caf-auckland2.jpgThe 25kV trains will be delivered from late 2013 and will replace dmus
and locomotive-hauled trains on the city's suburban network, which is
currently being electrified. As part of the contract, CAF will maintain
the trains until at least 2026 at a purpose-built depot to be
constructed south of the city at Wiri.

The $NZ 640m ($US 493m) procurement was managed by KiwiRail, which
worked closely with Auckland Regional Transport Authority, and latterly
its successor Auckland Transport. The process began in 2009, when the
New Zealand government agreed to provide a $NZ 500m loan to buy 38
trains and build the depot. A further $NZ 90m grant was also provided
to allow Transport Auckland to increase the order to 57 sets. The
remainder of the funding will come from local sources.

"The purchase of the 19 extra trains resulted from a positive business
case, showing the savings involved in operating a homogenous fleet,
additional central and local government funding, and the intensity of
competition providing a very good price," says Auckland Transport
chairman Mr Mark Ford.

The other bidder shortlisted for the contract was Hyundai Rotem, Korea,
which is currently supplying a fleet of 48 FP class Matangi suburban
emus to Wellington.

Auckland's rail network is currently undergoing a $NZ 1.6bn upgrade,
which includes track-doubling and electrifying the Papakura - Swanson
line, as well as a new spur line in Manukau city centre. The Onehunga
line is also being reactivated for passenger services, and existing
stations are being rebuilt.