Auck’s Electric Trains Deal Signed


In an historic ceremony this afternoon at Britomart, that will change Auckland’s rail landscape, Auckland’s Mayor, Auckland Transport and the Transport Minister signed the deal with Spain’s CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles SA) company for 57 three car electric multiple units (EMUs).

And those trains are promised to incorporate the “latest technology in terms of safety accessibility and modern amenities on board like Wi-Fi networks. They will be comfortable, quiet, environmentally friendly.”

The new EMUs will be operated by Auckland Transport and come into service from the end of 2013. They replace the diesel units and diesel locomotive hauled tains currently running.

CAF also signed a contrain to maintain the trains until 2026 in a new maintenance facility that AT is building at Wiri.

AT says this will mean new jobs building the new Wiri depot over a 2 year period and once the trains are up and running, AT says new maintenance jobs will be created but the number is yet to be defined.

The trains will cost $400m while another $100m is needed to built the maintenance depot at Witi. Two years ago, the government provided a $500m loan to buy 38 new trains and build the depot. The strength of the NZ dollar, savings in operating a homogenous fleet and competition for the contract meant Auckland will get 57 new trains.

CAF will design the new trains based on rolling stock it has supplied for the Heathrow Express.

AT Chair Mark Ford congratulated CAF for dealing with the challenges posed by the Auckland network – a narrow gauge, stainless steel body 25kV EMU.

CAF has provided trains to Hong Kong, New Delhi, London, Rome, Dublin, Brussels, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Lisbon, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Washington, Pittsburg and Sacramento.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown told the gathering that the announcement is the next step towards giving Auckland a 21st century rail network. “Without electric trains, the extension of the network is not possible.
“Without electric trains, vital projects like the City Rail Link are not possible.”

Auckland's Mayor, a train advocate, is elated this afternoon

The procurement was managed on behalf of the government by KiwiRail working closely with the previous ARTA and then transferred to Auckland Transport in preparation for the manufacturing and ownership phases.

AT Chair Mark Ford said the purchase of 19 extra trains - 50 per cent more than previously ploanned “resulted from a positive business case showing the savings involved in operating a homogenous fleet, additional central and local government funding and the intensity of competition providing a good price.”

Spain’s CAF (Construcciones Y Auxiliar De Ferrocarriles) the successful tenderer for the 57 Auckland EMUs had been in the running for the tender given to South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem Company for the Matangi trains that Wellington chose.

Minister Steven Joyce says while the region will own the trains and their depot, the Crown through KiwiRail will retain ownership of below ground assets including track, signals and power supply. KiwiRail will also continue to provide, maintain and renew rail network infrastructure and provide network services such as traction, signalling and train control.

“This is another key milestone on our way to delivering a real step change in commuter rail travel in the region,” he says.

“We are on track for these new electric trains to start coming into service from the end of 2013.”

“The difference between the new modern units to be supplied by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles SA (CAF) and the current rolling stock will be dramatic.”


Photos inside and out of the new trains and full details

Video take a ride !




  1. greenwelly says:

    Notable that they will be self contained 3 car sets, and that staff will not be able to move between sets ala those in Wellington

  2. Doloras says:

    They’re certainly much stylier than the Matangis. IN YER FACE, WELLINGTON SNOBS.

  3. Gibbo says:

    I’d also like to see them with couplers allowing current KR fleet to connnect - so that in the event of failure there is the flexibility to allow a diesel loco to come the rescue (if on a following freight service etc) rather than relying on another EMU.

  4. joust says:

    fantastic news. they can’t come soon enough.

  5. Matt L says:

    I think they look pretty good, the interiors look nice to

    Greenwelly - I thought the door at the end of the Matangi’s was only for emergencies so in that regard this is no different, staff can move between the carriages of each set without any issues.

    Gibbo - I think the automatic coupliers are better as most of the time the coupling will be between EMU’s so better to make that easier rather than have an inferior design on the rare occasion something a diesel loco needs to be hooked up, they probably will have an adapter for when that needs to happen.

  6. Ben says:

    Very Nice Looking in and outside indeed.
    The WiFi will be a nice hit and one way of keeping passengers (and the odd staff member) “entertained” on the trip.

    Was thinking about the statement saying the couplers should be the same as our diesel locomotives in case of a failure - an adapter between a DC/DH loco and the EMU would work fine - just got to make sure the air hose connections are savvy in case of a tow job.

    But with increased frequencies, it would not be too long until another EMU was up the disabled EMU’s backside and being in position to give it a tow.

  7. Kegan says:

    Exterior looks good. Interior looks quite like a Matangi without luggage racks. From the external render, it appears that they’re going for Wellington style door wells in the end cars.


    “I’d also like to see them with couplers allowing current KR fleet to connnect”

    IIRC the ARTA spec called for adapters compatible with existing couplings, whether that was carried foward when KR took over and restarted the process …

    @Matt L

    “I thought the door at the end of the Matangi’s was only for emergencies…”

    They’re designed for staff access between sets while underway. Would’ve ended up with something more aesthetically pleasing if they were for emergency evacuation only.

  8. Craig says:

    @Gibbo and

    Unfortunately it is very difficult to couple a train running Tite-lok (Matangi’s) and one running Dellner.

    This gets a lot harder if the Dellner is running an automatic train control connection system ala Class 377 Electrostar’s.

    Luckily if the train traction system is any good there will be plenty of redundancy.


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>