The first of Auckland’s fleet of new electric trains are on track to arrive from Spain within 12 months. In a report to this morning’s Auckland Council Transport Committee, it was confirmed that the first train would leave Spain, where the manufacturer CAF is building it, in June and arrive in Auckland in August.
Production of the trains began at the CAF factory in Spain’s Basque country last month two weeks ahead of schedule.
Auckland Council Transport Committee Chair Mike Lee has welcomed the progress being made.
“Aucklanders can look forward to seeing the electric first train on the tracks within a year and that will just add to their appetite for faster, quieter, more efficient and more comfortable trains,” says Cr Lee.
All 57 trains will be handed over to Auckland Transport by mid 2015.
In the meantime, good progress is being made on the electrification of Auckland’s rail network ahead of the arrival of the new trains.
KiwiRail is on target to have the necessary infrastructure in place by the time the first train arrives. Resignalling has been completed, the wires are already up on the Onehunga line and on the western line from Swanson to Avondale and 75 per cent of the mast foundations required for electrification are in place.
“I look forwarding to joining my fellow Aucklanders travelling on the new trains. We have put up with the current fleet of aging diesel trains for too long,” says Mayor Len Brown.
“The electric trains, along with integrated ticketing and projects like the City Rail Link and the Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI), will change the face of public transport in Auckland as patronage continues to increase.”