Sunday, February 26, 2006

Time for some public protest

The Herald's excellent commentator Brian Rudman wrote a disturbing piece about how past plans and promises about the rail have simply not been kept giving us little hope anything will ever change.

Take the appalling state of the Newmarket platform (above) and the bizarre way the train has to backout of the station, the dis-used Onehunga line that is just waiting to be activated the state of platforms everywhere and the fact that the growing number of passengers mean most of us now spend our travelling life having to stand in cramped smelly hot carriages.

Local and government politicians that promised much about the rail and seem now to be going to deliver nothing need to be warned: we will dump them all next election. Maybe it's time for a petition.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hear My Train A Comin'

Good to read in this morning's Los Angeles Times that after years of retrenchment, railroads across North America are reporting record profits and rolling forward with massive expansion projects of the kind that haven't been seen in decades.

The growth has been fueled by a flood of cargo containers filled with Asian products, which ended the coal industry's 102-year streak as rail's biggest revenue generator in 2003 and has surged further ahead since then. Railroads are gaining ground on the rival trucking industry, which has been suffering from sharply higher diesel costs and a shortage of long-haul drivers. But companies that move their goods by train are complaining about increasing rates and delays.

The long wait home...

Due to a technical fault the 8.08pm train service from Waitakere has been replaced with taxis for connecting Britomart train service at Henderson.
Due to a technical fault the 7.47 train service from Britomart has been delayed by approcx 10 minutes.
Then there are the signs on board. Tonight as we headed out of Brit for Waitakere the sign said we were approaching Glen Eden. There was some panic on board assuming we were on the wrong train!

Auckland's best kept secret

This is a wonderful free outdoor exhibition -and the outdoor space at the back of the Brit is so nice and relaxing. I hang out there when I arrive too early for a train. No-one I speak to has ever heard of this place. Is it Auckland's best kept secret?

No busking, no fun!!!

So it is OK for some clown to scare tourists with a very bad Richard Clayderman impersonation outside the ferry buildings in the morning but no busking is allowed at the Brit.
Look it is so-o-o-o boring waiting for a train. Platforms in other countries add some colour by allowing busking. Why not the Brit?

Waterwater everywhere

The water leaks continue in the Brit concourse and the word on the street is they still have no idea what is causing them.
Were the same engineers /firm responsible for the Aotea Centre carpark leaky building crisis?

If so this is a major public scandal.

Someone should be asking questions.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Angry people going nowhere

I always envy the Sydney rail service but everytime I check in on the Sydney Herald, there are screaming headlines saying how bad the train service is -and they say it never gets better despite offical promises and government "concern."
Today under the headline Angry people going nowhere
the paper reports:

SIX months after it introduced a new timetable to fix massive delays on the rail network, CityRail is still battling to run trains on time, new figures show.

More than half of the weekday peak hour trains were late in November, December and February, despite cuts to services and an increase in travel times.

The revelation came on a disastrous day for Sydney commuters. The aim of the timetable was to have 92 per cent of trains arriving at their destination within five minutes of the scheduled time. To do this CityRail cut services to improve efficiency, slowed travel times and extended the definition of "on time running" by more than a minute. Afternoon peak hour is the worst, with one in 10 trains late this month. On the Illawarra line - which does not have a new timetable yet - only 53.9 per cent of afternoon peak hour trains arrived on time last week. Over the entire week, just 82.3 per cent of peak hour trains were on time. (The Tansport Minister spin doctor says): CityRail's new timetables are not a cure-all for reliability because they do not prevent incidents impacting on train services - from police operations to signal failures, electrical storms to sick passengers."

Hmm... glad I live in Auckland!

The trains were packed tonight but it would have been helpful for the guard to tell people when they arrived at Eden park (for the cricket). Perople had no idea in the standing room only train what was going on.

On the iPod: Organic Audio Presents Hi-Life: An Uplifting Selection Of Afro-House Grooves

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The best train trip in Auckland

Watercare run this cute train through the Waitakeres to get to the dam.

What will tourists think?

For a week or so, high tech looking electronic info booths have been around Brit. High tech? Yeah right. Someone has written on the screen ..coming soon all you need to find your way in Auckland. Posted by Picasa

The whale of a train

I didn't know this. And what has it to do with trains? These are planted on Morningside platform. Posted by Picasa

Train fares rise

Train fares went up this week.

No surprise and the fares are still reasonable.

The good news is that Auckland trains are busy - there has been a 30 percent increase in usage in the six months to the end of December.

I caught a train around 8 Saturday night and there were lots of patrons.

More trains are on time - but there are still problems. That Saturday train was about 10 minutes late and a few other trains I have caught recently have also been late. The 6.04pm from the Brit last night was cancelled.