Tranz Metro

Infobox Company
name = Tranz Metro
type = Private company
parent = KiwiRail
foundation = 1985 (As CityRail)
location_city = Wellington
location_country = New Zealand
location =
locations =
key_people =
area_served = Wellington, New Zealand
industry = Public transport in Wellington
products =
services = Suburban rail services
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees =
divisions =
subsid =
slogan =
homepage = [|]
dissolved =
footnotes =
intl =

Tranz Metro is the operator of the suburban rail system in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. It is part of KiwiRail.



In the 1980s the Auckland and Wellington suburban rail networks were part of the government-owned New Zealand Railways Corporation, operating under the brand name Cityline, then CityRail.

In 1993 New Zealand Rail Ltd was privatised and renamed Tranz Rail in 1995, with CityRail rebranded Tranz Metro. The Auckland Regional Council bought the Auckland CityRail fleet, contracting New Zealand Rail to run it for 10 years. Tranz Rail did not bid for the contract when it expired in 2003, and these services are now operated by Veolia.

Tranz Metro was created as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tranz Rail in 2003, which announced its intention to sell Tranz Metro. Stagecoach New Zealand and the Greater Wellington Regional Council announced their intention to bid for the Wellington operations, but both were barred by the Commerce Commission from doing so.

In 2004 Toll Holdings of Australia bought a majority shareholding in Tranz Rail and renamed the company Toll NZ, and on 1 July 2008 it was bought (less the Tranz Link trucking and distribution arm) by the government and renamed KiwiRail.


The Wellington services are operated under contract from Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC). It subsidises the operation and any capital improvements to the stations and rolling stock. Typically 60% of that subsidy comes from central government through the NZ Transport Agency (formerly Land Transport New Zealand), which approves such funding after careful analysis of the economics and net benefits, the remainder coming from the GWRC. Public consultation in 2005-2006 has resulted in some changes of emphasis in the new contract, which runs for ten years from June 2006 [ ] . The September 2006 fare rises and section changes were stated to part-pay for a major upgrade of trains and facilities over the next few years in conjunction with regional bus service improvements.


Tranz Metro operates five lines:-

Until 2001 Tranz Metro operated the Capital Connection service between Palmerston North and Wellington. On the sale of 50% of Tranz Scenic to directors of the West Coast Railway (subsequently repurchased by Toll) it was transferred to Tranz Scenic, where it remains.

Rolling Stock and Motive Power

Tranz Metro uses a combination of electric multiple units and carriage services hauled by locomotives. All services except the Wairarapa are electrified at 1500V DC overhead.

Electric Multiple Units

Electric multiple units (EMUs) are the main type of rolling stock used by Tranz Metro on its electrified services. The multiple units often operate in single during off-peak hours, while during peak hours, they can be connected together to form trains up to four units long.

There are two models of EMUs currently in use:-

*EM class – built by Ganz-MAVAG in Hungary and introduced in 1982, these units come in two-car sets and can seat up to 148 passengers. The 44 units work on the Paraparaumu, Melling, and Hutt Valley lines. They cannot work on the Johnsonville Line due to the line’s narrow loading gauge.
*DM class – built by English Electric in the UK and introduced between 1949 and 1954, these units come in both two- and three-car sets. The nine two-car sets seat up to 132 passengers and work on the Johnsonville Line. The five three-car sets seat up to 204 passengers and are used on the Hutt Valley and Melling Lines.

In 2010, thirty-five brand new FM class or "Matangi" electric multiple units will be introduced to provide extra capacity and replace the aging DM class units.

Carriage services

Tranz Metro operates diesel-hauled carriage services on the Wairarapa Line, which is not electrified beyond Upper Hutt. Electric-hauled carriage services will also be used later this year to increase capacity on the Hutt Valley line until the arrival of the new FM class multiple units.

The Wairarapa Connection services uses SW class carriages. Originally of British Rail Mark 2 origin, they were extensively refurbished and were introduced into service in 2007. There are eighteen carriages in total; three 37-seater generator carriages and three 37-seater servery carriages form the basis of the three carriage sets, with the remaining twelve 64-seater standard carriages distributed among each of the three sets. Each Wairarapa Connection carriage set is usually hauled by DC class diesel-electric locomotives, occasionally DX class [Cite journal | last =Scott | first =Bruce | author-link = | publication-date = | date = | year =2006 | title =Railway Travelling Post Office | periodical =New Zealand Railfan | series = | publication-place = | place =Wellington | publisher =Triple M Publications | volume =12 | issue =2 | pages =7 | url = | issn =1173-2229 | doi = | oclc = | accessdate = The author, in a letter to the editor, compares his experiences driving both DC and DX locomotives heading Wairarapa Connection trains.] and even DFT class locomotives [ cite web | url= | title = YouTube - Petone Peak | work= YouTube | accessdate= 2008-10-09 . DFT 7158 is hauling a rush-hour Wairarapa Connection. ] allocated from KiwiRail’s locomotive fleet.


New Carriages for the Wairarapa Connection and network

In 2006 Toll Rail's Hillside Engineering won the contract from Greater Wellington Regional Council to rebuild British Rail Mark 2 carriages purchased some years ago by Toll's predecessor, Tranz Rail. On 14 May 2007, the first four of the 18 new carriages entered service, and all are in use, providing a major upgrade to the comfort, safety and reliability of the Wairarapa service. [ "Ticket to Ride" magazine, July/August 2007 Voliume 8/4, pages 24-28 ] There are three nominally six-car sets, each with four 64-seat SW class passenger cars, one 37-seat SWS class servery car and one 37-seat SWG generator car. They replace carriages built in 1937-43.

GWRC has purchased six former British Rail carriages, which are under refurbishment at the Hillside Workshops. They will be in use by the end of 2008 to provide a six-car express train with an EO electric locomotive at each end, reconditioned at Hutt Workshops. Longer term, they may provide extra capacity on the Wairarapa Line. [ "Metlink News" (GWRC) Issue 5, April 2008 ]

New Electric Multiple Units

On 22 September 2006 Greater Wellington announced [cite web|author=Radio New Zealand|url= |title=Supplier Sought for New Railway Carriages|accessdate=2007-07-25] that it would begin the tender process for new FM class electric multiple units (EMU) to replace the DM/D class English Electric EMUs by 2010; reported as 29 new units or 58 "electric carriages". GWRC has formed Greater Wellington Rail Limited to purchase the EMUs. They are to be built in Korea by a consortium of Rotem and Mitsui, which was announced as the preferred supplier in July 2007cite web|url=|author=Greater Wellington Regional Council|title=Greater Wellington negotiating with preferred supplier for trains|date=24 July 2007|accessdate=2007-07-25] . The other two shortlisted tenderers were Bombardier (Australia) and CAF (Spain).

On 9 February 2007 Land Transport New Zealand announced funding for a further 12 units [cite web|author=Scoop: Land Transport New Zealand|title=$40m boost for passenger rail in Wellington|date=9 February 2007|url=|accessdate=2007-07-25] , bringing the total rolling stock order up to 70 carriages, or 35 units. Other announcements have referred to the order for 70 units: [ (10 July 2007) ] [ (30 April 2008) ] [ Dominion Post 1 May 2008 page A3] .

The new electric trains are to be called "Matangi" (pronounced Mar-tongue-ee), Maori for "wind" [ "Metlink News" (GWRC) Issue 5, April 2008 ]

Western Corridor Transportation Study

Greater Wellington has undertaken a transportation study of the needs for the corridor from Wellington to its northern suburbs (including Johnsonville) and beyond. The initial submissions report [cite web|url=|title=Western Corridor Transportation Study|author=Greater Wellington Regional Council|date=|accessdate=2007-07-25] supports further investment in commuter rail transport, specifically in new rolling stock to replace the aging English Electric units. This investment is to be made within "the first ten years" of the plan set out in the report.

The Western Corridor Transportation Study recommended extensive upgrades of the passenger rail service between Wellington and the Kapiti Coast, including possible extension of electrification to a new station at Lindale or Waikanae, extending the double track from MacKays Crossing to Raumati, a new station at Raumati, and additional rolling stock so that service intervals could be increased to 15 minutes at peak times.

In July 2007 the Greater Wellington Regional Council announced [cite web|url=|title=Reliability and greater capacity focus for new $500m rail plan|date=10 July 2007|accessdate=2007-07-11] that it would invest $500 million in rail transport over the proceeding five years. Projects include:
* $280m on new rolling stock
* $30m on station upgrades
* $180m on double tracking and electrification from the MacKays Crossing to Waikanae

GWRC and ONTRACK will co-ordinate the projects, and provide progress reports to the council and the central Government.

ee also

* Rail transport in New Zealand
* Public transport in Wellington
* List of Wellington railway stations
* List of rapid transit systems


External links

* [ Tranz Metro]
* [ Toll NZ]
* [ KiwiRail]

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