The trains were launched at Britomart by Auckland Mayor Len Brown, along with Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee and Auckland Transport Chairman Dr Lester Levy. To mark the launch of the trains, 5000 Aucklanders enjoyed a free ride between Britomart and Newmarket and return. Comments from members of the public include: “They’re so quiet”, “The ride is so smooth” and “These trains are really good”. Dr Levy says Aucklanders have good reason to be excited, “The new trains are a huge step up from what our customers have been used to. They are environmentally friendly, energy efficient and produce no air pollution. The trains are modern, comfortable, safe and a pleasure to ride”.
The new electric trains can travel at a higher speed than the current diesel fleet and will allow services to run more once all the electric trains are in service, getting passengers to their destination faster.
Each train has seating for 232 passengers plus standing room, with wider doors making it easier for passengers to board and alight (or enter and exit) from the train. The central carriage is at platform level for wheelchairs, prams or bikes and automatic ramps mean a seamless transition between the platform and the train.
Open gangways between cars mean passengers can move from one end of the train to the other. The first paying services started on the 28 Aprilth at 5.45am), with the electric trains running on the line between Britomart and Onehunga. Fifty-seven trains will be introduced into service across Auckland between now and the middle of next year.
Some facts and figures:
- There are now 14 electric train units in Auckland, 10 have been commissioned – that is, they have their registration and warrants with the remaining delivered units about to be tested.
- The supplier, CAF has used equipment from Japan, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain – taking the best from the world to create trains specifically for Auckland.
- It takes more than 15,000 hours to fabricate and assemble one electric train unit, there are 110km of wiring in each unit.
- Each train is tested for 1000 hours on the tracks.
- To create the weight of passengers while we were testing the trains, we used 1800 20kgs sandbags on each train.
- To date we have trained 51 drivers, 102 train managers and 13 supervisors.
- We have spent 2704 hours on driver training
Customer service staff have done 1440 hours training in new electric train operations
- Our drivers have spent 528 hours on the electric train simulator.
- To date we have driven more than 33,000 with the electric trains during testing and commissioning.