Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Sunday in Super City

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  • Andre Alessi,

    And curiously enough, my evening began with a train ride. I happened to be near the Mt Albert station, so taking the eastbound into town was a logical choice. And it was great! For all that Auckland's bus services have improved in recent years, there's a feeling of fighting to get somewhere in a bus. The train just gets there.

    Not always, I'm afraid! There's recently been a reduction in the number of trains that stop at Baldwin Ave (the closest stop to my girlfriend's place) that now makes catching one from Britomart a bit of a gamble-the conductors are so used to people getting on thinking the train will take them where they want to go that they don't even charge people who get it wrong anymore, they just advise them to get off at Newmarket and wait for a while.

    But yes, overall, trains can (and should) be a great, easy way to travel. Now if Len can only manage to sort out an integrated ticketing system for all public transport...

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Benji!

    Perhaps he'll play here one day?

    6 November, vs the Aussies presumably.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Currently missing: any bicycle parking at all.

    What for? Does anyone ride a bike to the rugby? I'm sure there are plenty of places to park an All Blacks branded Holden V8 ute..

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ray Gilbert,

    Not always, I'm afraid! There's recently been a reduction in the number of trains that stop at Baldwin Ave

    My understanding in that Baldwin Ave can't handle the longer trains they are putting on at peak hours. Sometimes these have the extra carriages not opening though, so they are empty but you get squeezed into a full carriage. Still the trains are a lot better that when I gave up on using them 10 years ago.

    Onehunga Station has the same problem but it's brand new, not old and small like Baldwin St.

    Since Nov 2006 • 104 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Brown has talked of three major rail projects - the inner city loop, the airport line and a link to the North Shore . The loop looks straight forward but has there been any progress on a new harbour crossing? That always seems to stall.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I'm sure there are plenty of places to park an All Blacks branded Holden V8 ute..

    You can fit all of them together into less space than a single bicycle...

    (All Blacks sponsored by Ford) :)

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 887 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Brown has talked of three major rail projects - the inner city loop, the airport line and a link to the North Shore .

    If anyone on the North Shore actually wants a rail link (as opposed to refinement and service expansions on the bus network), could they drop me a line? I've nothing against trains, but I don't know if Brown has really gotten his head around the real limitations involved.

    Onehunga Station has the same problem but it's brand new, not old and small like Baldwin St.

    It would have been nice if Mike Lee could have acknowledged that we don't have pre-cogs doing infrastructure planning in this city and The Herald (typically when in crusade-mode) made sure the pertinent factoids about resource consent limitations were well-buried, It's very easy for Mike Lee to crap on "officials" who can't respond in kind, but a little actual journalism from a competent and dedicated transport round reporter would be boss.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Let's hope for everyone’s sake that Auckland can finally get its shit together
    Hopefully the time is right and you have the right people in charge

    As for light rail systems bring it on; I have just spent 2 months in Europe mostly in smallish cities that are so well served by integrated systems that it makes you want to weep for what we don't have..yet

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 576 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    John Banks, at the end of a hellish week, showed poise and grace in the wake of the thumping result against him.

    Yeah. As much as I disagree with his politics, that was classy.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The loop looks straight forward but has there been any progress on a new harbour crossing? That always seems to stall.

    The harbour crossing will happen -- it has to -- but it does seem that rail would be more easily accommodated on a span rather than in a tunnel, which would mean a couple of agencies changing their minds on the issue of whether to go under or over the water.

    I gather the northern busway was designed to be retrofitted with rail if required, so it's not impossible by any means.

    I do like the idea of looking 15 years out. Auckland has been plagued by messy planning and short-term decisions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Bevan Shortridge,

    Re: Eden Park open day. I liked the comment made by one performer on stage there that it was "good to have a chance to sit in the seats, before you can't afford them." Got the biggest laugh.

    I took the train to Eden Park (first time on train to Eden Park, second time to Eden Park, ever) and I was glad to see that the way to get to Eden Park is well sign posted at the station. An obvious thing to have, perhaps - but try taking the train to Penrose, get off, and find out which direction to walk to get to Mt Smart stadium. No signage at the station there at all for the stadium. It confuses tourists no end.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Regarding station platforms that are too short for the trains, that's not much of a problem in the UK.

    For some services, passengers for Station X are told to use the front two carriages only - if a FOB like me got it in my first couple of weeks in London, I don't think it'd be too challenging to implement in Auck as an interim solution.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    I'm trying to work out the path for the rail loop - station at KRd links to Mt Eden so where will the track run under the motorway? Seems the gradients won't work unless the tracks are waaaaaay down

    Edit: Never mind, found map. So basically looks like you have a KRd station at about Pitt St, then one at top of Khyber Pass (Symonds St) then Mt Eden. Goes from KRd to Khyber right under CMJ so yeah must go pretty deep at the stations as the difference in height from the bottom of the CMJ to top of Khyber/Symonds corner is pretty serious

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Raffe Smith,

    @Gareth - see here.

    Joshua's blog is a must read on these transport matters.

    Mount Albert. • Since Nov 2006 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Raffe - exactly what I wanted in easy graphical form! Cheers.
    And yes, duh for not going to Joshua's blog first.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Seems the gradients won't work unless the tracks are waaaaaay down

    Gareth, they'll be pretty deep under the K Road ridge. Transportblog has more detailed illustration of the route and their previous posts discuss the gradient issues.


    Snap

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    but it does seem that rail would be more easily accommodated on a span

    and look quite good if done well.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    but it does seem that rail would be more easily accommodated on a span

    and look quite good if done well.

    Indeed. I liked the look of Richard Simpson's proposed span.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22763 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    Auckland has a left leaning Mayor AND a place serving authentic NYC style 'slice' on K'Road, I may just consider a move north.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Raffe Smith,

    I think the problem with rail on a new bridge from Britomart to the Shore is that the gradients are very difficult for heavy rail.

    I believe Joshua has covered this in his blog somewhere (I cannot quite find it), but I understand that the tracks would have to emerge from underground somewhere along Fanshawe St (unless one wants it truncating the Viaduct), then turn north along the new crossing alignment from the tank farm. An elevated rail bridge through the fabric of the city in that area is is probably not the best urban solution.

    Mount Albert. • Since Nov 2006 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Regarding station platforms that are too short for the trains, that's not much of a problem in the UK.

    There are a few short stations in the Sydney network as well. And at night they generally only allow access to four of the (typically) eight carriage trains on all stations. It's just not that much of a problem.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    The other problem with a bridge option is the question of whether we really want two bridges across the Harbour. NZTA are determined (and with good reason) to ensure that any new crossing is additional, not a replacement crossing.

    My general feeling on another Harbour Crossing is "what's the hurry?" Traffic flows across the Harbour Bridge have been steadily declining over the past 5 years as employmenr on the Shore grows and as more people choose to bus into town. Around 35% of people crossing the bridge at peak times are on a bus.

    Sure eventually the clipons will fall off, but that's ages away, and if we have a rail tunnel by then the bridge should be able to cope being six lanes as we replace the clipons one at a time.

    Remember, the harbour crossing project has a cost of $4 billion or more. Would that money be better spent on a railway line out to southeast Auckland? I'd be curious.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    And everyone will be hoping for good weather

    Because half the seating is still uncovered, right?

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    There are a few short stations in the Sydney network as well. And at night they generally only allow access to four of the (typically) eight carriage trains on all stations.

    SteveH, thanks I was wondering whether there were any in Sydney which are they though, I can't think of any on the lines I use?

    The proposed 2030 map looks good too.

    My general feeling on another Harbour Crossing is "what's the hurry?" Traffic flows across the Harbour Bridge have been steadily declining over the past 5 years as employmenr on the Shore grows and as more people choose to bus into town. Around 35% of people crossing the bridge at peak times are on a bus.

    35% seems a really large number, is that with lots of park and ride support?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Auckland has a left leaning Mayor AND a place serving authentic NYC style 'slice' on K'Road, I may just consider a move north.

    On the other hand, Paul Holmes still lives here.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

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