Auckland's first electric train, unveiled today, signals a new era in public transport for the city, its backers say.
The train, the first of 57 to be brought in to replace Auckland's ageing diesel fleet, was unveiled at a ceremony at the Wiri Depot this morning after arriving at the Ports of Auckland, from Spain, in August.
Auckland Transport chairman Lester Levy said the trains would be gradually introduced into passenger service on a line by line basis. It was expected all trains would be in service by the end of 2015.
Levy said the trains signified a "new era in public transport in Auckland".
"The trains have been designed specifically for Aucklander's needs and meet the latest in comfort, safety and technology. They will be very attractive for passengers with their fresh, modern decor."
The trains will seat 375 passengers, an increase of 40 per cent capacity on Auckland's current diesel trains, and open gangways will allow movement from one end of the train to the other.
Space had been made under seats to cater for luggage, strollers and guide dogs and wider doors meant that the passenger flow on and off the trains would be better, Levy said.
Wheelchair users and others who were mobility impaired would be able to use automatic ramps on the central carriage doors.
Levy said security and safety features included an on-board CCTV camera system which would operate continuously in all cars, providing images to the driver; emergency call points throughout the train and obstacle detection systems on each door.
The seat fabric had been designed by three local artists to represent the variety of cultures in Auckland.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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