Joyce: Matangi ‘No Silver Bullet”


Transport Minister Steven Joyce says Wellington’s new Matangi trains will help ease commuters’ frustrations but warned they’re no “silver bullet.”

The new Matangi electric trains were blessed and officially welcomed in a formal ceremony in Wellington this afternoon before commuters were given a couple of hours to clamber on board. - Photos here

The first of the 48 new trains has arrived and will be in operation from December.

Mr Joyce said the new Matangi trains will make for a more reliable, comfortable journey for commuters in the capital and that Wellingtonians have been waiting a long time for them.

The new trains “will go some way towards easing the frustration commuters have experienced recently,”he said.

“While the Matangi trains are not a silver bullet solution, they will make a considerable difference.”

The government had committed $258 million through a Crown appropriation to the Greater Wellington Regional Council for the upgrade of Wellington’s commuter rail, with further sums directed to KiwiRail.

“The new trains will, over time, replace trains purchased in 1982, some of which were built in the 1950s and were brought back into service from museums to meet demand. Improving the rolling stock is equally as important as the rail upgrade and that’s been underway over the past two years.

“The rail upgrade has caused its share of pain because KiwiRail has been upgrading the network in the limited windows of opportunities when trains aren’t running. Inevitably that puts pressure on infrastructure that is in some cases more than fifty years old.

“One of the most recent milestones has been the introduction of a third line into Wellington station which has reduced delays as trains queue up to get into platforms in the morning – or wait to get out at night.”

He added that the Wellington commuter network is very important to the region, with almost 30,000 people passing through the railway station each weekday.

The entire new fleet is expected to be in Wellington by the end of next year. Even when all the new trains are running, the Ganz Mavags will be needed to help meet peak hour demand. A decision on whether the Ganz Mavag fleet will be refurbished or replaced will be made early next year.




  1. karl says:

    Reading the headline, I immediately wondered what snide verbal put-down Joyce was trying to make against rail here. That’s how sceptical I am of him.

    Nice to see that wasn’t the case. One hopes that the magic of fancy new infrastructure and rolling stock can convince even some diehard sceptics.

  2. travis says:

    I was expecting the same thing as well

  3. Anthony M says:

    same here!! i was just thinking, for christ sakes Steven, give it a rest…

  4. ty says:

    I think they should replace the Ganz Mavags units when decision is made next year.


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>