The Day Britomart Went Blank


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times Just when you thought things could not possibly get worse..and everything that could breakdown has..

At Britomart, the display screens showing what trains are leaving and when fell silent.

Today they went blank (left) and announcements had to be made to tell people where to go.

On board a guard also kept telling people what train they were on in case they had got on the wrong one.

Good luck to anyone catching the Helensville express by mistake.

This isn’t the first time but it’s the first time I can remember they made an effort to actually inform people. Previously people have come into the Brit, seen blank screens and some thought the trains were cancelled so left and hunted for a bus.

This continues a shocker of a week for commuters - another rush hour train on the western line was cancelled this morning.

What Mr FixIt do we call? Steven Joyce? David Shearer? Any suggestions? Thank goodness it’s Friday tomorrow.




  1. Sam F says:

    Yes, this shouldn’t happen, but I agree that this time they handled it better - the announcements were loud and clear and at least the trains were leaving on time - we made very good time out West on the 5:13.

    Something else went wrong yesterday morning… what was presumably supposed to be the 8:28 from Morningside to Britomart pulled in at 8:37. And it was packed! Barely even standing room, with all carriages packed out from end to end. The poor guard barely managed to clip the people standing in the doors and didn’t even make it further down the carriage until Boston Road.

    I asked the guard and it turned out the 7:35 from Swanson had been cancelled. No idea why. The service I was on limped in to Britomart about 10 past 9.

    This week is going to be a real PR disaster for Veolia - well, maybe not for Veolia since I suspect many people don’t know who Veolia are, but for trains in Auckland generally.

    Another side note: I spoke to a gentleman last night who works in the Westfield Downtown building and commutes in by bus from Morningside. He said he’d tried the train, but given up since he needed to be in at work at 8:30 and the train was scheduled to hit Britomart at 8:20 - and of course it usually didn’t get there on time.

    It’s a real sign of how much work there is to do on Auckland rail that someone who works less than a minute’s walk from Britomart doesn’t trust the train to get him to work on time, even with a ten-minute margin…

    However I will be keeping the faith and jumping on board again in twenty minutes or so, so wish me luck! What could possibly go wrong?

  2. Steve says:

    Why does Auckland not have a recorded voice to announce each train departure time and service details?

    We in Wellington have this lovely lady that announces ‘the next tranz metro service to *destination* stopping at *all stations/express pattern* will depart from platform *number* at *time*’

    Even if the DM/DT that pulls up is older than an ADK at least the little things are done right…

  3. Jon says:

    Steve, we need her in Auckland. Hope you can arrange! LOL

  4. Jon says:

    At least Morningside has concrete on the platform now. It’s starting to look like a “real” station. All you need now are some seats and trains to arrive on time. Maybe that’s being a bit greedy!

  5. Sam F says:

    “At least Morningside has concrete on the platform now. It’s starting to look like a “real” station. All you need now are some seats and trains to arrive on time. Maybe that’s being a bit greedy!”

    Heh. It is looking much better there now. Drove past on the crossing last night, and I thought for a scary second that a train was coming through, since the platform lighting was so much stronger than before.

    I found services on Friday were just fine, luckily - just a little behind time in the morning. Evening 5:13 from Britomart left on time and may have even gotten to Morningside a little early.

    For me, the problem with trying to comment constructively on public transport is that it’s far less interesting when it goes right…


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