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.

The spruced up Ganz-Mavang |KiwiRail

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.

Refurbishment of the train at the Hutt workshop

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.

What it's like on Wellington trains right now

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.




  1. Simon says:

    The last picture is of the interior of one of the English Electric EMUs used on the Johnsonville Line not one of the existing Ganz units

  2. Jon C says:

    @Simon Correct , thanks, did need that caption. But it’s showing how Wellingtonians travel now compared to the Matangi experience ahead.

  3. Sam says:

    I still think our interiors are aesthetically better… the colour schemes give them a more warm, welcoming and comfortable feel

  4. Anthony says:

    @sam, i guess the Blue represents the harbour and green represents the native forest, then again, it is metlinks colour in the first place.

  5. Wade says:

    The refurbished Ganz unit has been finished for a while now. I caught a glimpse of it in the new section of the Thorndon Depo a few weeks ago. The Metlink livery suits it quite well in my opinion.

  6. grunter says:

    The Waikane service starts on Sunday 20th. Service will run the new half-hourly day and hourly evenings Sunday (surprise) timetable to Waikane that day. Monday 21st is the first day of the weekday timetable.

  7. Andrej says:

    How refurbished GM’s look outside

    @Sam my opinion, I don’t like the interiors of Auckland trains as much as those in Matangi’s but still waiting for design concept of the new electric EMUs coming up hopefully soon

  8. Ian says:

    The big change to the tarted up Ganz is a new traction control system which is designed to minimise traction motor flash overs. To this end the old notching relay and its current transformer have been replaced with a PLC which will not only notch the motors up but also notch them down in the event of wheel slip. Flash overs have been the bane of the Ganz since they were first introduced. They are hard on commutators, brush holders and the high speed breakers. They can also pull down sub stations.

  9. Paul in Sydney says:

    Have they come up with a cost comparison to replace or refurbish?

    Minimum of 10 years do doesn’t seem like a long time

  10. Luke says:

    GWRC are going to do a cost comparison of whether it was cheaper to refurbish of buy new.
    It think it was something like $1 million per set means they would refurbish, $2 million per set would mean new buying new, and in between they would run some hard calcs.

  11. [...] Ganz Mavag refurbishment includes major mechanical and cosmetic improvements aimed to greatly improve [...]

  12. Tim says:

    They need to replace the old heaters with air conditioning units … the GM trains can get very stuffy … currently, the only way to get any air flow through the carraiges is to open the windows, and that only works when the train is moving, … when it rains (this is Wellinginton, and it does rain) the passengers get wet.


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