ATAP ASAP’s – Extra Trains

ATAP ASAP’s – Extra TrainsIn Part 1 of my series I wrote about the Third Main between Westfield & Wiri as being an ATAP (Auckland Transport Alignment Project) ASAP, a first decade project that in my opinion needed funding straight away, my second post of this series is about the need for extra trains pre-CRL (City Rail Link). Currently we have 57 three-car trains and anyone who uses trains on a regular basis will have seen the massive growth in patronage. People at peak report crowded trains, as well people in some shoulder peak services in which some services are only three-car trains instead of six. Even I have noticed it the 5:58am from Avondale which …
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Guest Post: EMUs Not Much Faster Than Steam

This is a guest post by Robert Finley, a qualified Civil Engineer with a lifelong interest in trains and their operation in both New Zealand and overseas. He has photographed steam trains on most of New Zealand’s rail network in his travels. So you think Auckland’s new trains are a bit slow and perhaps they’re not all that they’re cracked up to be?  Well in some ways you’re right since some services are slower than some of the steam trains of 50 years ago! A direct comparison of the timings of the new Electric Multiple Units (EMU) with the timings of steam hauled trains in the early 1960s reveals some interesting facts. …
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Increasing capacity on our trains

Ridership on Auckland’s trains has experienced fantastic growth over the last few years, increasingly a staggering 70% in just three years to 17.3 million trips as of the end of September. The positive thing is that the growth remains strong at nearly 20% per annum. Growth has been so impressive that it is ahead of what was projected to occur with electrification, despite the electric trains not coming into service around two years later than expected in the business case. The good news is the forecast for the future looks bright. The new bus network that’s just been rolled out in South Auckland and over the next 18 months will be rolled …
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Behind the scenes on the electric trains

Behind the scenes on the electric trainsLooking at the AT website the other day I noticed that some previously confidential board papers had now been published. One of those was an update on our new trains, diving in to some of the technical issues they’ve faced. They say there’s been a lot of positives from the project including that deliverables were met within the original time, cost plans and budget. They also point out some fairly impressive figures The fleet has accumulated over 5 million service kilometres, conveyed more than 24 million passengers and operated in excess of 150,000 services. As has been reported elsewhere, since the EMU introduction there has been an ongoing increase in ridership and …
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EMU Faults and CRL Properties

There have been a couple of articles in the Herald in the last few days that are worth talking about. On Friday there was the issue of faults with the new electric trains. Auckland’s new electric trains are still being bugged by computer software and braking problems, which have brought engineers out from Spain in search of remedies. The city’s transport authority disclosed this week it is trying to bring forward from August the completion of its rollout of its $400 million fleet of electric trains, after continuing disruptions from diesel breakdowns. But it is not just the old trains that are causing trouble, leading to a reduction in punctuality on …
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Electric Trains from Manukau from tomorrow

Electric trains start rolling out on the Manukau line from tomorrow however unlike the Onehugna Line not all services will switch over at once with them only starting on off peak services before being introduced over the course of a month to peak services too. The roll-out of electric trains in Auckland steps up next week with the introduction of the new trains on the Manukau Line. Initially electric trains will run on some off-peak services, they will be introduced to all services over the next month. Auckland Transport’s Chief Operations Officer Greg Edmonds says the new trains have been very popular since their introduction on the Onehunga Line in April …
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EMU delays

There’s been comment on it already in my post from this morning on the EMU launch but I just wanted to address the issue of the delays to the Electric train this morning. The herald were quick to jump on it. Auckland’s gleaming new electric trains launched into business at 5.48am today – and quickly experienced delays. Much fuss was made this morning as the first trains to enter passenger service headed out of Onehunga with regular commuters outnumbered by transport officials, politicians and journalists on the 72-metre train. However a combination of driver nerves and possible problems with the retraction of the door steps meant trains were running up …
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The EMU Launch

Electric train services are finally a part of the city with the first ones running earlier this morning and yesterday I went along to the official launch of the trains. The first thing I noticed was that Auckland Transport had set up stalls and activities for kids including shutting down the central part of Gore St through the Britomart Precinct, a much better use of it in my opinion. I don’t actually know why we need that road open but that’s perhaps a discussion for a different day. Auckland Transport clearly really wanted to promote the electric trains as futuristic and had a number of promo girls (and some guys) dressed up like something …
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The Rail Electrified

Generations dreamed the wires, Doubters shook their heads in scorn. Brave men vowed that they would build it From their faith electrification was born. There it spans the miles of track Speeding millions on their way Glimpse of vision, hope and courage, Portal to a brighter day. Adapted from “The Bridge at Mackinac” by David Barnard Steinman Today is a day that we’ve looked forward to for a long time, the official launch of electric trains in Auckland (of course tomorrow is even more important with the first day services will run). I’ll cover off the launch tomorrow and if you’re attending send, tweet or facebook us pictures of you on the …
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