Auck’s Electric Trains Deal Signed
In an historic ceremony this afternoon at Britomart, that will change Auckland’s rail landscape, Auckland’s Mayor, Auckland Transport and the Transport Minister signed the deal with Spain’s CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles SA) company for 57 three car electric multiple units (EMUs).
And those trains are promised to incorporate the “latest technology in terms of safety accessibility and modern amenities on board like Wi-Fi networks. They will be comfortable, quiet, environmentally friendly.”
The new EMUs will be operated by Auckland Transport and come into service from the end of 2013. They replace the diesel units and diesel locomotive hauled tains currently running.
CAF also signed a contrain to maintain the trains until 2026 in a new maintenance facility that AT is building at Wiri.
AT says this will mean new jobs building the new Wiri depot over a 2 year period and once the trains are up and running, AT says new maintenance jobs will be created but the number is yet to be defined.
The trains will cost $400m while another $100m is needed to built the maintenance depot at Witi. Two years ago, the government provided a $500m loan to buy 38 new trains and build the depot. The strength of the NZ dollar, savings in operating a homogenous fleet and competition for the contract meant Auckland will get 57 new trains.
CAF will design the new trains based on rolling stock it has supplied for the Heathrow Express.
AT Chair Mark Ford congratulated CAF for dealing with the challenges posed by the Auckland network – a narrow gauge, stainless steel body 25kV EMU.
CAF has provided trains to Hong Kong, New Delhi, London, Rome, Dublin, Brussels, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Lisbon, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Washington, Pittsburg and Sacramento.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown told the gathering that the announcement is the next step towards giving Auckland a 21st century rail network. “Without electric trains, the extension of the network is not possible.
“Without electric trains, vital projects like the City Rail Link are not possible.”
The procurement was managed on behalf of the government by KiwiRail working closely with the previous ARTA and then transferred to Auckland Transport in preparation for the manufacturing and ownership phases.
AT Chair Mark Ford said the purchase of 19 extra trains – 50 per cent more than previously ploanned “resulted from a positive business case showing the savings involved in operating a homogenous fleet, additional central and local government funding and the intensity of competition providing a good price.”
Spain’s CAF (Construcciones Y Auxiliar De Ferrocarriles) the successful tenderer for the 57 Auckland EMUs had been in the running for the tender given to South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem Company for the Matangi trains that Wellington chose.
Minister Steven Joyce says while the region will own the trains and their depot, the Crown through KiwiRail will retain ownership of below ground assets including track, signals and power supply. KiwiRail will also continue to provide, maintain and renew rail network infrastructure and provide network services such as traction, signalling and train control.
“This is another key milestone on our way to delivering a real step change in commuter rail travel in the region,” he says.
“We are on track for these new electric trains to start coming into service from the end of 2013.”
“The difference between the new modern units to be supplied by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles SA (CAF) and the current rolling stock will be dramatic.”