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ARTA acknowledged for quality approach to trains

13 December 2005

ARTA acknowledged for quality approach to train fleet

The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) has won the Mechanical and Manufacturing Award 2005 at the inaugural NZ Engineering Excellence Awards. The award acknowledges the quality of the SA train remanufacture and refurbishment from old and unused carriages and recognises ARTA’s ‘highly successful approach to achieving attractive and efficient solutions at an acceptable cost’.

Chief Executive Officer, ARTA Alan Thompson says, “It’s wonderful to see ARTA’s work acknowledged in this way and the recognition of the quality and innovative nature of the SA train remanufacture. The judges also highlighted the long-term community value the remanufacture generated for Aucklanders. The nine SA trains now in service, supported the recently introduced expanded train timetable which offers Aucklanders a 25 per cent increase in services over the week.”

General Manager Infrastructure and Rail, ARTA Elena Trout says, “The solution has been a result of a partnership between Toll NZ and ourselves to help us meet the rising patronage demands and address the region’s chronic train shortage. By 2007 14 sets of SA train carriages or additional capacity for over 9000 passengers will be introduced to the network. Creating trains with a 25 year life span the design, construction and commissioning of the remanufactured trains took less than two years and cost two thirds less than buying new rolling stock.”

“Land Transport NZ and the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) have committed around $1 million to enable ARTA to investigate the procurement method and specification for new rolling stock.” said Ms Trout.

The SA train project was finalist in both 'Roads and Transport' and 'Mechanical and Manufacturing' categories. Described by the judges as ‘having high quality engineering results achieved from the available materials with effective coordination of several engineering contributors’, the project was noted as attracting attention in other areas, with the potential to adopt the concept elsewhere in New Zealand.

The first of the trains, which comprises three SA carriages, an SD driving car and a DC locomotive, was unveiled in Auckland in May 2004 by the Hon Michael Cullen, Minister of Finance. Land Transport NZ and the ARC provided funding for the SA train remanufacturing and trains are remanufactured at Toll NZ Hillside Engineering Workshops in Dunedin, while the locomotives are over-hauled at the Hutt Workshops in Wellington.

ENDS

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