12 Sep 2013

Auckland's new electric trains unveiled

10:24 pm on 12 September 2013

The first train in Auckland's new electric fleet has been unveiled at a ceremony at Manukau's Wiri depot.

It is the first of 57 electric trains that will replace Auckland's ageing diesel fleet at a cost of more than $500 million.

The first train will be in use on the Onehunga line by April next year, with the rest gradually being introduced into passenger service by 2015.

Each train will have room for 375 passengers, an increase of 40% capacity on Auckland's current trains.

They were built by Spanish-based company Construcciones y Auxilair Ferrocarriles (CAF).

Auckland mayor Len Brown says the new trains are a major step forward for Auckland public transport and will invigorate public interest in using rail.

Mr Brown says he would like to see a competition run where members of the public name all 57 trains.

Features include open gangways between cars allowing people to walk from one end of the train to the other and space under the seats for luggage, strollers and guide dogs.

Len Brown has made public transport a top priority.

Len Brown has made public transport a top priority. Photo: RNZ