ComfortDelGro JV lands S$1.13B contract for Auckland rail franchise in first foray into NZ market

Trains at the Britomart Station in Auckland, New Zealand. Credit: ComfortDelGroTrains at the Britomart Station in Auckland, New Zealand. Credit: ComfortDelGro

A ComfortDelGro joint venture has landed a S$1.13 billion contract to operate rail services in Auckland, marking the land-transport company’s first foray into the New Zealand market, the company said in a filing to SGX Friday.

Auckland Transport awarded the Auckland Rail Franchise to Auckland One Rail (AOR), a 50:50 joint venture between ComfortDelGro and UGL Rail Services, which is an Australian rail operations company under CIMIC Group, the filing said.

ComfortDelGro’s Managing Director Yang Ban Seng said the deal marked both the company’s first foray into New Zealand and its first rail operation outside Singapore.

“We are excited to leverage our experience of operating and maintaining Singapore’s world-class MRT system and are looking forward to
delivering connected, safe and reliable customer journeys for Auckland’s travelling public,” Yang said in the statement.

The contract begins 16 January and runs for an initial eight-year term, with the potential for extension, the filing said.

AOR will assume responsibility for passenger-train operations, including provisioning drivers and other train staff, developing timetables, station operations, maintenance, security and revenue protection, the filing said.

The Auckland Rail network is New Zealand’s largest, with four lines, 42 stations, 72 three-car electric multiple-unit (EMU) trains and eight diesel multiple-unit trains. The planned 2024 opening of the new City Rail Link will boost the size to 44 stations and 95 EMU trains.