New Zealand’s Greater Wellington Regional Council has shortlisted bidders for its new rail contract to operate suburban rail services.
Selected companies include Transdev Australasia in a joint venture (JV) with South Korean-based Hyundai Rotem and Keolis Downer in a JV with KiwiRail and Serco.
Regional Council chief executive Greg Campbell said: "We plan to select a preferred tenderer around the middle of next year and have a contract signed by the end of 2015.
"The new rail contract will take effect from 1 July 2016."
This is part of the Regional Council’s effort to develop and procure new performance-based, partnering contracts for all public transport services in Wellington.
Mr Campbell said: "The new contracts will have a much greater emphasis on providing high quality, affordable services that encourage more people to take the train, bus or harbour ferry."
One of the selected bidders, Transdev, operates Auckland’s train service and Sydney’s light rail, while Keolis Downer operates the Gold Coast light rail network in Queensland, Australia.
Wellington’s train services are currently operated by KiwiRail, which also maintains the region’s train fleet.
Greater Wellington Regional Council and the New Zealand Government, along with KiwiRail agreed to invest $68.6m to maintain and improve performance of the Wellington rail network.