The first of Auckland Transport's new electric trains has arrived in Auckland.
AM810 arrived from Spain on via roll-on/roll-off vessel, Hoegh Transporter. The three-carriage train was delivered in the parts by road carrier to the train depot in Wiri, sneaking through Auckland's streets early one morning.
The 15 new trains are being built by the company which manufactured the original 57 trains for Auckland, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) at their factory in Beasain in northern Spain. They'll have a similar look and feel, with some minor changes - new seat back covers, changes in the carpet and faster doors to reduce time at stations.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the $133 million investment in new electric trains will help to meet the strongly growing demand for fast, efficient and reliable public transport across the region.
"In June we achieved 100 million public transport trips in a year for the first time since the 1950s, and those numbers are continuing to grow - in the twelve months to August patronage increased by 8.7 per cent.
"Aucklanders want transport choice, and we're investing at record levels to deliver it," he said.
Shane Ellison, Chief Executive of Auckland Transport says the new trains will add to the existing 57 trains which arrived in 2014/15.
"Since their introduction, we've had an 82.3 per cent increase in the number of rail services each year across the network.
"These new trains will help with the increase in patronage on the rail network and help with capacity until the City Rail Link is completed. I'm sure they will be a welcome sight to regular commuters"
AM810 will spend the next few weeks being tested by AT and CAF staff before being rolled out into service.
All 15 trains should arrive by July 2020 and be on the tracks by next September.