The first of Auckland’s new electric trains has arrived and has been delivered to Wiri Train Depot for certification. The train landed in Auckland on Saturday after a five-week sea journey from Spain, via Baltimore and the Panama Canal. After clearance from Customs, the three cars of the train… were trucked 25 kilometres from the port of Auckland to Wiri early this morning.
The train will be certified at Wiri Train Depot before being officially unveiled in early September. The new train, and others as they arrive, will be thoroughly tested and used for driver training before going into operation, once there is a sufficient number to begin running a commercial service. This is planned to start in the second quarter of next year. All of the 57 new trains will be in full service in 2015.
Auckland Transport’s chairman, Dr Lester Levy, says this first train has been delivered right on time.
“These trains will change the face of public transport in Auckland,” he says. “Train services have improved significantly in recent years and these attractive new trains will provide an additional incentive for people to get on board,” he says.
The trains have been designed to meet the specific needs of Aucklanders and feature the latest in safety, comfort and reliability. “Along with so many Aucklanders, we are looking forward to the first trains going into service next year. This is a very exciting time for Auckland,” Dr Levy says. “We thank the people of Auckland for their patience as all the work and preparation is undertaken to get the trains here. Finally, the day has come for the first of our new fleet to land on New Zealand soil.” Each three-car train can carry up to 375 passengers – around 100 more passengers than the current trains and once all 57 three-car trains are in service, they will provide for a 40 per cent increase in network capacity. The total cost of the fleet is NZ$420 million.