Wellington’s Matangi train project has reached a milestone with formal sign-off of the design aspects by all partners – KiwiRail, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, Rotem-Mitsui and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
Greater Wellington’s Public Transport divisional manager, Wayne Hastie, said a mock-up of a Matangi cab and half a carriage, based at the Woburn railway workshops, was an enormous help in approval of the design process. “We were able to change certain features and introduce some new ones first-hand, which was really useful.”
A range of groups, from train drivers through to passengers with disabilities and baby buggy owners, visited the mock-up which has been here since last November. The groups had given very constructive feedback.
“Everyone is pleased with the final design, so now it’s all systems go for the building of the trains,” says Ross Hayward, General Manager, KiwiRail Passenger Group. The 48 two-car trains are due to start arriving from 2010.
A unique and popular feature is a low-floor multi-functional area in the trailer car. This area will improve access and has room for wheelchairs, buggies and bikes.
Other features of the new trains include air-conditioning, passenger-operated doors, public address systems and electronic display screens.
While the trains are being built in Korea, a great deal of preparatory work is going on around the region. Eleven new substations are being built, signalling is being upgraded, and station platforms are being modified to accommodate the wider new trains.
Another line is being added into Wellington railway station to reduce delays. New depot and maintenance facilities will also be built for the new trains.