Matangi’s First Paying Train


Wellington commuters were promised Matangi trains by Christmas and they got only a brief taste today.
It’s running a little behind schedule as it will be next year before the new electric trains really appear proper on the lines.
The first Matangi train took its first paying passengers on the Upper Hutt Line today.
The new train was used briefly today - on the 9.05am service from Wellington to Upper Hutt and the 10am return service.
During January, the train will be removed from service for multi-unit testing, involving two or three two-car units being coupled together.

The regional council says when that testing is complete, its hoped to be able to run a six-car Matangi train on some of the peak hour Hutt Valley services in late February.
Matangi trains will replace all of the English Electric trains on the Johnsonville Line in May 2nd and they will start running on the Kapiti Line by July or August next year. All 48 new trains will be in Wellington this time next year.
The council chair Fran Wilde says the rigorous and intensive testing process has gone well. The new trains have now run on most of the Wellington metropolitan network – they will be tested on the extension to Waikanae in February – and have been tested to the worst conditions.
“The testing team, along with other rail staff, have been very impressed with the performance of these new trains particularly on the Johnsonville Line which has the steepest grades and tightest tunnels of all the lines in the region. And they have run at speeds of up to 119kph on the Kapiti Line.”




  1. Matt L says:

    119kph, something we could only dream about on the western line in Auckland.

  2. Richard says:

    Just being curious: Does anyone know what the land speed record for trains in NZ is?

  3. Matt says:

    With the 48 new Matangi trains, what is going to happen to Wellington’s current fleet?

  4. greenwelly says:

    @Matt, the Ganzs remain the EEs will go, although
    The exact fate of the 33 EE cars is uncertain, there is talk of scrapping them , - not sure if this means running an open tender, or simply shipping them off to the nearest steel mill as feed stock

    The GANZs remain and are likely to be refurbished, the result will be an EMU fleet of 44 Ganz sets and 48 Matangi sets, ( total fleet size 184, )

    This is a jump from the current 121 EMU cars and will allow more capacity on both peak and off peak services.

  5. Kris says:

    Probably will be scrapped. Some might be offer to rail museums.

    Ferrymead will go for spare parts for their DM & its 2 D trailers currently located at the Park

  6. AKT says:

    A decision on whether the Ganz Mavag fleet will be refurbished or replaced will be made early next year.

  7. Anthony says:

    What sections on the Kaipiti line can the Matangi go 119?

  8. greenwelly says:

    @Anthony, I would suspect the P’Pram Straights section,

    But according to WRC they are restricted to 110 on passenger services. The Ganzs are rated to 95 in service.

    I suspect the track is the limiting factor-
    Is there a mainline speed limit due to the rail weight used on the NIMT?

    The Matangis have 40% more Kw Traction than the Ganzs and only 10 more weight (when fully loaded), ( less than 5% additional when empty)-

  9. Luke says:

    the official land speed record for trains in NZ is 125kph!!! and this was in 1940 with a diesel railcar!!!
    although theres plenty of stories around about Silver Fern railcars and DX’s on the Silver Star getting up to 140 around Ohakune in the 70′s.

  10. Andy says:

    Matangis 4 & 5 arrived today


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