Our Electric Trains: What’s On Order


The Industry Engagement Document , the first stage of the tender process for Auckland’s new electric rail, invites interest in providing up to 38 EMUS comprising up to 114 cars each with 240 seats.
But the document says, a little worryingly, “alternative solutions to deliver the required capacity” will be considered.
The document was placed on the Government’s tender website by KiwiRail yesterday.
The plan is for a short list of suppliers drawn up by July and the actual contract for Auckland’s new electric trains will be finalised around this time next year.
The first units will arrive in 2013.
KiwiRail’s other outstanding big project for electrification is the signals and masts for the system and the first traction mast will appear before Christmas, an encouraging visible signal electric trains are coming.
EARLIER: ARC talks of our “brand new modern trains”




  1. Kurt says:

    Highly likely that corporate speak “Alternative solutions to deliver required capacity” equals in the very least retention of the SA/SD carriage sets.

    And they will need to given about half of all services go to Waitakere which beyond Swanson wont be electrified.

  2. jarbury says:

    There must be more info beyond the log-in screen I guess?

  3. jarbury says:

    Kurt, there will undoubtedly be fewer trains going beyond Swanson post-electrification than there are now. Or at least a lower proportion of trains.

  4. Jeremy Harris says:

    A tender is a tender and Kiwirail has the $500 million funding, electrification is approved and funded, I’m confident we shall get brand new EMUs…

  5. Matt L says:

    Kurt - I think services beyond the wires should be run as a shuttle service rather than all the way into town. That would solve much of the issue of wires not extending further.

    The thing that really concerns me is the upper limit placed on the number of EMU’s, if a manufacturer wants to give us a better deal to win the contract and give us 40 EMU’s then we shouldn’t stop them. Instead we should be placing a lower limit saying we need at least X amount.

  6. joust says:

    “electrification is approved and funded, I’m confident we shall get brand new EMUs…”

    I agree Jeremy.

    Any conceivable alternative would depend on what is meant by “capacity”. If that means network wide “seat-miles” per hour or something like that then it’d be difficult to come up with anything other than Electric Multiple Units to provide the same level of service.

    EMUs are faster overall than any push-pull service would be hence provide higher capacity across the electrified network.

  7. max says:

    As a transport jack-of-all-trades-expert-on-none, can the train experts explain why NEW locomotives with NEW carriages would be so much worse than EMUs?

    Is it primarily the change-over time at stations?

  8. Matt L says:

    Max - There is a good list of advantages and disadvantages on wikipedia.


  9. jarbury says:

    Loco hauled services are just more inefficient for regular stopping I thought.

  10. max says:

    Of course it is on Wikipedia. It is the law ;-)

  11. Nick R says:

    I pretty sure “alternative solutions to deliver the required capacity” refers to alternate possibilities such as a smaller number of longer carriages, different seating arrangements etc.

    I.e. they want 38 EMUs and are still open to suggestions about how they are configured.


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