Spain vs South Korea

On April 25, 2011 by Eye on Auckland

Two bids compete for Auckland’s new electric trains.

[Update 06 October 2011 - CAF have won the bid - more details HERE]. Ten bids have been narrowed down to two i.e. Spanish train maker Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) and South Korean Hyundai Rotem are both competing for Kiwirail’s $500 million contract to supply Auckland with 38 new electric trains by 2013. The winning bid is expected to be announced by September 2011 and we know who we are vouching for – CAF. We love the sexy, aerodynamic design as opposed to the flat nose  and bulky design of  the matangi EMU trains in Wellington (supplied by Hyundai Rotem). Major works have taken place over the Easter weekend to prepare Auckland’s rail network with the infrastructure for electrification. There is no turning back now and the gloves are on – Spain vs South Korea. Place your bets now !

25 Responses to “Spain vs South Korea”

  • Karumba

    I am with you on this one Eye on Auckland. My bets are one the Hyundai Rotem but I am hoping that the CAF bid will win. If we can get trains like that on our rail network we will be first class all the way.

  • TrainHugger

    CAF all the way.

  • The Eye

    Let’s cross fingers that they make a final decision by September and that it doesn’t drag on and on and on :) The suspense is killing me ;)

  • Shayno Ieradicognou

    Hoping like hell CAF win. Kiwirail should take into account what the public want in their decision, hope they read brilliant sites like this. The CAF EMUs are sexy on inside and out. TBH, the Matangi looks pretty crap.

  • Busfan

    CAF CAF CAF!!!!!! Please don’t choose the ugly Hyundai!

  • sister ray

    Of the two pics posted, the CAF are clearly nicer. However the rotem trains I was familiar with from Seoul Metro were far nicer than the unit pictured. Are those the specific units offered by each company?

  • Hotpixel

    That may be good news sister ray if that is the case?

  • Busfan

    Does The Eye have any pictures of what sister ray is talking about?

  • The Eye

    @ Shayno …. thanks for the kind words, as a city we need to be design focused as well as consider the functional value of the train etc. In my books design gets priority and functionality is a distant third ;)

    The Auckland Council is aware of this site and it will be great to use it as our voice :)

    @ Sister Ray and Hotpixel … there are various design elements that Kiwirail can specify but judging by the design that they chose for the matangi EMU I haven’t got much faith in them. The CAF trains offer various options as well and they all look great eg.




    I am sure that most of us would prefer the sleeker, aerodynamic look :)

  • Busfan

    Thanks. CAF seems to be more contemporary as opposed to Hyundai.

  • Gotham

    I like the matangi EMU but I suspect why many don’t like it is because of the big bars on the front, without them it will look a lot better. Great blog.

  • AbelTasman

    I am not familiar with the specifications of the trains but My bet is on CAF, that is if Kiwirail play ball.

  • The Eye

    You are most welcome Busfan.

    I have included links in the article so that you can view CAF and Rotem’s websites. If you find anything interesting please share it with us.

    @ Gotham – couldn’t agree more, those bars on the nose of the train are very, very ugly.

    @ AbelTasman – CAF seems to be the front runner. Let’s pray and hope that they vote in our favour :)

  • Sportslave

    CAF all the way. Man it will be awesome to see those aerodynamic trains on our rail network. Can’t wait for September :)

  • BusFan

    Would be great if our buses looked the same :)

  • Matt

    CAF, CAF, CAF all the way. The Hyundai has no sculptural merit to it at all.

  • The Eye

    CAF light rail in downtown Auckland would be fantastic – very futuristic and it will place us firmly in the 21st Century. We still have a long wait ahead of us but the firm favourite is CAF.

  • Danny

    I prefer Hyundai’s flat nose design rather than CAF’s sharp one which is less pragmatic in real use for busy time.
    If both train are extended onto 3 or 4 unit for peak time, Hyundai’s train may look like one train but CAF isn’t due to its’ long nose.

    Aerodynamic design? I don’t want to take sport train for train race.. but feel safer in bulky design train just like SUV design does.

  • Gotham

    Somebody agrees with me, thanks Danny. The CAF looks sexy but the Hyundai is way more practical imho :)

  • Patrick

    CAF for me, very sexy indeed. Hyundai reminds me of some bull dog :)

  • Matt L

    To be fair, I think a lot of the reasons for the fugly look of the Matangi’s are due to the constraints on the Wellington network rather than Hyundai-Rotem not being able to design an attractive train. My understanding is the doors on the ends of the trains was due to the tight single track tunnels on the Johnsonville line (people wouldn’t be able to get out if there was an emergency in a tunnel otherwise).

    This isn’t an issue in Auckland as all tunnels in the electrified area are double track so we should be able to have nicer looking trains. :-)
    It would be nice if Kiwirail released the concept designs of the two bids.

    • The Eye

      Thanks for the explanation :) it does make sense and I too hope that we could see some renders. I will try to get some from Kiwirail, the emphasis is on “try’ ;) Watch this space :) Thanks for the comment Matt L.

  • Wellington train comuter

    Yes, the Matangi’s would look better without the big bars at the front and could’ve perhaps been designed more aero-dynamically at the front. A feature that would’ve of been useful in these EMU’s is free Wi-fi. However!…. Lets face it, Wellington’s train network has far more passenger rail coverage throughout the greater wellington region. Their trains are faster and are considered to be on time if they arrive within 3 minutes to a station but are usually exactly on time anyway. As opposed to Auckland trains which are considered to be on-time if within 5 minutes of reaching the desired station and it has become well known for Auckland trains to arrive very late most of the time.

  • Wellington train comuter

    ALSO! Will the new Auckland trains have an automated public adress system like wellington trains anouncing stations, service information etc….? The interiors of the new Auckland EMU’s look very modern, but look empty and “cold” aswell. Heres a link to utube which give you a great interior vid of a Matangi and an expample of the public adress system:

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