Trains’ de­par­ture is back on track


‘‘We’re ex­pect­ing the trains to start be­ing shipped out in four months.’’

The fi­nal set of Welling­ton’s old com­muter trains, still gath­er­ing dust and graf­fiti in the cap­i­tal’s rai­l­yards, are fi­nally set to be shipped off­shore, 18 months af­ter they left ser­vice.

The 26 Ganz Mavag trains were taken off the tracks in May last year and sold to South African com­pany Apex In­dus­trial. An­other 17 de­com­mis­sioned trains were ear­lier sold to the same com­pany and shipped abroad.

Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil said in March it was still wait­ing to re­ceive full pay­ment for the se­cond set of trains, but coun­cil spokesman Stephen Heath said on Tues­day the mat­ter had since been ‘‘re­solved’’.

‘‘We’re ex­pect­ing the trains to start be­ing shipped out in four months.’’

The units served Welling­ton for 34 years but have been sub­ject to van­dal­ism, mainly graf­fiti, since be­ing re­tired and re­placed by the new Matangi trains.

It was un­clear where in Africa the lat­est trains were headed or what they would be used for once they reached the con­ti­nent, Heath said.

‘‘Once they’re in the hands of the com­pany, it’s up to them what they do with them.

‘‘We’re not go­ing to say any­thing more about it. We’ve said all that needs to be said.’’

A coun­cil spokeswoman said one two-car unit had been re­tained for her­itage pur­poses.

The coun­cil was not con­cerned about de­te­ri­o­ra­tion or van­dal­ism of the trains but was tak­ing rea­son­able steps to keep them se­cure, she said.

Apex In­dus­trial, which runs a web­site named Lo­co­mo­tives for Africa, is based in Queens­land, Aus­tralia.

Ac­cord­ing to the web­site, Apex has 50 Ganz Mavag units avail­able ‘‘in good run­ning or­der’’.

Graf­fiti on Welling­ton’s old Ganz Mavag com­muter units.

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