Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Clean up your backyard!

Metro magazine is complaining that the grafffiti alongside the railway tracks makes it sick. The Auckland City Council, complaining that painting out graffiti is costing ratepayers $1.2m a year, says it needs to find new ways to battle it and get businesses to take more responsibility for wiping it out quickly. As Metro points out, who runs the rail tracks and surrounding environment makes it hard to deteremine who should be responsible for cleaning up the tagging.
Strangely enough I'm enjoying the graffiti and just wish it was more interesting -like the early hip hop street art in New York, those wild style train carriages. It can get boring looking out the window at the messy backyards of Auckland homes - although the train windows have been so dirty this week, it's hard to see anything but window grime. Will Metro and the authorities start demanding that Aucklanders bordering on the rail tracks clean up their back yard, do some weeding and stop stringing their washing over the fence? Probably.
And has anyone else noticed the homeless people living in some of those graffiti-strewn areas along the tracks - including one makeshift hole near the Kingsland station and another just before Boston Rd where a number of us noticed human movement when the train stopped because of a signal problem mid-station recently.
On the iPod: Sonic Youth's Goo
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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The miracle journey

The Herald's TimeOut entertainment magazine interviewed TV3's jazz singing Sarah Bradley about her likes.
Asked where she goes for a Sunday drive, she said she took the train to Swanson.
How did she do that? Don't try that at home -or out.
There are as yet no Sunday trains on the Western line.

How BIG is this problem?

The Brit platforms themselves are also leaking. Posted by Picasa

Another $73m leak problem?

I've been warning for weeks and weeks that the Brit is leaking. Finally it's confirmed. The whole concourse level has been shut off now for at least 2 weeks with little sign anything is actually happening. What is the truth? Will it be as much a repair job as the $73m Aotea carpark leak? What about the actual platforms? The water/rain was leaking there too. It seemed to be coming in from the fancy roof. But who knows? Let's hope we get some clear honest statement about whether the Brit too is another major leaking building disaster. At least the clock outside the Brit -stopped for over a month- has started again. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The long wait

Once public transport becomes unreliable, people give up. This has begun to happen.
This morning a longtimer said on the platform: I wonder if the excuse today will be the fog!
No, today's new excuse was -according to the text messages - a scrub fire!
At this time of year, I can not afford to be late.
On Friday, I waited and waited and waited. Two trains went west. None came our way. Finally I got a cab. I got to the city $20 poorer.
I haven't given up but will not be using them as much.
I saw the Greens co-leader and MPs on the trains again today. I just hope they get some influence after Saturday.
Otherwise I may be walking.
On the iPod: These boots are made for walkin
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Thursday, September 08, 2005

How long does it take to smart up a railway station?

I can't believe the work is still continuing around the revamped Kingsland station after months and months or is it years of work there. Kingsland retailers must be so fed up. There is a construction sign at Morningside but no sign of any work. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Greens practice what they preach

Good to see the co-leader of the Greens catching a train to Kingsland. Now how can we trick train- hater National's Maurice Williamson into coming on board? Posted by Picasa

What are the City Fathers thinking?

You come from the train up the stairs to the ground floor and big naked breasts confront you. Where is Graham Capill when you need him. I'm sure he would have something to say. Posted by Picasa

The day they gave up and called a taxi

Another morning, more delays, and finally they give up.
Messages below are their spelling.

6.59 Due to Mechanical problems the 6.27am Western Line train service from Britomart has been cancelled. Next service 6.45am from Britomart to Waitakere.

7.02 Due to Mechanical problems the 6.55am train service from New Lynn has been cancelled.

Due to Earlier Mechanical problems the 7.27am Service from Britomart has been cancelled. Next service from Britomart to Waitakere is 7.45am

Due to earlier mechanical problems the 7.57am Western Line service from new Lynn has been cancelled.

Due to a technical fault train services in both directions on the Western Line are delayed by approx 10 mins.

Due to a technical fault, the western line train services has been delayed by approx 15 mins.

Due to earlier mechanical problems, the 9.08am, service from Waitakere has been cancelled. Taxi’s will replace this service from Waitakere.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Grand Theft Auto: Newmarket to be improved

There are public meetings this week to discuss plans to upgrade Newmarket's ghetto like train station.On Thursday 8th September 2pm to 8pm
& Saturday 10th September 1pm to 4pm at Parnell community centre (Jubilee building) 545 Parnell Road, Parnell. Check out the latest train newsletter at Posted by Picasa
On the Ipod: Locomotive Breath

This election is critical for rail users

It's remarkable that as petrol and diesel prices near record levels, worries rise about the extent of oil resources left in the world and Auckland's pollution problems become chokingly obvious to anyone walking or cycling around the city, National this week officially launches its transport policy -and it's all about roads, more roads and more SUVs.
It's stupid, appalling and future generations will pay for it in all sorts of bad ways including through their health. Sure we need more roading but as petrol rises, public transport will become even more important. But SUV-loving National continue to wipe rail completely out of the equation for Auckland insisting only nutters and poor people would be calling for it.
We've seen from the New Orleans hurricane footage, how the rich and powerful don't care about the poor's welfare. But rail is not just for those who can not afford cars. The carriages are full of suits and people with laptops, Ipods and other expensive devices. Look at that guy on the right in the photo sitting with his laptop. These are people who care about the environment and choose to support public transport, despite all its frustrations.
Labour is to be thanked and congratulated for its announcement last week that Auckland's congested western railway line should have duplicate tracks a year earlier than planned - by 2008 - under a simplified funding policy. With that problem solved by the government, now it is up to the regional authorities to actually make their plans for an electrified system happen.
And despicable is the only word for the National-looking pamphlet put in our letter boxes warning that the Greens would spend "money on uneconomic and novel public transport schemes." If National thinks rail is uneconomical, it's a bad sign that they can be trusted to manage our economy.
Transport is a big issue this election for Auckland voters. Vote wisely.
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On the Ipod: Best of DTrain

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Arty Farty Time

An art fair is starting at The Brit today just behind the station. We need more things happening so pay a visit. Posted by Picasa

A musical interkude

SlowTrainComin reader Soyung has done a great blog for music fans like me full of new discoveries. Check it out at

A foggy day

No bridge! Posted by Picasa

Sky Tower? Posted by Picasa

The fog Posted by Picasa

After seeing breakfast TV photos of the hurricane damage, it was freaky not to find the Sky Tower or Harbour Beidge when I stepped out of The Brit this morning! Posted by Picasa

Start walking!

Good luck for your trip home! We were promised problems and delays from Henderson (and trains cancelled)tonight because of an "accident." Posted by Picasa