles for passenger railway services including tramways, light rail vehicles, metro cars, locomotives and passenger coaches.
They were on the shortlist to build the Matangi trains.
Recently they have won contracts to build trains for Stockholm, through the company SL AB (company responsible for the transport network in the city). It’s a contract for the supply of 15 LRVs, with the possibility of exercising up to 121 LRVs.
CAF was also chosen by the Grand Beacon region (in the French department of Doubts, in the Franche-Comté Region), as supplier of rolling stock for a new LRV line. The precise number of LRVs shall be established according to the traffic, but will initially range between 15 and 18.
This follows successful tenders, especially throughout Europe – international tenders for trains in Edinburgh, Belgrade and Antalya (Turkey), as well as those in Zaragoza, Granada, Málaga, Seville, Bilbao and Vitoria.
Under the deal signed a few weeks ago:
- Auckland Transport will take ownership of the new depot and 57 new three-car trains, along with existing non-electrified rolling stock, and will become responsible for all rolling stock maintenance.
- A $500 million Crown loan to purchase electric trains will be made to Auckland Council group.
- Funding assistance from the NZTA to help Auckland Council group repay the loan. This will initially be set at a 60 percent of the costs of the loan repayment (2011/12) and will move to 50 percent on an annual one percent glide path starting at 59 percent from 2012/13.
- The NZTA has ear-marked funding from the 2012-15 National Land Transport Fund and future programmes to help Council deliver the new trains.
- Up to $90 million Crown grant to assist in funding the additional trains.
- Auckland Council will meet any additional purchase costs incurred above the Crown funding.
- The Crown (through KiwiRail) will retain ownership of below ground assets including track, signals and power supply. The current infrastructure upgrade and electrification programmes will be completed to bring the network to a more functional and reliable standard.
- Auckland Transport will pay a track access charge to KiwiRail, partly subsidised by NZTA, “reflecting the fair and actual cost of maintaining the tracks and other assets.”
Unsuccessful tenderer Rotem is part of the Hyundai Motor Group and has produced railway systems for various customers throughout the world. Rotem manufactures EMUs, high-speed trains, light rail vehicles, locomotives, passenger coaches and freight wagons.
In 2006, Greater Wellington Council shortlisted three train manufacturers to supply the Wellington region with new EMU trains. The other one was Bombardier Transportation (Australia).
The Matangi are still arriving in Wellington and there has been one issue with them. Replacement auxiliary power units are being freighted to Wellington to overcome the fault which led to new Matangi Metro passenger units being briefly withdrawn from service.
Last month, after two Matangi units experienced some overheating faults in the auxiliary power unit, electrical engineers from Korean manufacturer Hyundai Rotem, carried out an investigation and confirmed the issue lies with the inductor coil.
The Auckland train tender process has been a protracted one.
Originally there were 4 in the running: Hitachi Limited, Hyundai Rotem,Bombardier Transportation Australia Pty Limited and the consortium of Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, SA. (CAF) and Mitsubishi Corporation.
Chinese bids were then added including China North Rail, which became the subject of questions from the Labour Party.
Transport Minister Steven Joyce, answering questions in Parliament later dismissed Labour’s questions about the Chinese tendering as “wild conspiracies” which could be taken with a grain of salt.
“I have seen several reports calling for the procurement of new electric trains for Auckland to be delayed because they were to be built in China—a result of all sorts of wild conspiracies. As it turns out, the two shortlisted consortiums are from Korea and Japan, and Europe—I suppose at least Korea and Japan are in Asia. It is just as well KiwiRail continued on with the procurement job. It all goes to show that people should treat these types of reports..”
The Rail Workers Union has been pressing for at least some construction component of the new Auckland trains.
KiwiRail’s May 2010 tender document encouraged firms to ally themselves with New Zealand subcontractors or suppliers and “include as much New Zealand content and resources in the design, construction, delivery, testing, maintenance and support of the EMUs as is appropriate.”
Rail Workers Union Wayne Butson has always said his union always wanted these trains to be built in Dunedin and Lower Hutt but local involvement provisions from the lead supplier was the next best option.