What a fantastic time to be in rail. Since joining Transdev, I have seen an amazing amount of growth and expansion in the Auckland network and within our company. Now, we are entering the next phase with the development of the City Rail Link, next generation of EMUs arriving at the end of 2019, and the government announcing they are investing in the expansion of rail within Auckland. What an exciting time to be part of that growth!
We are soon to see lots of activity around the Wiri electric multiple unit (EMU) Depot. With our existing fleet now running for the past 4 years, they are ticking over the kilometres. When the EMUs get to around approximately 1,000,000 KMs, they need to be overhauled. CAF has identified that the existing maintenance facility at Wiri is not designed or suitable for heavy maintenance on the vehicles. Auckland Transport has purchased some of the land adjacent to the Wiri Depot on the Western side to construct a separate Heavy Maintenance Facility. This additional facility will include EMU lifting roads, supporting maintenance infrastructure and additional stabling roads.
Auckland Transport have named this project Wiri2 and it is still at the very early planning stage. The plans for the new layout have not yet been finalised. Once appropriate consents are through later in the year, we should see AT contracted engineers starting to prepare the adjacent land for further construction.
When people visit the Wiri Depot, others also ask about what is happening to the extra land they are developing next to Wiri, previously the old KiwiRail Ballast quarry. This will become an industrial park with many small businesses, warehouses and offices. I hope that someone will also put in a café or two!
I look forward to Wiri being the height of activity over the next couple of years with the development of the Wiri2 Heavy Maintenance Facility and the arrival of the first delivery of the next generation of EMU trains for assembly.
Depot Operations Manager