Fold Up Your Tray Table


After numerous calls for better communication surrounding Auckland rail journeys, I’m reluctant to discourage it.

But what is with the recent trend to provide on board commentaries about nothing?

Today an intercom trigger happy guard kept announcing progress (nothing unusual was actually happening) and gave an airline-type summary as we approached Britomart about checking around your seat that you don’t leave any valuables on board etc.

The other morning, the guard would not shut up between Newmarket and Britomart including doing a pretend morning DJ thing of embarrassing shoutouts to Westies on board.

I assume these ‘train managers’ are either frustrated wannabe morning radio jocks or wish they could be on a plane heading to some exotic location as airline crew instead of a smelly old diesel back and forward to Britomart..

Again, filling the information gap by communicating is applauded.

But talking crap for the sake of it is becoming rather irritating!




  1. joust says:

    systems overseas are all automated and you’re subjected to an almost constant stream of info often in more than one language. Plus service announcements like “be careful on escalators” or the famous “please mind the gap between the train and the platform”.

    Such announcements are good for new users like “next station Newmarket, interchange station for the western line” but get a bit boring as a regular user.

  2. Cierat says:

    These train managers are making an honest effort to connect with the passengers rather than give us the mushroom treatment. What’s wrong with saying hi to the regulars (in one way or another in an engaging way)? I think this is a positive thing and it needs to be encouraged.

    Public speaking isn’t easy for a lot of people and we really need to encourage it with onboard staff, along with moving through the carriages and generally being friendly. Not easy providing great customer service in PT, everyone’s a friggin’ critic!

    Leave the stiff upper lip for the Brits! :)

  3. Jon C says:

    @Cierat Agree, i dont want to discourage them.
    But even air crew have a script. They need training.

  4. Andrew says:

    I knew eventually someone would complain about that guard - a shame, as he has a good nack of brightening up your day. Encountering his PA announcements, tray tables and all, is kinda fun.

    I hope this doesn’t mean he’ll be told to stop :(

  5. Andrew C says:

    How sad. Things are starting to get better on our rail lines and we have one train manager who has a positive attitude towards his work, enjoys his job, and just seems to want to give people a smile (which whenever I’ve seen has worked) especially before or after a boring day at work. Much respect to this train manager. Stop being a sad sack and just enjoy the ride, sone of us appreciate a change to the monotony and lack of enthusiasm of other train managers.

  6. Matt L says:

    I agree, there is one particular TM that is quite good and can definitely get a laugh out of passengers, this is especially useful when there are delays. There are others though that could do with a bit of training and I have heard some pretty odd things at times.

  7. Jon C says:

    @Matt L Helpful informative and even cherry comments are great. But kept it professional.
    10 minutes of mindless drivel such as “how are u do- ing westies, big shoutout to my bros” is irritating.
    I mention it because it drew negative comments from people who were trying to concentrate on what they were doing and didn’t want Radio Veolia RockFM which they couldn’t turn off.

  8. Simon says:

    It does need to be kept professional. Things like advising passengers not to forget belongings are commonplace overseas - I can still remember the Japanese one…”Mamonaku Shuuten desu…Owasuremono wo shinai de kudasai!” We will shortly be arriving at the final stop…please be careful not to forget any belongings.

  9. Ian says:

    Let’s face it, if you boarded an aircraft and got that sort of commentary you would probably choose not to fly on that airline again.

  10. Karl says:

    If it was the one I can think of, a fun Maori fella, he was shut down a couple f years ago. He was also on the PA in Britomart a few years ago.
    At least everyone could understand him, unlike the current PA announcers.
    Yes, some of the train managers need HELP in terms of the PA announcements on the train. English would be a good start.
    Also, what is with the excessive volume of the train system?
    It can almost be deafening on the train.
    This morning on the train in, when we arrived at the platform, that was when we were informed that there are a few delays getting into Britomart. Really, what made you guess that? the waiting in he tunnel for a minute or so?
    Isn’t that normal in the morning?

    Bring back Tui on the Britomart PA system I say.

  11. Craig says:

    moan,moan,moan…good on you TM’s…

  12. Urban Local says:

    The most common feature on Auckland Trains is the six or so piercing beeps to alert people of the closing doors that send some train users to covering their ears. I can’t stand it, ten times from Mt Eden to Henderson! It even beeps uselessly once or twice after the doors have closed. I hope the new units will have a more melodic tone to signal the impending danger of the closing door.

  13. Andrew says:

    When in Melbourne I noticed the door closing beepers there were positioned to only be loud around the immediate vicinity of the doors, and if I recall correctly, they only sounded on the side of the door bay that had its doors open.

    Auckland’s ADKs and SAs uses Roshni sounders at audio pattern setting 21 and I think they’re positioned in the centre of the door bays, and turned up loud.

    They really don’t have to be that loud.


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