More Electric Trains For Auck & Good Deal


Confirmation this afternoon that Auckland’s new electric train fleet will be 57 electric multiple units (or EMUs as they are known), which comprise three cars.
This compares with the 38 EMUs and 12 electric locomotives proposed earlier.
And it comes in a good deal for the Council as the extra trains won’t cost ratepayers any more than planned.

The all-EMU fleet will cost less over their lifespan than the original 38 EMUs plus 12 electric locomotive option. As a result, there will be enough EMUs to run on all three of the region’s train lines. Previously only the Eastern and Western lines had been budgeted for.

This afternoon, Transport Minister Steven Joyce and Auckland Mayor Len Brown signed an historic memorandum of agreement regarding the funding for Auckland’s forthcoming electric trains.

The government will make an additional grant of up to $90 million to ensure Auckland Transport can take advantage of favourable purchase conditions and purchase the full all-electric fleet for the network.

The Minister said having an all-electric fleet will mean significant savings in operational costs for the network, helping reduce the previously identified operational deficit.

The agreement shares the cost of the trains between the NZTA and Auckland Council.
Auckland had expected to pay the half a billion dollar loan to buy the trains through a regional fuel tax.

Under the deal, signed at 2pm at the Henderson station between Mayor Brown and Minister Joyce, Auckland Council and NZTA will split the loan repayments.
The Crown is also making a $90 million grant to the Auckland region to assist with the trains’ purchase. The final purchase price will be set later in the year when a decision on a preferred supplier is made.

The Auckland funding and ownership package comprises the following:

  • 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.”

A contract for the purchase of the new trains will be signed on September 30 with the announcement of the successful company tendering to build them. There are 2 in the running.

The trains are now said to be due to arrive in Auckland from late 2013 and the electrification project will be completed earlier that year.

“The deal means 57 three-car electric trains will be able to be purchased, 50 percent more than the 38 previously proposed.  The agreement will allow a fully electric fleet to operate in Auckland and be owned by the region,” says Mr Joyce

 Mayor Brown said the agreement will mean greater rail accessibility for Aucklanders in all parts of the city, and secures trains that are modern, better for the environment, fast and quiet.
“To be the world’s most liveable city, we need a world class transport system. This brings us one big step closer,” says the Mayor. “The new trains are also a necessary prerequisite for the City Rail Loop, upon which preliminary work has already begun.”

Minister Joyce says central and local government have worked well together to develop a package to put Auckland’s metro rail system on a sustainable footing.

“Procuring a full fleet of electric trains offers the best operational flexibility and long-term value for money by being able to operate on all three train lines.

“This package will give the Auckland region more independence and flexibility into how they run services while passengers can look forward to faster and more reliable electric trains.  And the Government has been able to deliver this result without motorists having to pay an additional 10 cents per litre regional fuel ta

Auckland Transport Chairman Mark Ford said the announcement is a major milestone in the development of the region.
He says annual rail patronage has topped 10 million and the addition of the new EMUs will add even greater capacity on the network. Mr Ford adds that the electric trains have additional advantages over current rolling stock, including lower operating costs, better reliability and frequency of service, as well as being more environmentally friendly than diesels.

Auckland Council Transport Committee Chair Mike Lee said: “Increased current and forecast use of trains by the Auckland commuters and other factors, such as favourable exchange rates, means we can secure more electric trains than originally budgeted for without any further cost to ratepayers. We are confident that we have secured the best possible deal for the people of Auckland, both at the point of purchase and also for the decades to come.”




  1. joust says:

    hooray! 50% more trains. Great they’ll be on the southern and Onehunga lines then.

  2. Jacky says:

    Yea it will have around 9 cabins in each train
    And around 19 set of trains


  3. Cool. The $90m looks like a similar deal to Wellington.

  4. Patrick R says:

    Great. Still 3 plus years of pain to come…. hoping for the Spanish EMUs, especially with all the problems down in WGTN…

  5. Max says:

    So there it is - Government’s PT sweetener ahead of the election. I don’t think it will change anyone’s minds about National’s transport policies, but Steven Joyce now has got a ready-made response every time someone accuses him of shafting PT (which he will continue to do).

    That said, it sounds like a good outcome anyway, for that particular issue.

    Question though - what about trains to Pukekohe?

  6. Miggle says:

    Max: Last I heard, the plan was for the existing ADL units to be refurbished and run shuttle services from Pukekohe to Papakura and Huapai to Swanson. The ADK units would be retired.
    No word on what will happen to the SA carriages.

  7. Max says:

    Thanks Miggle, but what I meant was - if the old plan was to use locomotives to pull the Southern Line trains to Pukekohe, and southern line will now go all electric EMU as well, how does one get to Pukekohe? Transfer at Manukau?

  8. Hood says:

    To To straighten a couple of things up; Each 3 car set will have the same capacity as a 4 car SA set and will mostly (in peak times) be run as six car sets, and for those mathematically challenged that’s the equivalent of 8 car SA trains at peak times at ten minute frequencies. Onehunga line will have single three car sets due to length limitations on the line (e.g. Onehunga platform) which still equals far greater capacity.

    I hear a lot of media at the moment stating that Auckland is getting more trains than originally required, but as stated above they omitted to add that the order has changed from 38 EMU’s and 12 electric locos to 57 EMU’s, most media seam to be omitting that the EMU’s are replacing the Locos that are included in the original price and not mentioning how much better this deal will be economically long term.

    In reference to the disposition of the SA cars I understand the oldest ones are just about due for refurbishment now, by the time the last of the EMU’s are commissioned going by the time scale of Wellington to get the Matangi’s in service the SA’s will mostly be worn out justifying the purchase of an all EMU fleet.

    Those worth buying could possibly be of interest to TGR if they are contemplating suburban services in Dunedin, mere speculation though.

    To answer the question above the ADL’s are to be refurbished to service the areas out side of electrification.

  9. Miggle says:

    Max: The electric locomotives were only going as far as Papakura, as that was the limit of the electrification. Passengers to and from Pukekohe are to transfer from DMUs to EMUs at Papakura.

  10. Max says:

    Ah, okay. Sucks for them, but probably best for the rest of the network. Hope they electrify the rest soon.

  11. Gary says:

    I Bet the carbon credits are claimed by the Government in this deal, also Be wary of Kiwi rail charging in the deal for a return on land asset values, this is partly why electricity prices have risen over and above sensible levels since National adopted the Optimised Deprival Model when previously privatising the electricity companies.

  12. Sam says:

    if these cars are all longer than the current ones, will that mean that they will have to travel even slower around our tight bends such as at Vector Arena, Newmarket Junction and the inner western line?

    These speed restrictions are embarrassing and frustratingly slow- is anything being done about them in the short to medium term? Or do we have to wait till the CBD link for any improvement there?

    I have read that the most recently built line in Perth runs trains at an average speed of something like 80km/h… despite frequent stops. Our trains average something like 35 at the moment don’t they?… its less that 25km/h between Morningside and Britomart…before you take into account the indirect route!

  13. ejtma2003 says:

    This is good news, and one I hope will get rid of some of the demons some on this site seem to see.

    The bottom line is labour had 9 years to deliver on rail for Auckland and didn’t. Those who moan about the current government should consider what has been delivered on, but also what could have been canned if they had wished, along with many other things.

    My suspicion is that the Auckland Council and The Government are working behind the scenes to agree a funding package for the CBD rail Link. My rationalle for this is the rhetoric from the Council has got a lot more moderate, the government seem to have shifted some way in their statements, the increase in trains being ordered, and the way Len Brown is now talking about rail, and seems to be less adversarial toward the government. It would not surprise me to see a funding statement come out as part of the Government announcements after the egg chasing championships.

    I think what we need to focus on is that it is unlikely that any government will offer the panacea that many on this site look for, the reality is cash is scarce, we have an ageing population who pay less tax, the social programmes don’t allow a lot of free cash, and the ability to raise additional revenue is restricted.

    I do agree with congestion charges, motorway tolling. I travel by car 90% of the time, as I need to for work, however the other 10% is by train, which I enjoy, and am prepared to pay for.

  14. urbanlocal says:

    Regarding the fate of the SA sets: I had heard that they were refurbished with a 20 year life span in mind. All are still a fair distance from that date.

  15. Patrick R says:

    ejtma. Yes the best that can be said for this government is that they did not abort the electrification process. Other than that, meh. Your suspicion is sweet but all information supports the reverse; Joyce and officials doing everything they can to discredit CRL but mindful of popularity of the project and rail in general. Spin.

    Cash is in fact plentiful in the transport sector but is all being thrown at wasteful and uneconomic duplicate motorway projects. No need for inefficient novelties like congestion charging, simply stop the wasteful 1950s mindset and work to unlock the the unrealised value in the underinvested in networks we already have.

    We all travel by car a lot as we mostly have no other choice, investment in joining the dots on the rail network will give more of us this choice and help free up the bountiful existing road network for everyone else.

  16. Andu says:

    If they role out from late 2013 and through 2014 i’ll be quite pleased.

    @ejtma2003: yes labour were pretty rubbish for too long, but they did get the ball rolling and the funding mechanism to pay for these things set up, which were cancelled and/ or delayed by this national govt. I believe they would have loved to just cancel everything as they have in the past, but it would have been terribly dumb politics for them to do so because support in AKL for rail and electrification has become so strong.

  17. And the Government has been able to deliver this result without motorists having to pay an additional 10 cents per litre regional fuel tax

    SJ is once again rewriting history here. Initially the tax for the trains was going to be 1 cent per litre, rising to 3 and then 5c. The additional 4.5c was to be at central Government’s discretion. Instead the whole country had an excise tax increase of 3c per litre in October 2009.

  18. Timothy says:

    A great day for Auckland and I am disappointed to see people debating politics.
    I’m with Ejtma. The smiles all around today suggest Brown and Joyce are both smart politicians playing to their respective fanbase but are smart enough to know they both need to reach enough consensus on the CBD loop to make it happen somehow for their political futures plural.
    Has it occured to any of the anti Joyce brigade that he may in fact just be talking tough for the roading lobby to get their campaign fund support while really whispering to Brown he will come to the party?
    I am amused by the attempt to promote Labour’s transport policies at this late stage.
    Labour - if it really believes in rail- have left their running too late.
    The public believes the party has no chance of winning the election and in a news period where winning (the ABs) means a lot to many of them, they won’t be backing a wobbly outsider which seems to be about to tear itself apart in a typically Labour bid by ego driven MPs to seize the stage (aka Gillard).
    Labour has yet to explain and apologise for not getting us the election trains in their era.
    This publicity will give the essential pre election perception National and Joyce support Auckland rail and in my eyes they have delivered and get my vote.

  19. Andu says:

    ”Has it occured to any of the anti Joyce brigade that he may in fact just be talking tough for the roading lobby to get their campaign fund support while really whispering to Brown he will come to the party?”

    @Timothy: That is a pretty big maybe, and Mike Lee has said clearly several times that Joyce has NOT been at all helpful, whether hes delivering anti rail/pro road soundbites on TV or talking to Auckland local councillors away from the cameras.
    How can you expect (intelligent) voters to base their opinions and decisions on speculative whispers that you think MIGHT be happening between the politicians? All we can really do is vote and judge based on what a Minister/Party has actually said and what they actually do. It seems that National Party are deciding to deliver on electrification etc because they are smart enough to know the backlash would be too strong against them if they cancelled it.

  20. Patrick R says:

    Tim by all means vote national but don’t kid yourself that that by doing so you are voting for further improvement in rail…. the numbers released today 20 billion on new statehighways and nearly zero for public transport infrastructure, for the next ten years. You are right, the positivity you are feeling from Joyce is just perception; not reality.

  21. geoff_184 says:

    “the numbers released today 20 billion on new statehighways and nearly zero for public transport infrastructure”

    You must be looking at figures the rest of us haven’t seen. The figures I’ve seen are $36b for roading, and $4.6b for rail. All of it for projects already announced, be they road or rail.

  22. Carl says:

    Switching at Papakura from Pukekohe is a cop out, esp now that the train from Hamilton is not stopping there either.

    Why doesn’t anyone from Pukekohe stand up and bloody do something about this rubbish. Oh thats right, they can’t because we don’t have a local council anymore.

    how are we any better off than yesterday? we aren’t

    WOW wee they signed a piece of paper, honestly why is it taking so long to pick the train builders? are they that fussy?

    how many 1st class flights, overseas trips, and all the other mucking around does someone need?

    Pick a dam train construction type and get them started already.

    never in my life have I seen so much mucking around and then now arse and back slapping or high fiving by people who actually wont even be in power by the time this all happens.

    as for the Perth comments, on some sections of the line the trains hit 130km and coast at over 115km. Its the take of speed and how quickly they get to 110km. You really do no when your well over 110kms.

    its an awesome feeling when you blow past all the motorway traffic in the morning.

  23. geoff_184 says:

    I understand Auckland’s maximum speeds are not being increased for the EMU’s. They are staying at 100 for east/south, and 80 out west, as at present.

  24. Martin says:

    @ Geoff_184

    That would be due to the sub par network though right… i.e. ridiculously sharp bends and incorrectly banked gradients etc.

  25. Pim says:

    Around the whole thing about puke, you have to remember that the section between papakura and pukekohe is around a quarter of the length between britomart and puke. It’s just not economically viable to electrify all the way, not now. And running diesel all the way defeats the purpose of electrification in the first place. Electrification all the way to Hamilton, including puke, will come, but they will come when fuel is too expensive, and electric cars are aswell. These things aren’t going to happen within the next fifty years, simply because the attitude of new Zealand is very procrastinating one. We must be patient. This is a good step forward

  26. Doloras says:

    “Why doesn’t anyone from Pukekohe stand up and bloody do something about this rubbish. Oh thats right, they can’t because we don’t have a local council anymore.”

    Yes you do.

  27. vostoklake says:

    “Why doesn’t anyone from Pukekohe stand up and bloody do something about this rubbish. Oh thats right, they can’t because we don’t have a local council anymore.”

    Yes you do.

  28. Ben says:

    Pim is right about electrifying all the way to Pukekohe. It is not viable yet unless you are going to do the whole hog and electrify all the way to Te Rapa where the electric freighters currently run. But then again to do so would rather defeat the new DL loco’s hauling freight to Westfield or Port of Auckland.
    Putting the politics aside for just the moment and just relishing in this good news; great to see a homogeneous fleet of 57 3-car EMU’s on the way. Coupled with AT owning them and I think the new EMU depot in Wiri I can see this as a win-win in the long battle to help get Auckland Moving.
    Now to the next step apart from the Central Rail Link and infrastructure issues with the track. For starters, we might need a heck of a lot more drivers for this new fleet and each driver can take up to 6 months to be qualified. The other thing is and while it might seem “small” it is a particular one with the EMU’s is couplers. While having a homogeneous fleet is good, having the EMU’s with couplers the same as our DC or DH class locomotives would be better. For if there was a break down, then running a diesel loco out to rescue an EMU would be more straight forward then current with the DMU’s and Diesel Locos which all have different couplers.
    Again something small, but something to think about as I always believe, plan for the worst - so hopefully nothing catches you out when something does go wrong.

  29. Max says:

    @Ben - one hopes that these are exactly the issues that take the time to thresh out the contracts and the preferred tenderers.

    Because despite some howls of “get it over and done” in regards to tendering, I see no issue with spending a few months to get the contracts and specs RIGHT. We are going to use these trains for 20+ years, one might assume, so any mistakes now may haunt us for a long time.

    The real delays were in getting agreement and funding, and can be pretty squarely blamed on both Labour (for not getting it sorted in time before they lost the third election) and National (for trying to find a way to get out of the deal, and in the project, delaying the whole tendering process for a year or so).

  30. Karlos says:

    Passenger loadings from Pukekohe have gone through the roof since the days when the Silver Fern Railcar and its later descendants first started running commuter services all those years ago.

    Forcing people to change trains all the time will, I suspect, reverse that trend.

    Who wants to spend all that extra time getting out and swapping trains twice daily, particularly in the cold winter months…To say nothing of the fact that logistically it would be difficult to create a seamless connection with trains for the second part of the journey. Not many people would fancy waiting at Papakura to connect, when previously they did not need to do so.

    I, for one, recently switched back to using trains from Pukekohe, after about 10 years of using a car for my daily commute. I’ll be damned if I keep that up if I have to swap trains every trip at Papakura. And I have a feeling that other Pukekohe commuters more than likely feel the same way.

    I understand that economically, distance from Papakura, associated bridge work etc may, at least initially, defeat electrification, and fair enough I guess. But surely a better method than having a trainload of people swapping over all the time can be found.

    My idea would be using a diesel locomotive to push / haul the new EMU set on the Pukekohe - Papakura section, much the same way as the SA sets do now. When the train gets to Papakura, simply detach the diesel loco, raise the pantograph on the EMU, fire it up and carry on with the journey north. And the reverse for south bound services. Surely that would be quicker then waiting for everyone to switch trains as well.

  31. Patrick R says:

    geoff the numbers on the gov’s spending can be called in various ways; the numbers you quote above for rail include historic spending and a whole lot of double counting. For example the loan to AK for the EMUs are counted as are the things paid for earlier and built, like New Lynn. But also a whole lot of the turn around plan is simply KR reinvesting it’s own rev.

    But it is totally clear that there are absolutely no plans to contribute to the CRL nor any other extensions of the AK metro network in the next ten years. This is clear from the near zero sums set aside for new PT infrastructure [which is also for any bus or ferry investments too], as opposed to subsidies. So if you consider these projects to be vital for AK and NZ then that 4.6 billion figure is irrelevant: ie either already spent or going elsewhere. No love from Joyce for AK, just spin.

    While I’m still grumpy with Labour for ditthering and taking so long to commit to AK rail it has turned out useful that the exchange rate changes means we will get more and better kit for the money, and frankly it is a much surer bet now that the ridership numbers are so strong and consistent. They would have been doing more on faith than is needed now. Easier to demand the investment now.

    Only worry is that there is still a huge amount of potential to fulfill and unrealised capacity in the network that can be unlocked but it requires further investment. How to keep that coming under this gov. is the problem.

  32. Bryan says:

    Geoff, the $4.6b for rail is just the KR turnaround plan (according to the documentation), so only $0.75b from the Government (greatfully accepted, of course). Starngely, they don’t seem to have included the electrification in their total (or is that classed as “already spent”?).

  33. Cam says:

    “Surely that would be quicker then waiting for everyone to switch trains as well” - You think waiting for a locomotive to be attached and then detached would be quicker than changing trains? Sorry but that is one of the daftest ideas i’ve heard.

    Just change trains, people do it all over the world everyday, it’s really not that big a deal.

  34. Max says:

    “Forcing people to change trains all the time will, I suspect, reverse that trend.”


    “Just change trains, people do it all over the world everyday, it’s really not that big a deal.”

    Actually, there is extensive research that shows that having to change trains reduces the catchment populace willing to use public transport by, roughly, 50%. So I agree that this development will make trains to and from the non-electrified areas much less attractive.

    That said, it is not like this is going to change now. All these matters are decided on, and increases are unable to be funded in the current environment. We are stuck with it for now.

    So the best bet for these folks is to hope that rail REALLY takes off, and that in combination with a declining, or stagnating patronage on the non-electrified lines, this will lead to electrification being extended in the near future. I have no hopes for it being any earlier than 2017 though, and 2020 is more likely (just guessing of course - 3-6 years after electrification).

  35. Karlos says:

    “You think waiting for a locomotive to be attached and then detached would be quicker than changing trains?”

    Why not? Just have the loco waiting to meet the southbound services. As they arrive into Papakura they simply stop the EMU just behind the loco and while the Papakura commuters get off, and any Pukekohe bound folk get on, couple up the loco. I’m no expert, but isn’t it just a hook and a couple hoses; job done and away you go.

    Not rocket science.

  36. geoff_184 says:

    “Geoff, the $4.6b for rail is just the KR turnaround plan”

    Just? That’s a massive amount of money. A lot will be achieved with that.

    “I’m no expert, but isn’t it just a hook and a couple hoses; job done and away you go.”

    It would be quite a slow process. Firstly, you would need to block the track to any other passenger trains while the locomotive positions itself ahead of the arrival of the EMU. Then the EMU will have to approach at low speed between the previous signal and the locomotive, you would need to stop prior to coupling up, communicate with the ground person and then slowly move forward again. Then you have to hook everything up and do several checks.

    Seriously - much quicker just to change trains.

  37. Andu says:

    ”Who wants to spend all that extra time getting out and swapping trains twice daily, particularly in the cold winter months…”

    ”I, for one, recently switched back to using trains from Pukekohe, after about 10 years of using a car for my daily commute. I’ll be damned if I keep that up if I have to swap trains every trip at Papakura.”

    Man Alive, what a bunch of precious cry babies kiwis are these days. Changing trains is a completely normal thing to do. I have to change trains twice to get to work, even sometimes (gasp!) in the snow and freezing cold!
    Have you ever endured changing at a major terminus station in a REALLY big city like London? Changing at Papakura is nothing!

  38. Max says:

    Andu, whether or not you are the HE-man braving the weather, or just a person who doesn’t mind the switch…

    The reality is that when the decision for PT is marginal (car? train?) then something like an extra transfer, and the associated 5-10 minutes delay that it costs you TWICE EVERY DAY, is a very serious argument to go back to the car, the one with the heater, and that has just become the quicker way of transport again.

    You are not going to change that by calling the people who think that way sissies.

  39. Andu says:

    Perhaps I have slightly lost sight of how deeply ingrained car culture is in NZ, and Auckland in particular.
    I have noticed reading and commenting on this site over the last 2 years or so that plenty of people have said if they had to transfer then that is the deal breaker for them, and I just think that is ridiculous.
    I have to walk over there to change trains? Forget it I’m not doing it.
    I have to wait an extra 5 minutes?Forget it I’m not doing it.
    Millions of people choose to do that in other cities every single day, and Aucklander’s refuse to even entertain the concept of transferring or waiting for a few minutes for another train, they want to jump straight back into the car, into the traffic.

    Pukekohe is a long way from Auckland central, a transfer is really not so bad, if it was no more than a 5 minutes. (I don’t see why it would be more than 5 minutes, if it was well timetabled)

    Trains have heaters too by the way.

    And I didn’t call anyone sissies, I called them ‘precious cry babies’ :)

  40. Pim says:

    If the train that needs to be tranfered to is waiting at the platform, I don’t think there should be an issue. I mean really, youre just walking a few metres. Like less than 100. That can’t be that bad. The temperatures are never under zero, and it will still take less time than driving. Its not that bad. Harden up.

  41. Ben says:

    Sheesh, we meant to be relishing this rather significant victory on the 57 3-car EMUs and the fact AT on behalf of Auckland get to own them

    But rather we focus on what is really a trivial issue of transfering from a EMU to a DMU at Papakua so passengers can continue to go to/from Pukekohe.

    Look you want electricification to go to Pukekoke, then convince Kiwi Rail to electrify that section all the way to Te Rapa where the electric freight depot is!!!

    Mean time, with a bit of work on the timetable, transfering at Papakura should be seamless.
    We forget folks people transfer both here in Auckland and else where in the world to get on a different line?

    And someone asked how long would it take to hook a DC Loco to an EMU to allow the EMU to/from Pukekohe - that answer being around 5-7mins plus time for moving the loco in and out of position. So a transfer is more straight forward!!!

  42. Simon C says:

    Yeah Ben. It`s a lot of hot air about nothing as long as the trains are synchronised. It`s just that people in Auckland like Karlos etc aren`t used to it compared to people overseas who deal with it without any fuss everyday. I lived in Japan for 5 years and had my fair share of transfers too but the next train was either waiting or came within a 5mins at most and possibly might entail a short walk to another platform. I dealt with it just like everyone else there. Karlos, don`t worry mate, I`m sure you will too.

    Now, as you said Ben let us smile and be happy with this great news for Auckland. I can`t wait to see and ride those beautiful, new EMUs in a couple of years time.

  43. Robincole says:

    I’m not advercating it here, but the loco hauled EMU solution was used between Paekakariki and Paraparaumu prior to electrification in 1983.

  44. Carl says:

    Changing trains weither its 5 mins or 10 mins is a load of crap and a cop out.

    People will just get back into cars, esp since the service from Hams wont stop their either.

    it will never be 5 mins switch, and then that becomes 10 mins, of which at the end of the day becomes 20 mins.

    I’m sorry but that is people’s time. Its already a decent slog to Auckland City now.

    there is no late night friday service, there is no sunday or saturday service.

    I’d actually like to know whom i can speak to, to raise these issues, because I actually think its time to stir it up.

    the whole “no point, or not viable” to build it now, is just going to be the same bs excuse in 5 or 10 years time.

    DO it now while people are on the job, it wont be any cheaper in 5 or 10 years time, because you’ll have to fire up and tender out the whole process again.

    Sorry guys, but clearly none of you live out that far from the City, so really I don’t think you can’t comment on it can you, esp if your not forced to make any changes and your service is going to be a lot better.

    I strongly think it needs to be done, to get more people on to trains and maybe give Hamilton a good kick in the pants to meet them 1/2 way.

    switching services are a cop out and there is no point comparing to other cities, because other cities generally have fast services that run 2-3 times an hour all day and into the evening. Auckland doesn’t have this, and you can’t even get a train on the weekend to Pukekohe.

    People should not be limited, where possible there should be a late night friday train, at least a “workers” morning service on the weekends and a evening service also.

  45. Andu says:

    ”Changing trains weither its 5 mins or 10 mins is a load of crap and a cop out.”

    Nope. It’s a completely normal thing to do and is done all over the world.

    ”it will never be 5 mins switch, and then that becomes 10 mins”

    How do you know?

    ”I strongly think it needs to be done, to get more people on to trains and maybe give Hamilton a good kick in the pants to meet them 1/2 way.”

    That would be great.

  46. Cliff Dew says:

    Papakura to Pukekohe passenger change will loose customers. So a diesel loco available at Papakura to couple to the train from Britomart is the answer.
    Leave passengers seated and couple up a diesel to the EMU for the journey to Pukekohe. Same for the return to Papakura where the diesel can uncouple and be available to the next connection.
    This might be a solution for the Swanson terminal also, if a service ever goes off through the Waitakere tunnel.
    It might add some costs, but it will keep customers on the trains.

  47. Carl says:

    @ Andu - how do I know, because they wont bring the EMU to Puke, so they are going to run a 1/2 arsed switch service.

    which then people will give up and and then they’ll shut it down all together.

    the writing was on the wall the day Franklin got sucked into the super city.

    Collect all the cash shut everything down.

    Build the Dam thing to Pukekohe NOW, while your doing the rest of line.

    its very plain and simple to see, that its not getting done now and when it becomes more expensive in the future, (because lets face it, when was the last time anything became cheaper) it wont get built.

    all this rubbish of its not viable its not worth it. What a load of crap, more people use the trains now then they ever did. All that is going to happen now is that people will figure out they have to switch and wait and they’ll just forget about it and drive there car.

    again no point about talking about how it happens overseas, the service speed here is too slow.

    The Emus should run all the Way to Puke and considering the massive size of the Yarding area in Pukekohe should be stored there over night. There is no need to clear any space for anything. All the services would start on time and run through to Papkura all the way to the city.

    And it doesn’t just need to be Puke - Papakura. They could and should stop at Drury and there could also be a skip stop at Pareata.

    There are some many different ways to look at it. A station at Drury or Pareata could have a connecting bus to Waikuku that if ran during peak would probably full. I can imaging a lot of people driving from Waikuku to Papakura.

    Well Build a stop at Drury or a feeder bus service that runs Peak in the morning and evening and on weekends and take all those cars off the road.

    If the bloody train ran on friday nights and weekends to Pukekohe I think a lot more people would get use to the fact of how it works and use it more often. I know for a fact when i was younger and went out on friday night in auckland we always had to drive.

    Be neat to go out late friday night on the train, out night and party and then get a early service home….

    it takes cars off the road and its also would stop Drunk Driving I feel.

    Again, sign us up, take our money, don’t provide us with any new services and muck around the ones we already have.

    its going backwards and more people will just get back in their cars.

  48. Andu says:

    ”it takes cars off the road and its also would stop Drunk Driving I feel.”

    I totally agree with you there, thats an issue that always seems to get lost in these debates, the amount of lives PT can actually save.

    Basically buddy I agree with you. I just wish we’d have more faith in people to make the transfer, it could be quick and painless if done well, and not such a big deal. Then in the mean time Franklin people can keep up the pressure for better service.

  49. Max says:

    I agree with those who say this news (more EMUs) is great news, and it is a bit symptomatic that we immediately all go off at a tangent and complain about other things - but just because some of you feel “transferring is normal” (it is, that doesn’t make it great), doesn’t change human psychology.

    We all know that public transport systems can never be exactly on time - maybe the Japanese manage it, but they do it with a quality of infrastucture that exceeds even that we will have post-electification.

    What most people here do not seem to be aware is that it isn’t the transfer process itself (getting up and getting out etc…) that is the key effect putting people off (though people hate losing their seat). It is the transfer waiting time.

    First off, you simply ADD a lot of time. Whether your transfer takes 5 or 10 minutes average, that is time lost compared to a non-transfer service. If you think that doesn’t reduce the quality of a service, I can’t help. Arguing about doesn’t help either. It’s 5-10 minutes extra, every day, twice. Full stop.

    Secondly, it’s WAITING time, not moving time. Psychological research has shown that PT users really, really overestimate how long waiting time is, to a factor of, depending on person, x2 or up to x5. I.e. waiting 5 minutes at the station FEELS like 10 or more minutes. You can’t “educate” that away, it’s just human psychology - if the train is moving, that’s fine. But if you are on your bum, sitting and waiting, people get unhappy and itchy much quicker. Again, that degrades attractiveness vs cars.

    Finally, there is an inherent timetable inefficiency in transferring. Unless you have very high frequencies (5 minutes are good), then your trains cannot be timetabled so that arrival and departure are only 3 minutes off. You have to schedule more time in between, or any delay of one train either leaves the whole load stranded, waiting 20 minutes or more for the next train (and a crush load!) - or any delay in one train immediately cascades. So you are stuck with transfer times of at least 5-10 minutes, simply for timetable reasons.

    Oh, in Japan in works. But here, it’s a really bad thing for those who had a direct ride before, and for anyone thinking about taking it up. You can argue against it being real all you want, but you should really spend your energy arguing for full electrification.

  50. joust says:

    the non-electrified extremities are a minor issue created by a change that is ultimately a big win for the region as a whole. Whatever the interim solution to that ends up being - before the wires make it out that far - it will only add 3-4mins to a trip that is currently over an hour. The electric part of the trip may well be quicker to make up for it too.

  51. Carl says:

    @ Joust, thats the point “when they make it out there”

    they wont. if they are saying its to much now, it will be even more if and when they look at it again.

    get in and do the WHOLE system now. nup they wont do it… its the end of the story.

    and whinge, moan everybody call it what you like. the simple fact is, it should go the whole way of the system get it finished now and have more time for it to be paid off. doing it in dribs and drabs is stupid.

  52. Paul says:

    well, as a driver i do hope that we get excellent, reliable trains, with better brakes eg: hydrodynamic/hydrostatic/rehostatic.

    and talking a little off topic, they really should have used 3rd rail for the suburban network.

    1) slightly cheaper
    2) could go north through the tunnel
    3) solve a horrendous traspassing problem
    4) far less visually polluting
    5) 750v DC through 3rd rail is more than enough based on the AKL network’s close proximity to sources of power, you really only need 25Kva overheads where electrical supply is far and few between and overcome the voltage drops.

    But at the end of the day, whats done is done and all going well, it will be a vast improvement.

  53. geoff_184 says:

    “solve a horrendous traspassing problem”

    If the purpose of solving tresspassing is to reduce harm, why advocate for a system that would probably lead to greater harm? I doubt it would keep people out, it would just mean more people being hurt.

  54. Karlos says:

    To those advocating the normality of train transfers overseas, it may pay to consider that most of those would be people changing direction when multiple lines intersect at one point.

    I’d be willing to bet that few people are forced to transfer to another train going further along the same line they have just arrived on.

    And those who point out that “transfers work so long as all the services run to time” obviously have little experience with the almost constant delays and / or cancellations which plague our train service.

    As I understand it, the current post-EMU plan has Pukekohe services arriving at and departing from the westernmost platform at Papakura, and the EMUs from the island platfrom in the middle. So it is not that realistic to expect that a whole train load from Pukekohe could complete that transfer in 5 minutes. An able bodied commuter, sure, but what of the elderly and disabled passengers, or indeed those with prams and a tribe of kids…

    I’ll concede the point that attaching and detaching a diesel loco to / from an EMU set may take longer than I initially anticipated. But with the delays, cancellations as I mention above, I suspect that most of the time it would still be a quicker option than disembarking and then waiting for a connecting train.

  55. Simon C says:


    I transferred a few times in Japan to another train going further as sometimes the local services stop at different points along the line - I can assure it didn`t take 5mins for a whole trainload of pax (including elderly) to go up the stairs to the overbridge and down the stairs to the next platform where the next train was waiting and left about 2mins after the original train got in - It was every man, woman and child for themselves though LOL!

    Carl, Pukekohe has gone from absolutely nothing to fairly regular weekday services. And just remember it was only 6-7 years ago that there were no evening or Sunday trains anywhere on the network, let alone Pukekohe. or have you forgotten that? I think there is a strong suggestion that Pukekohe will get more services in the new timetable coming out next February so maybe we should hold judgement on Puke services till that`s announced.

    Again on electrifying to Pukekohe, there is little money for PT projects in NZ with this govt. I`d expect you to understand that. Any money needs to go towards a more important project like the CBD tunnel.

  56. joust says:

    Connecting a loco? its Papakura-Pukekohe, not the Trans-Siberian

    Also no obvious complaints about the same effect on Waitakere…do I detect some vested interests in Pukekohe services?

  57. Riccardo says:

    Come on people, no dramas. It is perfectly reasonable to expect Pukekohe pax to change trains, whether or not it is a continuation of the same line.

    I suspect the best compromise is to have the Hamilton stop there, make this pickup the ‘best’ service on the line (a bit like the Capital Connection stopping at Waikanae) and those who care enough will plan their journeys to be on it, the rest will use the shuttles.


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