RWC Trains Trial- Photos, Videos


Another RWC 2011 public transport trial tonight - for the Super 15 Blues vs Crusaders match at Eden Park, which Blues won 24-22 - seemed to go smoothly and the only real frustrations seem to be from regulars.
7000 people were reportedly about to be moved by train in the 35 minutes after the game.

To allow special rugby patron rail services going to Kingsland and Morningside, at least “some normal timetabled trains” between Britomart and Morningside were  suspended from 4.30pm until sometime after the game, about 10.30 pm.

That caught some regulars by surprise.

Buses replaced trains for those services affected.

50 special trains for rugby fans operated on the Western, Southern and Eastern rail lines to Kingsland stopping at Grafton only.

During the RWC 2011 this will be the case with no trains stopping at Newmarket, even though it’s a major hub.

It was too confusing for some passengers - and one was heard to give up mid-trip and angrily call for someone to come and pick them up by car as she was told it meant a part “connector bus” trip to Morningside and then a train from there out West.

But these are special events and people wil get the hang of it. This shouldn’t be a problem next time and staff handled it well.

Overall staff on the platforms were helpful, security was efficient and very visible but restrained.

Regular announcements were made over intercoms advising how far away trains were - although one announcer was struggling how to pronounce Mount Albert! Trains were running 5-10 minutes behind schedule from Britomart because of “operational issues.”

Tonight also saw two new developments for the rugby rail services:

  • The introduction  of operating ‘game day stations’ for major events at Eden Park. Morningside is the Eden Park game day station for people travelling to and from the west. Kingsland is the game day station for people coming from and going back to Britomart, and using the Southern and Eastern Lines.
  • Trains running in the same direction on both rail lines for the first time after the match. This meant trains could leave Kingsland Station every five minutes from alternate platforms as crowds leave the game for the city.
    Approximately 200m from the station trains crossed back to the track used for normal services. Trains ran west from Morningside Station after the game. The new set up is possible after Kiwirail’s major upgrades to tracks and signals in recent months.

Train arriving on the "wrong side" at Morningside

Alcohol was banned on the trains.
Around the streets adjourning the Park, security and police were more obvious as they checked for alcohol in bags as people went through - including any neighbours who had popped out for a bottle of wine with their meal.

Police were present as well as security staff.

NB (As always, If you have been snapped and that photo is published here & are unhappy about it, tell me and I will happily remove it.)

After the match, crowds queued for trains but announcements were clear and the marshalling seemed to go smoothly. Anyone have any problems?

Here are videos of people trying to get a train home from Morningside.




  1. GJA says:

    The service was actually good going to Eden Park and everything ran smoothly, apart from a delay before we entered Britomart from the Eastern Line. (I missed an earlier train and had to wait 34 minutes for the next service.) I hardly ever travel out west, but found the service being very slow compared to the Eastern Line that I use on a daily basis.

    The way back was frustrating. We got to the underpass at Kingsland and was told that we could not enter since there was some congestion on the platform (around 9.20). We arrived on the ‘west bound platform’ and there was a train full of passengers and they could not allow more people on - understandable. But as soon as it left I could see that the train on the ‘Britomart bound platform’ was half full - nobody standing. So rather than stopping people from getting onto the platform they should just manage the flow. We eventually got on a train and left around 9:45, only to arrive at Britomart after 10.10 - stop starting all the way. So I missed my 10.08 Eastern Line and had to wait until 10.40 for the next train, which ran fine.

    The question I now face is, will I use the train next time??? Since it took me over two hours to get to Botany from Eden Park. Should I try trains on the Southern / Onehunga Lines, the bus or even my car???

  2. AKT says:

    @GJA Thanks for the account. I am sure any learnings will be taken on as this was what the trial was about.
    Western Line trains are very slow.

  3. Matt L says:

    We should have had Morningside grade separated so that those bells could be removed and there doesn’t become an issue with trains not being able to get out of those sidings next to the station due to a mass of people forcing their way across the tracks.

  4. Sam says:

    Arent we going to need this capacity for all future Eden Park games? Especially as use of trains rises over time, demand on trains at Kingsland will increase for games too.

    Will any of the planned upgrades have any effect on capacity here-it seems crazy to have a permanent situation where an entire line is shut for a rugby game this often and none of the trains go through NM for connections/ passenger pickups.

    I caught a southern line train into NM meaning to transfer to a western line train to Mt Eden last night… and my train was packed. Some Veolia staff were directing rugby-goers to go into Britomart and catch a western line train back out… I think its a bit inefficient to go through NM, them back past it again 20 mins later. Other veolia staff were directing people to the rail bus at NM, so I followed them- only to find that they actually meant eden park shuttles, and that the rail bus was still running every hour and the next was due in 50 mins (as the timetables werent connecting with the southern line like normal).

    Sure the CBD tunnel will improve this Newmarket problem I guess, but its crazy that the whole normal network gets stuffed up for every game. Maybe they should be fasttracking a dominion road line just to Valley road or something, and rugby-goers could use that too… Surely an extra 800m of tunnel from the same place the CBD tunnel ends wouldn’t cost that much to boar at the same time- they would probably even all join at the same junction. This would be amazing for Dominion road bus users (there are 10000 of us each day), who could all transfer to train just where the bus into town starts to get really slow (and then only terminates at the Civic). Valley road is a huge stop in itself, rivaling the passenger numbers of a decent train station I think- so it would definately be very busy.

  5. Daryl says:

    Were there any additional western line services between Morningside and Henderson / Swanson/ Waitakere prior to and after the game? The maxx website provided the links to the timetables with additional services for all lines, but the only services shown for Morningside to/from out west were for the usual hourly services.

    I considered taking the train to the match but given there were no additional services listed on the Maxx website for Morningside to/from web I drove to the match instead.

  6. OrangeKiwi says:

    I agree with Sam - it is crazy that the whole normal network gets stuffed up for every game - what about the regular train travellers?

    Plus, yesterday I actually went to the game only to find out at NM that there are no extra trains running from there, like they used to do. We had to take a very long tiki tour on a bus. Apparently it was also the last one that day heading to Eden Park at around 7:10pm - so what about PT options for people who are running a bit late?

    And all those extra services didn’t stop at NM or Mt Eden, but they did at Grafton. Now, I don’t know much about Grafton station, but somehow I can’t see Grafton station having the number of passengers as NM has on a game day?

    Maybe have some buses shuttle from NM and Mt Eden to Grafton, so people can catch one of the many extra services from there? Means you don’t have to haul them all around the city like they did yesterday - saves on running costs as well…

  7. richard says:

    This effort appears to have been as bad as the “Big Day Out” experience i had recently, when I and a couple of others were taken unannounced to Penrose and had to wait to return to Remuera on the next Britomart bound train. Great service for the special event but diabolical for the regular punter.

    There is a maxim in retailing something along the lines that you fail to look after your regular customers at your peril. I say no, after the dreaded RWC no more, just specials spaced in between the regular services and of course well marked and announced.

    Importantly staff should not keep letting more and more on after departure time. Blow the whistle, close the door and away so the network isn’t held up.

  8. Carl says:

    How does one get home after a rugby match when trains don’t even go to Pukekohe on weekends?

    and what is going to happen at the WRC when these 9pm matches are going to be played?

    what sort of time are they expecting people to get home?

    because if people south of Papakura have to drive there, firstly they are going to drink and drive and secondly if you drive that far, its only going to be another 30 mins to drive to eden park.

    and by the looks of the muck around listed above with chopping and changing lines, it seems that a lot of people are just going to to drive, even after they had a few beers.

    someone with some importance in the matter needs to explain how this is going to work?

    you can’t expect drinking rugby fans to wait up to 2 hours to get back to somewhere, then have to possibly drive home with the risk of getting done DIC?

    sorry but its still not good enough!

  9. RWC Trains Catch Out Regulars – Photos, Videos - Auckland - AKT…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  10. Luke says:

    it would be far too confusing to have train bound for different destinations leaving Kingsland, and if they stopped at Newmarket they would have to reverse at this would slow things down.
    Unfortunately for clearing crowd after the game direct trains to Britomart are the only way to go.

    There should be connecting buses from Newmarket to stadium though, and rail buses for western trains should just run from Britomart and Newmarket to Morningside, and then normalish timetable from there.

  11. Patrick R says:

    It is crazy- the world still seems to stop for rugby. What is really needed, of course, is a third line, so normal services could simply pass through Kingsland and Morningside… fat chance of course as we’ve only just got the second one…. Incredible that people are expected to give up their commute to accommodate a game, and fiddle about on buses that are probably also held up by park traffic.

  12. Geoff says:

    @Daryl, yes there were additional trains between Morningside and Swanson/Waitakere, both before and after the game. They ran a 30 minute frequency instead of the usual Saturday hourly frequency. Unfortunately these additional trains were not advertised.

  13. James B says:

    Simple fix. Build another train station on the old number 2 ground for match days. You could also name it Eden Park to make it easier for visitors to know where they had to get to. Of course it’s now too late for the Rugby World Cup but it could be in place in time for the Cricket World Cup.

  14. Simon says:

    @Patrick This is very normal for big sports events. It`s not just rugby. The same happens all over the world for football, Olympics and other big sports events. You need to broaden your horizons and maybe attend some big sporting events around the world and you might actually undertsand a thing or two. And there will be a lot of visitors for the RWC. Contary to what a lot of non-rugby fans think, it is now starting to become a big event with it becoming an Olympic sport and the RWC now on a major network (NBC) in the USA for the first time. I hope you`ll show a friendly, welcome smile to the visitors Patrick instead of a sour face. Sometimes we`ve got to look beyond moi which unfortunately seems extremely hard for most self-obsessed Aucklanders to do.

  15. richard says:

    Simon, I think you will find the sports special trains overseas are that- specials and extra to the normal service not chopping off the usual services

    Plus the train is clearly marked and announcements made so regular passengers don’t get on by mistake like my recent experience quoted above.

    I love trains but will be reluctant to catch one in Auckland now. Nobody can say all the problems are due to the upgrades either……….incompetence !

  16. Patrick R says:

    Simon I fear you are projecting a little there- I’m delighted for everyone who enjoys live sports, and while it’s true that I don’t think we do it very well [the whole event that is, not the rugby], my point is about the hijacking of a service that we are trying to build up. I do think it is great it that a lot of Aucklanders who usually don’t think of themselves as train users are exposed to train travel through this process, and hopefully that will be a successful experience for them [and that will mean learning to take a short walk]. But, and this has been said on this forum before, this comes at the cost of the committed regular user who going to be just abandoned for the RWC and expected to be committed again afterwards having had to make other plans. Not so bad on the weekend I guess, but could the wizzy new signalling not cope with running some regular services at least while the game is on for the poor regulars who may have other plans than rugby?

    Not really sure what you mean at the end there, is it that you are necessarily self obsessed if you are not obsessed with rugby? Well that is one of the good things about living in a city compared to a small provincial town, all tastes are more likely to be catered for…. And anyway I don’t live on this line so it’s not about me in any case.

  17. Nick R says:

    Patrick, it’s not an issue with signalling, the number one issue with running regular services is that the line between Morningside and Kinglsand will be stacked with stabled trains nose to tail on both tracks, ready to start clearing the crowd with departures every couple of minutes for an hour or so.

    To be honest I couldn’t care less about rugby, but plenty of people do and the final is a huge event for the city.
    A simple bus replacement should be able to take care of this just fine. For example if they had two free buses waiting at morningside for each arrival (one to Newmarket via Mt Eden and Grafton, the other direct to Britomart) no one would experience more than a small delay.


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>