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Greater Wellington to pursue purchase of more Matangi

27 September 2012

Greater Wellington to pursue purchase of more Matangi

Greater Wellington Regional Council will pursue buying more Matangi trains to replace the ageing Ganz Mavag fleet.

The Council yesterday confirmed a decision to authorise Council officers to negotiate a purchase of 35 more Matangi trains.

All 48 trains that were ordered a few years ago are now in Wellington and all will be in service soon.

Peter Glensor, Chair of Greater Wellington’s Economic Wellbeing Committee which is responsible for public transport, says the opportunity to buy more of the new trains arose when the Council received a very reasonable offer from the Matangi supplier, Hyundai Rotem.

“The financial evaluations and economic modelling we have done as part of our due diligence so far show that it is a no-brainer to pursue this option.

"And the overwhelming majority of people who responded to an online survey on the proposal agreed.”

Only two responses out of the 150 received were not in favour of buying more Matangi. A selection of comments from the survey follows this release.

Cr Glensor says buying more Matangi trains offers a rare opportunity to completely renew an entire fleet in one extended procurement process.

“A single electric train fleet has enormous advantages. It means that all of Wellington’s metropolitan trains would be modern, efficient, fully accessible, air-conditioned and reliable. Along with the competitive price on offer, an important issue is the performance and high quality passenger experience of the Matangi fleet, and the improving levels of punctuality.

“Having a single fleet also makes good economic sense: driver training is simpler; no heavy maintenance would be needed in the short term; warranties would be extended; spare parts and inventory holdings would be reduced; and we would not need to undertake further major rolling stock procurement for at least 30 years.

“If the negotiations are successful, and we’ve every reason to believe they will be, the next batch of Matangi should begin arriving in Wellington in the middle of 2014 and the entire fleet could be in service by mid 2016.”

For more information, contact:
Peter Glensor, Chair Economic Wellbeing Committee
T: 027 241 5152

Excerpts from the responses to Greater Wellington’s online survey asking people what they think of the proposal to buy more Matangi trains.
The survey was carried out between 23 August and 14 September 2012.

Its a no brainer, buy more Matangi's . Upgrading the Ganz just does not make sense the Matangis are an excellent train.
Great idea - trying to fix old trains will have greater risk and still not provide for growth in the future.
I think it is good. I LOVE the matangi. Get rid of the Ganz
I support this proposal. Good to have single EMU fleet esp. since Ganz are unreliable. Also better for operational reasons and passenger experience.

I agree with the proposal, as the synergies and whole-of-life cost savings as reported exceed that of refurbishing the old fleet. Also, the quality of service provided by the new Matangi trains exceed the refurbished old trains (I have travelled in both the Matangi and refurbished unit at various points in the last few months).

This is a fantastic opportunity for the Wellington region. As outlined, the benefits of operating a unified fleet will be high, and given that the first Matangi went into service almost two years(?) ago, a decision to purchase more of the same is relatively low-risk. The projected savings over replacing the old fleet after their lives further strengthens the case for an all-Matangi fleet. I have one question - what will happen to the excess 9 Matangi units, as it appears to be a high number for contingency.

Sensible decision - financially and also from having a modern fleet which is comfortable and great to travel in

This is a logical proposal that appears to save significant money while improving the quality of the suburban fleet. I support the proposal.

Having one type of train fleet will improve the overall quality of public transport in Wellington as well as being cost effective. This is a no brainer. New Matangi look modern and are great to travel in. Finally we have the making of a world class public transport system appropriate for NZ's capital city.

Great idea, the sooner the better. The Matangi trains are so much better to ride in. I try to avoid catching a service that is using the old Ganz Mavag units.


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