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A deal between the government and Auckland Council will bring 57 new trains into the city in two years time, said Transport Minister Steven Joyce today.
The funding and ownership deal is part of a $1.6 billion government-funded upgrade to the Auckland metro rail network.
The package includes:
- a $500 million Crown loan to Auckland Council for the purchase of electric trains
- funding assistance from NZTA to help Auckland Council repay the loan (initially set at 60% of the costs of the loan repayment in 2011/12; will move to 50% on an annual 1% glide path starting at 59% from 2012/13)
- a Crown grant of up to $90 million to assist in funding the additional trains.
Mr Joyce said having an all-electric fleet would mean significant savings in operational costs for the network, and help reduce the present operational deficit of approximately $30 to 40 million a year.
The all-electric three-car trains are in addition to existing non-electric stock.
Initial plans were for 38 new trains, but Mr Joyce told NBR the strong New Zealand dollar and a competitive tender process internationally meant 57 trains were “almost affordable”.
He said a fleet of 57 all-electric trains - in comparison to the previously plan of purchasing 38 all-electric trains to run alongside existing diesel stock - would result in $5 million in operational savings.
A contract for the purchase of the new trains will be signed on 30 September 2011, with new trains arriving progressively from 2013.
KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn announced a shortlist of bidders for the procurement and maintenance contract for the new Auckland trains earlier this year.
The first of the two is the Hyundai Rotem Company; a South Korean business who have shipped trains to countries including: Brazil, Canada and Greece, and are the suppliers of Wellington’s Matangi all-electric trains. They recently signed a contract for a project in the US city Denver. The second is a combined bid by the Madrid-based Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles S.A. (CAF) and the Japanese Mitsubishi Corporation. This year CAF has won contracts to supply trains to the Santiago de Chile Metro, the Sao Paulo Metro, Stockholm and France.
The selection of the preferred bidder is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter 2011, Mr Quinn said.