The first of Auckland’s new trains is wrapped and ready for shipping this weekend. The electric train left the Construcciones y Auxillair Ferrocarriles (CAF) factory in Spain on Thursday afternoon (Spanish time) and is now in transit to the port of Santander. The ship carrying the train will sail on Sunday via Baltimore and the Panama Canal to arrive in Auckland in early September. Once here, the train will be taken from the port to the new $100 million train maintenance depot at Wiri for checking and certification. Between September and April 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 run a commercial service. Auckland Transport’s Chief Executive Officer David Warburton says the first train has been delivered by CAF from the factory on time. “These trains will revolutionise public transport by rail in Auckland. The trains look clean and simple but they are state of the art.”
CAF is building a fleet of 57 three-car train sets to carry passengers on the Auckland suburban rail network. The trains have been designed to meet the specific needs of Aucklanders and feature the latest in terms of safety, comfort and reliability. The three-car trains carry up to 375 passengers, around 100 more than the current trains or an increase of 40 per cent. CAF was awarded the $US300 million contract to build the trains in October 2011 and all trains are due to be in operation in Auckland by late 2015.