Auck Train Bids Widened


In a surprise move, KiwiRail has decided to give more than the four short-listed companies a chance to build Auckland’s electric trains, including two major Chinese manufacturers.

In July, it short-listed four companies, including South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem which is building Wellington’s Matangi trains.

Named as those four were rolling stock manufacturers:

But this coming Monday, KiwiRail has decided to make its “Request for Proposal”  documentation available to 8 companies. That was to be the next step in the process but was expected to be for only 4 bids.

Getting the documents as well now will be:

  • CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co Ltd The Chinese company was founded in 1936. In 1958, ZELC successfully developed and manufactured the first main line electric locomotive in China. In 1978, it switched to electric locomotives. It calls itself the main development and manufacturing base of electric locomotives in China.
  • CSR Nanjing Puzhen Ltd. It build this high  speed train in time for China’s Olympics.
  • UGL Rail Services Limited - the largest end-to-end rail technology solutions provider/integrator in the Asia Pacific region, and Australia’s largest supplier of outsourced asset management and lifecycle engineering services. Its clients include RailCorp in New South Wales, Yarra Trams in Victoria, MTR Corporation in Hong Kong, Queensland Rail (QR) and Pacific National (PN).
  • a consortium of  Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and Nippon Sharyo Ltd, China’s LORIC Import & Export Corporation Limited and Downer EDI Rail Pty Ltd (which has been producing passenger vehicles for use throughout Australia since the mid-1800s).

KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn said that “in extending the number to receive the documentation from an initial shortlist of four,  we have reflected on the critical importance of securing the best possible whole of life outcome taking account of quality and cost.”

He says all named were all the companies that did met KiwiRail’s qualifying criteria so instead of narrowing the number to 4, now all those companies will have a chance.

There has been speculation China has been recently chasing infrastructure work in New Zealand, especially after transport minister Steven Joyce and prime minister John Key both visited China recently.

With no change in the timetable, the process is still on track to award the tender by the middle of next year and have the first trains on the ground and operational from 2013.

The companies will have until November to submit their final bids.

The decision on the successful bidder will be made late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter of next year.

Work continues around Auckland’s tracks and stations getting them ready for electrification. Pre-electrification drainage work continued at Morningside today.




  1. Carl says:

    so now we have gone from 4 to 8, so i wonder if this means now, that they’ll clearly require longer to make a choice.

    FAIL, they’ve had a 100 years to choose someone..

    this is a joke, just pick someone already and build the dam things, and hurry the f up and get it up and running to Pukekohe and further on to Hamilton and taraunga.

  2. Andrew says:

    There is a conspiracy theory going around that China are going to get the contract and that the RFT procrss is just a formality.

    While I don’t want to believe that, this announcement does seem go go back to being consistent with that theory.

    I know that if I were Hitachi, Rotem, Bombardier or CAF/Mitsi, I’d be more than a little, um, brassed off right now.

  3. Matt L says:

    If they meet the specifications why weren’t they included initially? This smells like a political rat to me and that could leave Auckland with an inferior product.

  4. joust says:

    just after a PM’s visit to the expo…

    I hope the selection isn’t rushed actually, it would be a pity to miss the chance we’ve got now to get the trains built to high standard of quality and properly spec-d for the Auckland environment.

  5. karl says:

    Just to add to the worry list - I hope this is contractually OK too, or we might hear from the lawyers of the losing manufacturers. There’s many a project in other countries which has been stalled for years while they sorted out a dodgy tendering process.

  6. [...] there’s a blogger in Auckland called Jon C who writes a blog called Aucklandtrains and pays pretty close attention to this stuff. He points to increasing speculation about China [...]

  7. Tom says:

    No doubt that the Contract has gone to China even before the Tender has started……


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