This post was originally published 5 years ago, in March 2013.

The first of what I’m sure will be our superb new electric trains is under construction in Spain. The body shell for the first of the carriages has been completed and have already taken a trip to the paint shop to get its colours with details like logo added later in the process. The train is now in the assembly process to get fitted out with all of its components which is expected to be finished in late April. It will then spend a few months in Spain going though initial testing before being loaded onto a ship to be transported here and will be delivered by late August.

EMU painted 1

EMU painted 2

EMU painted 3

I am really looking forward to the arrival of this train. It will take some months to go though testing over here before going into service, likely early in the new year. Thanks to AT for providing the photos. If you want a reminder of what the final version is expected to look like, check out this post of the mock-up that we looked at last year. The mock-up is now in Motat where you can view it.

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  1. That paint scheme looks nice and clean. Pity it is ruined with the ugly yellow doors and now the common grafitti scratchings on most cars. Have any photos of the next tranche of emus currently being manufactured been published? Would love to see the build design for the battery banks

  2. The very first comment from the post 5 years ago

    So will the new EMUs will make less of a horrible screeching sound when they go around corners?


    Worse they make a horrible screeching sound when they brake coming into a station.

    1. My understanding was that Hillside was only ever able to produce running stock, not bodywork.

      Having said that, are Kiwi Bus Builders coach designers or do they just modify existing coaches? If they build from a raw chassis, perhaps building a train body would be something they could do.

      The issue with domestic production though, assuming we had the industrial capability, is cost. These foreign companies don’t help our economy, but they’re so much cheaper than local production and have the benefit of experience.

    2. What would Hillside do once the EMU order was complete? They would have to put together a full production line and bring in expertise to fill what is a very small order for a train manufacturer.

      1. They built 17x excellent AK cars, just before the place closed down and future wagon orders were sourced from China. Steven Joyce’s mission accomplished, to kill off Hillside.

        1. Maybe so but its hardly rocket science. There must be sufficient electrical and electronic engineering expertise in NZ to put together an emu or railcar

        2. There probably is, but there is no way starting from scratch to complete a small order would be anywhere near as cost effective as a large factory that pumps out EMUs by the thousands.

          Hillside should never have been closed as it served a useful purpose but it was never going to be specialising in EMUs for the tiny NZ market.

  3. I have a question is the mock up able to be run on the Motat tramlines or is a static display ? .If it able to be run I reckon it would look going between their 2 museum’s

    1. Better still if it could be fitted with batteries, power bogie and controls then run as a railcar shuttle from huapai to swanson.

      1. Run a frequent bus service on this route – if that isn’t well supported, a rail service is likely a waste of scarce PT money (particularly if infrequent on an indirect route).

      1. The mockup has completed that task. So what useful purpose could it now be used for. If its a proper ss bodyshell then I’d suggest a project, privately funded, perhaps university students project, to repurpose it into a battery powered running railcar. Thats an area NZ needs to develop some knowledge in, at least assist some engineering education.
        Then it may be of use to AT or other rail operators.

        1. We have some longitudinal seating. Over time we will need to start using is a lot more to accommodate higher passenger numbers

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