Final Matangi train hits the tracks

All 48 trains now in service; more on the way

SHABNAM DASTGHEIB
Last updated 13:06 13/11/2012
Matangi train
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ
READY TO ROLL: KiwiRail Train Manager Harvey Paterson inspects the last Matangi train to be commissioned at Wellington Railway Station.

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The final train in Wellington's 48-strong Matangi fleet was put through its tests today, as the Greater Wellington regional council works towards the purchase of 35 more.

The council has spent $235 million on 48 Matangi trains, which were phased into service this year.

As of today, all 48 trains are ready to take passengers.

Council chairwoman Fran Wilde said the Matangi trains were a huge investment and had taken a lot of time to plan, design and deliver.

''The new trains are becoming a familiar sight around the region and we're continuing to get fantastic feedback from passengers.''

The council credits the Matangi fleet with raising punctuality to the highest point in five years and says in October, 96.5 per cent of trains were within five minutes of their scheduled time.

Ms Wilde said the purchase of 35 more trains was necessary as some of the older Ganz Mavag trains were still being used to meet peak hour demand.

"Up until the middle of this year we were planning to refurbish the Ganz Mavag which would have given them another 10 years working life. However, a very competitive offer from... the Matangi manufacturer, has enabled us to enter negotiations for more Matangi.''

The second fleet would being arriving in early 2015 if the sale were to go ahead and the trains would have a working life of 30 years.

A Greater Wellington survey of 136 people in August and September found an overwhelmingly positive response to the purchase of more Matangi.

Contact Shabnam Dastgheib
Breaking news reporter
Email: shabnam.dastgheib@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @shab_d

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- The Dominion Post

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