Auckland One Rail (AOR) in New Zealand has secured a contract from Auckland Transport (AT) to operate rail services in the city from next year.

AOR, a joint venture between ComfortDelGro Transit (CDGT) and UGL Rail in a 50:50 equity share, emerged as the winner following an international tender for the city’s rail services, worth around $90.41m (NZD130m) a year.

The contract has an initial term of eight years.

Aka Tangata Ltd (ATL), a consortium including Transdev NZ, John Holland NZ and CAF NZ, also participated in the tender.

The current Auckland passenger rail contract was signed in 2004 and was extended several times. This contract will become invalid in March next year.

Auckland Transport chair Adrienne Young-Cooper said: “The review of the current way of delivering rail services provided an opportunity to change the delivery model to better integrate all aspects of operations, with an eye on $4.87bn (NZD7bn) of investment that is being made in rail with the construction of the City Rail Link opening in 2024, electrification of the rail line between Papakura and Pukekohe, and the purchase of additional electric trains over the next few years.”

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Under the contract, AOR will be responsible for train operations, electric train maintenance, station operations, maintenance and security.

The company will also build another rolling stock maintenance facility for train overhauls in South Auckland, complementing the current facility at Wiri.

Transdev Auckland operating company is currently functioning as the rail operator.

The transaction for the takeover has been structured to allow Transdev Auckland staff to remain on their current employment agreement.

In June this year, US-based Jacobs won two rail contracts from New Zealand’s rail network owner and operator KiwiRail for upgrading the rail network in Auckland.