New trains cheaper
Up to 35 more Matangi trains are to be purchased following a regional council and NZ Transport Agency decision last week to replace rather than refurbish the ageing Ganz Mavag trains.
Last year, the regional council decided in principle to refurbish the Ganz fleet subject to funding and final comparison costs. NZTA agreed to fund at least half this project. However, a competitive offer from Hyundai Rotem, supplier of the Matangi, for up to 35 additional new trains (or 70 cars) has been received, says council chairperson Fran Wilde.
‘‘This offer is less than half the cost estimated in 2011 and with more robust information on the maintenance cost of the Matangi and Ganz fleets, buying more Matangi units looks considerably more favourable than last year.’’
Analysis shows buying more Matangi trains would have about the same impact on fares and rates as refurbishing the Ganz Mavag fleet because debt repayment would be over a longer period, she says.
“The key issue is that if we refurbish the Ganz trains we still would have to purchase replacements for them at the end of their life in 15 years’ time at whatever the price is in 2027.’’
The Council will consider the deal in September and, if approved, begin negotiations.
GWRC is seeking public comment on the proposal until September 14.