Suspicious package causes train chaos: usual lack of communication

CHAOS: Long delays and usual confusion at Britomart tonight

CHAOS: Long delays and usual confusion at Britomart tonight

UPDATE: The police blew up the package - no bomb.

“At least it’s not our fault - for once” quipped the train official at Britomart tonight as commuters stood around trying to work out what was going on.

As reported in a post earlier a suspicious package found on a train at Takinini has police swarming and bomb squad personnel investigating.

All train services beyond Otahuhu are cancelled.

But once again there was the usual total lack of direction and communication at Britomart adding to the chaos.

In what is a familiar scene, guards ask passengers what any announcement was said over the intercom as no-one can pick it up and no one knows what if any train is running and where.

Commuters get off the western bound train after Chinese whispers said the train wasn’t going to Swanson and the next one was leaving from some other platform.

They huddle on the platform while guards say they have no idea.

Eventually someone comes along and pushes people back on the train.

Isn’t there by now some emergency situation communication manual for use in such circumstances?

This won’t be the last time.

Yet the confusion caused only adds to the panic that sets in when people wonder how they will get home.

Related Posts

  1. South Auckland train halted - suspicious package just found
  2. The day the train didn’t know where to go
  3. Proof Auckland’s trains are totally broke
  4. How low tech can a rail service be?
  5. Failed prison wardens become train conductors




  1. Stacey Duggan-Andrews says:

    Choked on my coffee this morning reading Veolia’s explanation of the suspicious package incident. No mention of why the Southern Line remained closed more than 2 hours after the incident, surely our bomb squad is more efficient than that and would have removed the device immediately from the track?

    Also there were no ‘alternative services’ offered as quoted in the Herald article - who at Veolia is making this stuff up? The regular commuters know you are outright lying. You only had to be in Britomart at 6.00pm yesterday to see people stranded and being advised to ‘make their own way home’.

    This morning’s trip from Pukekohe to Britomart on the Southern Line was not problem free either. We were advised before Papakura that they may not have enough fuel to get all the way and would ‘see how they went’ to whether they would make it to Otahuhu and terminate there. Unsurprisingly, all of the commuters elected to swap to a continuous service (via GI) so that we may get to work on time. I don’t forget to put petrol in my car, who would forget to put diesel in the train??

  2. James says:

    These kind of “make your own way” situations, seem like they could be an opportunity for buses to poach a few regulars, send staff who can help locate the right bus to get people home each time the trains fail yet again. Perhaps even post information on when and where to catch buses that roughly follow the railway lines. Buses I’ve caught have much higher reliability than the various failures on the rail network seem to produce.


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