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Purchase of 58 new passenger rail carriages


Purchase of 58 new passenger rail carriages underway

“The process of purchasing new passenger trains for Wellington has begun,” said Greater Wellington Regional Council Chairman Ian Buchanan.

“On Saturday Greater Wellington will advertise internationally for Expressions of Interest (EOI) in supplying 58 electric passenger units for our rail network. This is a major milestone and means that we are now on a solid timeline to delivering the trains the public have been demanding.”

The 58 units are likely to operate as 29 two car Electric Multiple Units (EMUs), which can be made up into larger trains of up to 10 or 12 units.

“I expect the first unit to arrive in Wellington by July 2009, and be ready to carry passengers by early 2010. This is a lengthy but necessary process. We will be spending around $160 million on these trains and we expect them to operate for more than 25 years, so we need to get the specifications and contract right.”

Mr Buchanan said much of the funding for the new trains was coming from central government, with ratepayers and commuters contributing about 20% of the cost.

“I am very grateful to the Government who, through Land Transport New Zealand, are meeting 80% of the cost of purchasing these trains. Rail commuters are also contributing through their fares, and ratepayers through rates. I know commuters would like the new trains sooner, but unfortunately you can’t buy trains off the shelf.”

Mr Buchanan said commuters would notice a substantial improvement in levels of comfort when the new trains go into service.

“The 88 Ganz-Mavag units that run on our main lines were delivered in the late 1970s. The new trains will be more reliable and comfortable and will have much improved facilities such as air conditioning, better lighting, more comfortable seating and display systems indicating next station arrival information. I can best describe the difference as trading up from a Mark 3 Cortina to a 2006 Mondeo!”

The 58 new units will replace the existing fleet of English Electric units, currently operating on the Melling and Johnsonville lines, and will add to the fleet of 88 Ganz-Mavags to take the total fleet to 144 units. It is also possible the order may be increased as part of the improvements being planned for the Western Corridor.

“Over the last year commuters have been flocking to the rail system, which has put pressure on the existing fleet of 124 units,” said Mr Buchanan. “The new trains will increase our capacity, and also give us the opportunity to begin refurbishing the Ganz-Mavags to bring them up to modern standards.”

“All in all this is a very important milestone for the region, and at last gives commuters certainty that improvements are under way.”

ENDS

Ian Buchanan

Chairperson

Greater Wellington Regional Council

P 802 0346

M 027 282 2833 OR Andrew Cutler

Communication Manager

Greater Wellington Regional Council

P 381 7782

M 021 44 99 32

Background

• The rail system in Wellington is currently operated by a fleet of 124 cars. Of this fleet, 36 cars were built by English Electric in the 1940s and 1950s and are now becoming due for replacement. The remainder of the fleet (88 cars) was built by Ganz Mavag in the 1980s.

• The new EMUs will be modern, reliable and energy efficient. The target date for the new EMUs to start being introduced into service is early 2010. To achieve this, it is expected a supply contract for the new EMUs will be awarded by July 2007.


• GW has approval to purchase 58 cars. These will replace some of the existing fleet of cars and also provide additional cars to meet the growth that is anticipated on the Wellington system. The proposed supply contract will include options that will enable additional cars to be added to the order.


• The Indicative timeline is

Issue Call for Expressions of Interest 23 September 2006
EOI submission date 7 November 2006
EOI evaluation 7 November to 20 December 2006
Shortlist qualified Tenderers 20 December 2006
Issue a Request for Tender to Pre-Qualified Tenderers 20 December 2006
Tenders close 31 March 2007
Target date for signing Agreement July 2007

<>

Ends


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