The NZR FM class is a type of electric multiple unit to be used (in pairs with FT trailer units) in the Wellington region of New Zealand by Tranz Metro. They are designed for the Wellington 1,500v DC electrification, using overhead catenary feed. They are to be called Matangi, which is Māori for “wind” and pronounced "Mah-tongue-ee"
They will provide commuter services to the Wellington suburban area; ie the Hutt Valley line to Upper Hutt, the Paraparaumu line to Paraparaumu and Waikanae, and the Melling and Johnsonville branches. The clearances in tunnels on the Johnsonville Branch are to be increased to allow the use of the EM and FM multiple units . The power requirements of the new trains has necessitated an upgrade of both the electricity supply and signalling system for the Wellington network; ONTRACK plans to install ten new substations and to harden the signals against interference from the AC-powered traction equipment.
They will be made in Korea, and will be supplied from 2010. The budget cost is $210 million. They will be supplemented by the existing EM class multiple units supplied by Ganz-Mavag in 1982-83, and will enable the older DM class multiple units supplied by English Electric from 1949 to be retired. There are 70 units (cars) on order, ie 35 each of the motor units (FM) and trailer units (FT).
Matangi was nominated by regular commuter Brian Bond of Linden. Matangi, the Maori word for "wind", was chosen for Wellington City's windy reputation, and the new trains being "as fast as the wind" and a "breath of fresh air to the transport system". The name was also chosen as it is easy to pronounce and spell, is distictively Kiwi, and had support from local iwi.
In December 2006 the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) announced that it would begin the tender process for 58 new electric multiple units to replace the DM/D class English Electric EMUs and to provide additional capacity. Three suppliers had been shortlisted . The GWRC formed Greater Wellington Rail Limited to purchase the EMUs.
In July 2007 the GWRC announced that the preferred supplier was a consortium of Rotem and Mitsui, and they were to be built in Korea.. The other two shortlisted tenderers were Bombardier (Australia) and CAF (Spain) .
In April 2008 the GWRC announced that an additional 20 units would be purchased though an earlier announcement referred to an additional 12 units, making a total of 70 . Some additional cars (units) may be ordered this year .
The GWRC Annual Plan says that Planned work of $4.7 million to continue upgrading the traction and signalling equipment for the new passenger trains has been brought forward to 2008/09 .
Though designed to operate in Wellington's 1.5 kV DC network, the FM cars will actually have AC drive gear and thus will need to convert the DC power supply to AC.
The GWRC proposes the refurbishing of up to three locomotives and up to five additional English Electric units as well as six ex-BR carriages. The proposed refurbishment of the Ganz-Mavag units is to be deferred from 2008/09, until the new units are available .
The interim increase is: two English Electric units in September (ex-Ferrymead), two English Electric units in October (Phoenix, owned by Kiwirail), and six ex-BR carriages and locomotive(s) in December to provide an 'express' service, see .