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Auckland to get 50% more electric trains

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Transport
1 September 2011

Auckland to get 50% more electric trains

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says a funding and ownership agreement between the government and Auckland Council will enable 50 percent more electric trains to be purchased for the Auckland network.

“Commuter rail is an increasingly important way for Aucklanders to get to work each day and this package will complete a massive $1.6 billion government-funded upgrade to the Auckland metro rail network.

“The deal means 57 three-car electric trains will be able to be purchased, 50 percent more than the 38 previously proposed. The agreement will allow a fully electric fleet to operate in Auckland and be owned by the region,” says Mr Joyce.

“As part of the package, the government will make an additional grant of up to $90 million to ensure Auckland Transport can take advantage of favourable purchase conditions and purchase the full all-electric fleet for the network.

“Having an all-electric fleet will mean significant savings in operational costs for the network, helping reduce the previously identified operational deficit."

KiwiRail has undertaken an extensive procurement process in conjunction with Auckland Transport. A contract for the purchase of the new trains will be signed on 30 September 2011, with new trains arriving progressively from 2013.

“The government is investing $1.6 billion in upgrading, extending and electrifying Auckland’s rail network and this further commitment to the delivery of extra electric trains to cover the whole Auckland network will realise the full benefits of this investment,” says Mr Joyce

The Auckland funding and ownership package comprises the following:

• Auckland Transport will take ownership of the new depot and 57 new three-car trains, along with existing non-electrified rolling stock, and will become responsible for all rolling stock maintenance.

• A $500 million Crown loan to purchase electric trains will be made to Auckland Council group.

• Funding assistance from the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to help Auckland Council group repay the loan. This will initially be set at a 60 percent of the costs of the loan repayment (2011/12) and will move to 50 percent on an annual one percent glide path starting at 59 percent from 2012/13.

• Up to $90 million Crown grant to assist in funding the additional trains.

• Auckland Council will meet any additional purchase costs incurred above the Crown funding.

• The Crown (through KiwiRail) will retain ownership of below ground assets including track, signals and power supply. The current infrastructure upgrade and electrification programmes will be completed to bring the network to a more functional and reliable standard.

• Auckland Transport will pay a track access charge to KiwiRail, partly subsidised by NZTA, reflecting the fair and actual cost of maintaining the tracks and other assets.

Mr Joyce says central and local government have worked well together to develop a package to put Auckland’s metro rail system on a sustainable footing.

“Procuring a full fleet of electric trains offers the best operational flexibility and long-term value for money by being able to operate on all three train lines.

“This package will give the Auckland region more independence and flexibility into how they run services while passengers can look forward to faster and more reliable electric trains. And the Government has been able to deliver this result without motorists having to pay an additional 10 cents per litre regional fuel tax.”

ENDS

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