1. Has this one got a different front cab “nose” from the original EMUs – it looks less “swept back” on the front windscreen than the earlier photos/mockups did.
    Or is it just the angle of the photo.

    Look forward to the day when I can actually ride one – hopefully not too far off…

  2. Ironically, one of the things I saw in this image is “Yes, there is space along there for a southern cycleway after all 😉

      1. Of course I get your underlying comment. But for an urban cycleway in this corridor, they’d basically have to decide to narrow Great South Road. I can’t see them doing that any time soon. And I hate cycling in bus lanes.

        1. Max,

          Nevermind the corridor. See the houses to the left of the frame? I’ll settle for being able to ride a bike freely all over that neighbourhood. And the one next to it. And the next. To the train station(s) in the area, to the local centres, and so on.

          Having said that, even if it isn’t on your agenda, right-sizing relevant parts of GSR ought to be a high priority within such a development programme by the city. Cycling in bus lanes needn’t be.

          I hope you’ll come around to this more positive vision for the future, but more than that I hope we can get through to AT regardless.

          1. You still believe I have a different vision than you. No – I am just more pessimistic (or as I would call it, realistic) about how many intermediate steps / years we will need before we get there.

            My appetite for larger meals grows with change, yours is already full-sized. You may feel happier (or more virtuous) that way, but I don’t see you being more successful in gathering food with that stance. Yet you keep trying to convince others that your way is better. Well, that’s your right.

          2. Max,

            Yes, it is a different vision: you seem to endorse a cycle network whose most defining characteristic is the unimpeded convenience of operating a car. I’d rather advocate for gradually developing (or repairing) urban form that would optimise riding a bike or walking for short trips, complementing passenger transit. And for deploying this work across the city in the most democratic order possible.

            While the vision for the end result is — and must be — a “full-sized meal”, the means to get there still should be rational increments. In this case, I suggested improving one small neighbourhood at a time, leveraging the local train station(s) at their core. (And yes, it could touch an arterial on the way.) This is not what a parallel rail trail outside the street network provides.

            I am always struck by the mutually-constraining pessimism for future goals, versus the expiatory optimism for past and present failures, that you propose. Surely it ought to be the other way around?

  3. Can’t wait to see a picture of an Emu gliding past a wall of stationary traffic during rush hour.

    The dom post did a shot of the maitangis vs the morning rush a few weeks ago. Surprised they ran it given their road building views

      1. I walk my bike over the Ellerslie pedestrian overbridge every day… I look forward to seeing this scene more frequently 🙂

  4. Kind of a shame they can’t just slap them on the rails in the Port and send them on their way. Their first trip in NZ has to be on trucks 🙁

    1. I was just thinking that would be a good idea but then realised, of course, you wouldn’t be able to transfer containers between trucks and rail if there were wires in the way.

    1. It has often struck me as biizarre that the railway was invented first, with its orderliness, regulation and control. And then along came mass road transport with its haphazardness, disorderliness and lack-of-regulation. It would have been far more logical for the primitive to have evolved into the organised.

      1. Amazing how our worst railway disaster in history (and indeed all rail fatalities in NZ’s history) are less than the annual road toll, yet we are so much more complacent and accepting of people dying on the roads versus any other way.

  5. Britomart isn’t live yet. They tried to turn the power on a few weeks back but the overhead tripped out so they are having to fix a few things before the can commission it full time. Hopefully it won’t take them too long though

  6. Thanks for that .Still a bit to on the network with eastern and western lines.With two more trains here now,fleet is growing

    1. Well it might change in the next few years as the NZTA want to make the northbound section a full four lanes between EP highway and Greenlane. The fourth lane would be an auxiliary one like on the section between Greenlane and Market Rd. This is why the NZTA paid for the Ellerslie Station platform to be narrowed down.

      1. Work seems to have begun on this project. There are workmen out most mornings around the Ellerslie Main Highway overbridge pier and a temporary wooden fence between the pier and the railway line has appeared. I would imagine they’re working on shifting the pier towards the railway lines to make space for the extra motorway lane.

  7. Driver training on EMU’s everyday it seems now. Leave Wiri about 10am once timetable frequency drops and shuttle to Newmarket, and sometimes down to Onehunga. Are so quiet was standing on Westfield over bridge looking at phone and didn’t notice one was there until was under the over bridge!

  8. Auckland has been neck-in-neck with Adelaide in electrifying their suburban rail systems. Both cities have a similar population, both about 10m suburban rail passengers per year, and in both cities most people think nothing of driving to CBD. (Whereas in Sydney or Melbourne it’s generally only those whose parking is paid for by their employer who even consider driving.)

    Adelaide’s first 2 or 3 electric trains started operating in late February, and here as some photos I took last week. They are very quiet and ride well on rough track.



    Adelaide’s trains were brought into service quickly before an election next weekend, and electric services are limited because of a lack of drivers who have completed the necessary training. Unfortunately only 2 of the 6 lines are electrified.

    1. Bugger. Adelaide beat us to being not-the-last major Australisian city to introduce electric trains into service. Our only saving grace is in two years they’ll still be the last major city to run diesels, not us.

      1. In two years Wellington will still be running diesels on the Wairarapa Line, and Auckland will still be running a diesel shuttle to Pukekohe.

        1. I’ll rephrase, …run diesels for frequent intraurban/suburban services.

          Melbourne’s V/Line regional trains also diesel, as are others.

          On the side, I have the feeling Auckland currently runs the world’s most frequent all-day diesel suburban rail network.

  9. Adelaide has a big terminus focussed commuter system. Hopefully we will be running a proper through routed Metro style network post-CRL [like the CFN!]. We have to really, this is the only way to make a tasty omelette out of the broken eggs that is the tiny throat of the Britomart approach.


    Here’s the terminus from above; check out those lines heading in. The big silver roof is a Convention Centre the station itself is a classic 1928 grand station at the right facing the road:


  10. Although Adelaide has a terminal station, there are 4 pairs of tracks that can operate independently to service the main groups of lines. There are long-range plans to through route the 2 busiest lines through 3 underground stations, but this is many elections away. The current station still has plenty of capacity through longer trains, but suffers from being on the edge of the CBD. This limitation was relieved several years ago when Adelaide’s only tramline was extended through the CBD and past the railway station. It now acts as a very popular downtown circulator.

    Some of the railway lines operate on a 15-minute frequency through the day and 7.5 minutes at peak, currently using diesel-electric multiple units (DEMU’s). These have recently been refurbished. A recent addition to the photo above is a footbridge from the station to the Adelaide Oval (just to the north of the photo), which has just been expanded to a capacity of 30,000. Before and after events there will be train services every 15 minutes for 2 hours before on the busier lines, with PT included in the ticket price. Many of these tram and train developments occurred under a Labour government, which looks like being replaced by a conservative government next weekend.

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