Media release: 5 July 2013
Mayor Len Brown cuts an entry ribbon flanked by Auckland Transport Chairman Lester Levy and the Maori King's Kahui Ariki, Ngaire Lasika.
The Mayor describes the maintenance and stabling facility for Auckland’s new trains, officially opened today, as a major step towards a modern, efficient integrated transport system Auckland can be proud of.
Earlier this week, Auckland Transport handed over parts of the $100 million facility at Wiri to train operator Transdev (formerly Veolia) and train manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) to commence the fit-out in preparation for the arrival of the first train in September.
“This opening heralds a time of great change in Auckland. The depot will be home to our new fleet of electric trains which will start arriving soon and go into service next year, “ says Len Brown.
“Along with the City Rail Link, integrated ticketing on trains, ferries and buses and Auckland Transport’s New Network, there is a bright future for Aucklanders sick of gridlock and poor public transport options.”
The 4.4 hectare site is on part of the old Winstones Quarry in Wiri and had to be filled with tonnes of rock before work could start on construction.
The purpose-built facility comprises a 7,650 square metre maintenance building, train wash, six kilometres of rail track sidings, stabling for 28 three-car trains and a cleaning platform so the inside of the trains can be vacuumed and washed. There is also a locally operated points system so all train movements can be controlled on-site.
The depot has permanent in-ground lifting jacks, a wheel lathe, overhead gantries and lifting cranes. It has a state of the art protection system to ensure the personal safety of people working close to the overhead wires.
Outside, most of the rail sidings have been laid on more than 8,000 cubic metres of specially quarried ballast excavated from Pokeno. A large number of overhead gantries have been erected to run wiring for electricity to the trains and there is a driver footbridge between the depot and the Main Trunk Line allowing drivers to switch trains without having to bring them into the depot.
Auckland Transport chairman Dr Lester Levy says, “The new trains will result in a major improvement to the level of passenger service which will encourage more people to switch from cars to public transport.
“This state of the art maintenance and stabling facility is ready to service and house those trains. This facility has been designed with safety and efficiency of the maintenance workers top of mind. This site was nothing more than a hole in the ground two years ago and it is a credit to all those involved to see it finished on time and within budget.”
Spanish company Construcciones y Auxillair Ferrocarriles (CAF) is building a fleet of 57 three-car high-powered train sets to carry passengers on the Auckland suburban rail network. These new state of the art trains have been designed to meet the specific needs of Aucklanders and feature the latest in terms of safety, comfort and reliability.
“As the trains travel more swiftly than the current fleet they will be able to shave approximately 10 minutes off the travel from Papakura to Britomart allowing the service to run more often and get passengers to their destinations more quickly”, says Mr Brown.
The first train is due in Auckland in early September and will be taken to Wiri for certification and driving training before going into commercial operation next year.