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Metro fleet expansion proposal

Metro fleet expansion proposal

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This Consultation is closed.

The open period ran from 12:00am 23 August 2012 to 12:00am 15 September 2012 (closed 5 years ago).

Even when all the new Matangi trains are in service later this year, at least a further 26 units (two-car trains) will still be needed to meet peak hour demand.

In the short term the older Ganz Mavag trains will be used but Greater Wellington intends to buy more Matangi trains to replace the Ganz Mavag fleet.

We'd like to know what you think.

We need your feedback by Friday 14 September.

Metro Fleet Expansion Proposal Survey



  • When all 48 new Matangi trains are in service later this year, at least a further 26 trains will still be needed for peak hour services. The number of units required to service peak demand will increase as patronage grows over the next few years.  In the immediate future the older Ganz Mavag fleet will be used, but the ageing and increasingly unreliable fleet needs to be refurbished or replaced.
  • Based on a comprehensive analysis of the costs and benefits of refurbishing versus replacing the Ganz fleet, Greater Wellington last year decided in principle to refurbish the Ganz Mavags, but this decision was subject to full design and pricing completion from KiwiRail which was refurbishing one of the Ganz Mavag trains as a prototype.

The New Offer

  • GWRC have recently received a very competitive offer from Hyundai Rotem, supplier of the Matangi, for more new trains.
  • The new offer is less than half the cost that had been estimated in 2011 and, in conjunction with more robust information on the maintenance cost of the Matangi and Ganz fleets, means the purchase of further Matangi units is now considerably more favourable financially than it was last year. 

The Benefits

  • The financial evaluation and the economic modelling (which was peer reviewed)  show the difference in the lifetime costs of the two options.  Over a 35 year period, the actual cost of procuring and maintaining a replacement fleet will be $228 million less than the cost of refurbishing and maintaining Ganz Mavags for 15 years and then replacing them with new trains.
  • The first new unit would be expected to be delivered in mid to late 2014. The entire fleet would be in service by mid 2016, about two years ahead of all the refurbished Ganz Mavags being back in service which would take until about 2018.
  • Buying more Matangi trains will have about the same impact on regional fares and rates as refurbishing the Ganz Mavag fleet because debt repayment would be spread over a longer period.
  • Buying more Matangi trains offers a rare opportunity to completely renew an entire fleet in one extended procurement process.  Having an all-Matangi fleet would mean that all of Wellington’s metropolitan trains would be modern, efficient, fully accessible, air-conditioned and reliable. We expect that more people would use the new trains. which would help reduce peak congestion and transport-related pollution.
  • It is significantly more efficient, from both an operational and an economic perspective to operate a single fleet, rather than a fleet with two or more types of rolling stock.  A single fleet ensures a consistent driving technique; uniform passenger interfaces and amenities; and greater operational flexibility. Driver training would be simpler and more consistent; no heavy maintenance would be needed in the short term; warranties would be extended; spare parts and inventory holdings would be reduced; and we would not need to undertake another major rolling stock procurement for at least 30 years.

Comparison with Refurbishment

  • It has become increasingly obvious that refurbishment can not deliver anything close to a Matangi-like customer and reliability experience.  Already a number of items had to be removed from the refurbishment programme to stay within budget, including air-conditioning, passenger information displays, and CCTV.
  • Because of the uncertainties associated with stripping down and refurbishing the Ganz Mavag fleet, it has been difficult to formulate a definitive total price for this work.  We and KiwiRail cannot guarantee that unknown additional costs will not emerge once the full fleet refurbishment is commenced.
  • There are maintenance, reliability and passenger comfort risks attached to the refurbishment option.  For example, refurbished trains would have no air conditioning. 
  • While the costs associated with replacement compared with refurbishment are similar, refurbishment does not address costs associated with replacing the 30-year-old Ganz Mavag fleet at the end of its working life in 15 years’ time at 2027 prices.
  • From the time we received the offer from Hyundai Rotem we have explored the issue of the impact of the decision on the Hutt rail workshops. We  have been informed by KiwiRail that the workshops have enough current and planned work for the existing workforce and are not reliant on the Ganz Mavag refurbishment work.  The ongoing local maintenance and support services for the new fleet, which will keep jobs in Wellington, is a key feature of the purchase contract for the Matangi fleet, and would be retained with the purchase of additional Matangi trains.

Next Steps

  • At its September 26 meeting, the Council will decide on the recommendation to proceed with negotiations for more Matangi trains.   

If you'd like to tell us what you think of this proposal, please complete the survey at the top of this page.

If you have any questions, please click on the 'Feedback' button on the right hand side of the screen.



The consultation is now closed and no further submissions can be accepted.
Thank you for your interest in this process

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