KiwiRail said the first trains for the Auckland rail network in New Zealand will be operational from 2013 after announcing a shortlist of four potential manufacturers for the contract.
The rail operator has allocated NZ$500m to purchase up to 38 electric multiple units for the network.
The selected suppliers are Hitachi, Hyundai Rotem, Bombardier Transportation Australia and a consortium of Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles and Mitsubishi Corporation.
New Zealand Transport Minister Steven Joyce said KiwiRail is on track to award the tender by mid 2011.
"The upgrade and electrification of the Auckland rail network will provide for more frequent trains at peak times and help to meet future passenger demand," he said.
New Zealand has invested NZ$1.6bn in the development of Auckland's metro rail system.