Are These Our New Electric Trains?


Now Spain’s CAF company has won the tender to build Auckland’s new electric trains, here is what we may get.

Hong Kong’s electric Airport Express train built in 1997 probably come closest to what we can expect.

Here a video of them: Can you see them arriving at your station? Nice!

And inside..

Here’s the interior of one of their own Spanish trains.

Bit of an upgrade from our present fleet!

The announcement was to have been made this afternoon but negotiations between the Spanish company and Auckland Transport on the finer points including a maintenance contract were continuing.

The first units are expected to arrive from mid-2013 but KiwiRail has said it does not expect the trains to be operational for commuters until sometime in 2014.

The final decision was between a consortium of Madrid-based Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem Company which is building Wellington’s 48 Matangi EMU trains. Details here




  1. Antz says:

    I love the Interior of the Spanish Trains. I can’t wait to use them already….

  2. Alphatron says:

    This article describes some recent metre gauge EMUs built by CAF which may give more of an idea of what is proposed for Auckland than the standard or broad gauge examples on CAF’s website:

  3. James says:

    They do look beautiful. Now only the CBD rail loop and rail to the North Shore and we have a world class city! (Hopeful wishing?)

  4. Jon R says:

    I am very pleased that CAF has won. I have ridden in CAF trains in a number of cities and they are very nice indeed.

    Auckland, inching towards number 1 city once we get the City Rail Link tunnel and Airport Rail line built.

    I just cannot wait for Steven Joyce´s next exciting public transport expansion project to be announced!

  5. Jon R says:

    Alphatron - nice TramTrain too. Perfect for Christchurch perhaps? Good to see TT´s becoming more and more widely used as technology advances.

  6. Ingolfson says:

    What is wrong with the interior of our current trains? Can’t see how the CAF interiors will be much different from what we are used to, once we are over the heady “new train smell”.

    It’s the constant breakdowns and the lack of electrification and lack of capacity that is the problem with our current fleet. The rest is mainly window dressing* ;-)

    *Though some low-floor areas, some bike racks, and maybe toilets would be nice.

  7. Rob says:

    Great to have these CAF trains but in order to be a real ‘world class city’, by 2014, all our stations must have automated ticket gates and ticket vending machines and roofing that runs the entire length of the platforms (as is the case in Hong Kong).

  8. Peter in Sydney says:

    I agree with Ingolfson. The seating in your current trains is reasonably comfortable. The seats shown in the Spanish train look much too thin to be comfortable. Our bean counters ordered busses with minimun padding on the seats and bone jarring suspensions. I suspect that the operators keep the tyres at maximum pressure as well which results in an extremely uncomfortable ride. It is possible to have comfort and still retain some vandal resistance. Good luck. I look forward to visiting for a ride when they finally enter service.

  9. Martin says:

    I’ve been on some of their EMUs and can’t say they are the most comfortable I’ve ever been on esp, compared with German and French designs.

  10. James B says:

    I hope they are designed to allow you to travel between carriages. I like being able to get on at the back door and then walk down to front to get off if it is more convenient to the exit I want to use.

  11. Tim says:

    @Ingolfson, Jon C - I don’t see what is wrong with the existing interiors - it seems that newer trains have much more stark interiors in order to vandal-proof… I hope the good non-window dressing stuff put on these things - automatic couplers and maybe battery operation for short distances (for safer maintenance depots) and AC traction.

  12. John Gilbert says:

    As it now appears that no electric locomotives are to be ordered, what will happen to the sets of ex- British Rail carriages so excellently converted for use in Auckland which would have been hauled by these locomotives?

  13. Euan says:

    I quite like the Spanish company that makes the Civia. The Civia looks a lot better than the ones used on the Hong Kong Airport Express don’t you think?

  14. Matt says:

    I’d suggest that the new CAF 4000 series being delivered to Northern Ireland Railways might be a better indication of what you’ll be getting (thought they are DMU’s) - 4000 Series.

  15. Peter says:

    If the new CAF trains have an interior standard as per the new CAF trians in Damman, Saudi Arabia your on a winner for comfort & style. These a wid body passenger trains, the first has just been delivered to Saudi.

  16. L.E. says:

    I think the layout of the new EMU’s will have seats like most Euro Metro trains. This will increase carrying capacity as the trains will propably be run as 3 car untis rather than a 6 car consist.

    I do know the internal Cab layout is still in discussion but the doors to gain entry are supposed to be like the ones currently used on the SD end of the train.

    Canteen romour has it the SA units will be scrapped after electrification. Personally i think the 5 / 6 car sets should be revamped with toilets to run a regular service to / from Hamilton.

  17. jamvanderloeff says:

    They’ll go one better: regenerative brakes return power back to the grid when braking.


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