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Auckland Transport

Electric trains

Auckland's electric trains make rail travel more attractive. The trains are faster, quieter and more energy-efficient, featuring the latest developments in technology and safety.   

Project status: Construction
Project zone: Regional

Project purpose

  • Key outcome of Auckland’s Integrated Transport Programme.
  • Rail strategy based on new EMU fleet by 2015.
  • EMUs will boost capacity and use of train network.
  • A major improvement in the level of customer service on the commuter rail network.
  • Over the past five years, the number of journeys people are making on trains has more than doubled, to over 7.5 million a year.
  • The EMUs build on significant investment by both regional and central government in redeveloping Auckland’s rail network.
  • They replace the current second hand diesel trains that came into service in the 1990s.


  • Faster, more frequent service.
  • More people per train and carriages can be doubled to six car trains.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • Greater levels of customer comfort, information and safety with the latest developments in railway technology.
  • Improved access - wider doors, automatic ramps for the mobility impaired and lower floors for push chairs or people with luggage.
  • Safety improvements - cameras allow the driver to see all of the train and on-board CCTV camera system will operate continuously in all cars.

Timeline and target dates

2013              - Wiri depot opened. First electric train arrived. 
2014  (April)  - First train in service on Onehunga line. Manukau line gets electric trains.
2014  (Sept)  - Eastern Line services begin.
2015  (Jan)    - Southern Line sevices progressively introduced; June, full Papakura, July full operations.
2015  (June)  - Western line services to start. 

Other highlights

  • 32 electric trains have been accepted for revenue service operations.
  • Timetable improvements are being scoped to improve operational performance.
  • Five 6-car trains have been operation on the Eastern Line, which has improved capacity to meet demand.
  • 6-car trains were introduced to the Western Line for special event operations in March ahead of the planned June roll-out.
  • Some inter-peak services are operating using electric trains on the Southern Line. 

Project details

  • Replacing Auckland’s diesel commuter rail fleet with new electric trains (EMUs).
  • Trains purchased from Spain and designed to meet Auckland specifications.
  • 57 three car trains which carry up to 232 seated passengers each.
  • First train arrived in August 2013 and they will all be here by mid 2015.
  • First train will go into service in April 2014 on the Onehunga branch line.
  • A new state of the art maintenance and stabling facility at Wiri has been completed.

The new electric trains will meet the latest international standards for bodyshell design to ensure the safety of passengers and crew is paramount.

Operating features

  • The maximum operating speed is 110km/hr, however, the average operating speed will be less than this.
  • To provide improvements to efficiency each train has regenerative braking, allowing energy to be produced by the train and fed back into the 25kv supply - a recovery of up to 20% of the energy used.
  • Noise reduction: the 25kV power supply means that the trains are very quiet both externally and internally – a very important consideration for people living and working near the rail network.
  • Sliding plug-type doors provide a good weather and sound proof seal.
  • There's no air pollution because the trains are electric and there are no exhaust fumes.
  • The electric trains have a special coupling to allow them to link with diesel locomotives for easy haulage in event of a major power outage.

Passenger features

  • Each train seats 232 passengers and standing room for more.
  • Fresh, modern décor and non-slip flooring.
  • The new trains will have wider doors than the current trains making passenger flow on and off the trains easier and faster and easier for people with disabilities.
  • Wheelchair users and others who are mobility impaired will be able to use automatic ramps on the central carriage doors providing a seamless transition between the platform and the train.
  • The central carriage will be at platform level making it easier to take push chairs or bicycles onto the train.
  • Open gangways between cars allowing movement from one end of the train to the other.
  • Space under seats for luggage, folding bikes, guide dogs etc.
  • All doors have obstacle detection systems so they automatically open and re-close if something is trapped in the door.
  • State-of-the-art air-conditioning to ensure the train interior is comfortable for passengers and crew through the range of Auckland weather conditions.
  • International best practice passenger information systems will ensure that both audio and visual information is easy to understand; contrasting within the interior is designed to assist the visually impaired.

Click through the slideshow below to see pictures of the train's interior.

Security features

  • An onboard CCTV camera system will operate continuously in all cars, providing images to the driver from any of the 16 cameras within a train (images will be continuously recorded onboard and will be available for investigation following any incident).
  • Emergency call points throughout the train, will allow passengers to communicate directly with the train crew in the event of an incident.
  • All doors feature obstacle detection so that if something becomes jammed in the door it will open and re-close.

Technical specifications

  • 155 tonnes (weight of 3 cars, fully loaded).
  • Overall length: 72m (3 cars).
  • Power supply: 25kV AC overhead supply.
  • 12 doors (4 per car) with 1.45m open width.
  • Maximum acceleration rate: 1m/s/s.
  • Maximum braking rate: 1m/s/s.

Key facts

  • 57 three-car trains.
  • Stainless steel outer shell.
  • 155 tonnes (approximate weight of 3 cars, fully loaded).
  • Overall length 72m (3 cars, each car is approximately 24m long).
  • 25kV AC overhead power supply.
  • Maximum speed is 110km/hr.
  • Regenerative braking - recovers up to 20% of the energy used.
  • Noise reduction - trains are quiet both externally and internally.
  • Reduced carbon footprint - no diesel and no air pollution from the trains.

Download a printable copy of the specifications  
See a history of transport in Auckland

For more information on this project

Contact Auckland Transport