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Basque train maker and a Hyundai subsidiary in bid for $500 million deal for new trains in Auckland

According to Stuff New Zealand, a Basque train maker and a Hyundai subsidiary are in the running for the $500 million contract to provide Auckland's new trains. New Zealand’s state owned rail operator KiwiRail revealed a short list for the 38 new electric trains and maintenance contracts. Basque based Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) and Hyundai Rotem are potential winners.

According to KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn, the winning bidder will not be known until September 2011. Construcciones y Auxiliar is a public firm listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange. The firm manufactures high speed and commuter trains, locomotives, and subway and regional trains.

With more than a century in operations, Construcciones y Auxiliar’s trains are currently running in the United States, Europe, South America, India, east Asia and North Africa.

Hyundai Rotem is a subsidiary of the Hyundai Motor Group. It makes railway, defense and plant systems. Major sales include trains for the Hong Kong and New Delhi metros, automated trains for Canada, commuter trains for regional rail in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and an upgrade and train build for the Philippine National Railways, reported Stuff.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is calling for a commitment from KiwiRail that it will enforce local content provisions it placed in the tender documents.

General Secretary Wayne Butson says the union's preference had always been that new trains were built in New Zealand by New Zealanders, but with this option ruled out, the next step was to ensure the successful overseas contractor involved local businesses where possible, reported Stuff.

According to Mr Quinn, local content use was one of "many factors" taken into account in the two-phased tender process.

A $2 billion upgrade of the Auckland and Wellington metro train services is part of a $4 billion 10-year plan by KiwiRail.

KiwiRail is a statutory corporation operating as a single entity with multiple business units.  KiwiRail Freight provides rail freight services and locomotives for passenger services.

KiwiRail Interislander operates the Cook Strait ferry passenger and freight services.

KiwiRail Passenger provides urban passenger services in Wellington under contract to the Greater Wellington Regional Council through its Tranz Metro business. It also operates long distance passenger train services, TranzCoastal, TranzAlpine, Overlander and Capital Connection through its Tranz Scenic business.

KiwiRail Network (formerly ONTRACK) maintains and improves the rail network and controls the operations of trains on the network.

24th April 2011

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