Veolia To Improve Communication


Veolia has responded to the problems at Britomart on Tuesday night when a meltdown caused trains to back up waiting to get into the Britomart tunnel.

And when commuters entering Britomart reached the platform floor, they found a sign telling them to mill around until there was an announcement for their rush hour trains to go.

Veolia says it realises communication needs to improve.

Here is what they told me in response to my post:

We had delays late Tuesday afternoon because a train broke down as it was leaving Britomart station, due to an electrical cabling fault. You are aware of how that disrupts trains getting into and out of Britomart.

We are currently looking into our incident response plan and identified lots of areas for improvement, one of them being the communication chain with our staff out in the field.

At present the plan is being rewritten once it is approved we can implement changes so communication with staff and customers around incidents is clearer and more efficient. This might take a couple of months as it is a big plan.




  1. Andrew says:

    Sorry Veolia, while you mention Tuesday’s breakdown, you have failed to respond to what happened on Wednesday, which was the subject of my complaint.

    The inconsistent and contradictory cancellations, plans, and cancellations of plans was what I was getting at. Even your staff were frustrated at what happened on Wednesday.

    Information out there suggests that a perfectly good relief plan was put in place but you cancelled it because you don’t get paid as much to run a truncated or relief service.

    Why were we all sent to Newmarket for the relief service only to have that cancelled?

  2. Kurt says:

    There really does appear to be no contingency planning for break downs.

    When it happens then all hell lets loose, its ground hog day, Veolia groping around in the dark. There never seems to be any units or staff on standby anywhere in the system.

    The locomotives are over 40 years old less rebuilds and the rail cars are at best around 30 years old with the ADKs are over 40 years old.

    I agree make the system performance based and one level of provider to assume responsibility.

  3. Matt L says:

    How many years have these kinds of disruptions been happening and yet they still haven’t learnt. This response sounds pretty hollow to me

  4. Andrew says:

    Part of the problem was Veolia’s insistence on running as per the scheduled timetable, when it was very clear early on in the piece that was not going to work. When it was agreed to throw it out and just run frequent trains to all destinations, things went fairly well, but while they were still trying to maintain the timetable, only a couple of trains went west, one train to Onehunga, none south via Newmarket and 4 trains via GI ran in the space of an hour. Once they saw sense, at worst every line got a train roughly every 20 minutes, except Onehunga which got its usual half hourlies, except 15 minutes later than they should have been.

    The biggest thing I see out of this is that there needs to be a Plan B. Right now there isn’t…

  5. GJA says:

    We urgently need a Plan B and C, with all the work happening on the lines over the next 2-3 years until we have all the electric trains, we are guaranteed to have a number of outages. So Veolia you need to take it as a given that the systems will fail and your backup plans should be in place from tomorrow.

  6. Andrew says:

    ^^^ That was the other Andrew again. But I agree entirely.

  7. Matt says:

    One suggestion I would have is to have a maintenace shunting loco kept in the yards by the wharf, and use it to move broken-down trains out of the tunnel. It’s ridiculous that a train breaking down in the tunnel grinds the entire system to a halt. Trains are designed to be pushed/pulled by other trains, so shunting a breakdown back to the platform so passengers can disembark and then closing the platform down would do wonders for the system’s reliability.

  8. Chris R says:

    Bring back Chris White - he never allowed this to happen!

  9. Urban Local says:

    Who is Chris White please?

  10. karl says:

    Indeed? Who?


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