Home' Auckland City Harbour News : June 12th 2013 Contents Wednesday, June 12, 2013
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Will the train
be on time?
Auckland is famous for many things but a high-performing
public transport service is not one of them. But the tide
could be about to change with electric trains set to start
rolling. The Auckland Harbour City News speaks to rail
commuters ahead of the changes to find out what they
think of the system now.
Generally it's pretty good. The earlier
trains are a bit crowded when there are
less carriages but overall it's not too bad.
Train delays: Commuter Jeremy Bailey is
routinely frustrated with constant rail
Photo: JAMES IRELAND
Rail rider Jorn Lieskounig, above, catches the trains on the Western Line daily
WHERE ARE WE AT WITH A REVAMP? P6 & 7
Boarding: Kingsland station at 7.30am.
Photo: JOE DAWSON
TRAIN users riding the Western
Line into the city are giving the
experience mixed reviews.
The Auckland rail system is poised
for a dramatic improvement as 85km
of track is readied for electrification,
and the first of 57 new trains being
built in Spain is set to arrive in Sept-
But one regular commuter says
there are kinks in the system that
need ironing out if it is to be a genu-
inely reliable service.
Fourth-year architecture student
Jeremy Bailey takes the train two or
three times a week into the city to
get to his classes at Auckland Uni-
The Piha resident drives to
I really like taking the train, it's
cheaper than driving and paying for
parking and you can sit quietly and
work or read,'' he says.
I feel sorry for people who can't
take public transport because it isn't
a viable option.''
But train travel is not without its
problems and Mr Bailey says he is
often late for appointments.
Systems failures and various other
problems have frequently brought
the service to a grinding halt.
I know you come across unfore-
seen problems sometimes but it
I think if we can get the Central
Rail Link built it will help
immensely. Our whole public trans-
port system needs to be reworked to
make it all sync up.''
Mr Bailey has been living overseas
and says Auckland is lagging behind.
Around the world a subway sys-
tem is essential to making a city
work. If we want to move forward I
think we need to improve things to
get people into the city. I love living
in Piha but travel can be a bit diffi-
cult. I would love to live in the city
but it's just too expensive.''
Commuters waiting for Western
Line trains at Kingsland on Friday
reported a range of issues with the
service, but overall found catching
the train into the city the best trans-
Kingsland resident Amee Allaway
catches the train every day, usually
aiming to be aboard at 7.27am.
I used to catch the bus but my
work changed location so I have been
catching the train for about two
months,'' she says. It's a lot more
convenient than the bus which is a
She says the train is regularly
delayed but only for a few minutes.
I think what's happening is New-
market is the hub and we have to
stay there and wait. If the train
didn't have to go through Newmar-
ket that delay wouldn't happen.''
Sandringham man Jorn Lies-
kounig, another daily user, says his
main complaint is not with the
trains, but the method of payment.
Generally it's pretty good. The
earlier trains are a bit crowded when
there are less carriages but overall
it's not too bad. We've been caught
out a couple of times with late trains
but it's only by a few minutes.''
The one complaint he does have is
with the tagging system, which on
occasion has not allowed him to tag
off'', resulting in being charged as
though he had ridden the train to
Waitakare. He is still waiting for a
The creators of a unique
mini-golf course in the
heart of the city are the
focus of this week's
Daily Grind -- P2
A trip to Bangladesh
was an eye-opener for
Ataur Rahman and his
travelling partners and a
blessing for the leprosy
sufferers they visited --
Have you entered our
competition to win
tickets to the hit stage
show Stomp in August?
It's not too late to enter.
Email your name,
daytime phone number
and mailing address to
''Stomp Harbour'' in the
Willie Jackson believes
in free expression and
freedom of speech, but
what he has a problem
with is that it seems to
be too often at the
expense of Maori.
Go to aucklandcity
click on Local Blogs to
read his latest column
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