RWC2011: Smooth Operation


Auckland Transport has certainly got the homeward bound Eden Park operation sorted.

Commuters were quickly cleared at both Kingsland and Morningside after tonight’s All Black France match.

Buses and trains cleared people by 70 minutes after the match finished. Good stuff.

But I was surprised that after the Opening Night overcrowding issues, people were squashed into as far as they could be.

An orderly military style corralling operation meant West-bound commuters were dispatched quickly onto trains at Morningside.

Many motorists were caught by surprise with the closure of New North Rd as they approached Kingsland.

Part of New North Rd around Kingsland was closed from kick off until two hours after the match.

But certainly in the initial period after the game, crowds at Kingsland were good natured under the watchful eye of police.

While restaurants were steady, the only queues were to get into the main pubs, Neighbourhood and Kingslander.

All Blacks and French supporters wandered around with no sign of animosity.

15,000 were at Party Central at its peak and Captain Cook as an extension to Queens Wharf was opened for the first time. 14 people were treated by St John there and one person went to hospital.

11 people were evicted from Eden Park - there was only one arrest.

To the Game:
Walking and buses over trains proved the popular ways to get to the match tonight – as people took no chances and walked on a nice sunny day from early afternoon.

10,000 of the 60,000 at the game walked on the Fan Trail – just over 4000 more than walked to last weekend’s game between Australia and Ireland.

Only 10,700 people went by train – 11,370 had used trains last weekend.

15,210 went on the special buses to Eden Park. 10,930 had used the buses last wee

That changed for the trip home - 15,000 went home on the train and 11,500 on the bus.

It’s not surprising as there is less pressure on getting somewhere on time going home.

I asked earlier if this means people have lost faith with trains as a reliable way to guarantee getting to a big event?



  1. Clara says:

    I lost faith in using the train to get anywhere on time years ago, let alone major events! Once we waited at Baldwin Ave for a train to get to the Boxing Day Cricket at Eden Park for about an hour, MAXX had no idea what was going on, no info at the station… gave up and took the car. I would also never try to take the train to work, only trust the bus - at least if one is late another one could overtake, unlike a train where a breakdown stuffs up the whole track! I sincerely hope that the electric trains and other improvements will turn our train system into something I can trust again…

  2. Giel says:

    It will take a while for people to have faith in the trains as reliable again for big events. The system is not in any way robust and the large numbers of people called in at stations and sitting at points along the track to Kingsland to try to make it so is quite a laugh. The mere fact that AT are promoting buses to get to Eden Park right at the Rail station in Commerce street (right above the rail platforms) says it all for me - take the bus if you want to get there reliably. What a sad state of affairs. It will come right in time if a CBD rail link is built but as everyone here knows Britomart will be a pincepoint until that is built.

    Good to see large numbers using trains to get back to town - suspect people using Fan trail on way up would likely get train back to town. Good to see it worked on the night and realistically now that is the best we can hope for - confidence will rebuild over time.

  3. Mark says:

    Fan trail numbers get over stated, as they include car users who park over on Gt North road.

    The reality is that train capacity needs to be available for tourists for the last 2 weeks - when we’ll have a greater number of tourists )taxis will also get more use. So at this stage it’s a good strategy to get lcoals driving and parking. Otherwise we’ll get far too many trying to use trains for the final games - and put tourists through the shambles that was the first game.

  4. Ben says:

    So around 16% took the train to Eden Park and 25% back from Eden Park.
    To be perfectly honest those numbers sound entirely reasonable and I am for one quite happy with those numbers.

    Being realistic and looking at the split over the 4 modes (walk, bus, train, car) and factoring in good weather the split was as I would plan and expect. Bad weather like today might see a skew to one particular mode though will have to see how it goes for today’s match.

    As for confidence rebuilding - like a person who has there trust and confidence broken, it will take time to rebuild little by little.

  5. Geoff says:

    I disagree that Morningside was a smooth operation, as people were experiencing very long waits. Trains only showed up every 15 or 20 minutes, and they were only 3 or 4 carriages each. Should be departures every five minutes.

    Citybound travellers were catered for. Westbound were not.

  6. Ben says:


    An issue that has been known for a while. However I would still say West had a smooth operation despite the 15-20 minutes.

    One can only do with a finite amount of rolling stock - if Auckland had more then more would have been sent west.
    As for every 5 minutes going west, ummmm might want to consider that carefully, the entire network can not even handle 5 minute frequencies on a normal day - the trains and track (signalling is fine) are not designed for that frequency yet so would be even more difficult on a special event day.

    Hate to say it, but until the EMU’s are here its a case of lugging it or utilising a rail bus.

    Not the answer you may want but it is what Auckland has and what all of has to deal with.

  7. Geoff says:

    Indeed Ben, although there remained at Westfield (excluding carriages inside the depot for repairs) an ADL, two ADK sets, the SX set, and an SA set (20 cars total), plus an SA in the compound at Papakura. There’s always the option of AT hiring carriages and/or railcars from Tranz Scenic as well.

    However, aside from that, the better arrangement for the Western instead of departures every 15 minutes, would be to stack the half a dozen or so sets available at Morningside ahead of time, and have them depart at five minute intervals. The signalling can handle five minute headways quite easily. To avoid congestion at Swanson, you turn back every second service from Henderson, which in turn has the added benefit of providing faster turnaround times where the most people are.

  8. Bryan says:

    Morningside was supposed to be 10-15 minute departures. Surprised they were only using the shorter trains, but the larger crowds (and media focus) has all been on the Britomart side.

  9. Ben says:

    Yip Bryan, focus was on the Britomart Side.
    Geoff. ADK’s and the SX are not sent down the west line (but can be done is really (and I mean really) required) due to:
    ADK) Have issues with the inclines especially starting from a standing start. Starting a fully loaded ADK on an incline going uphill had some err unattended affects (wheel slipping for one). So I think they don’t like sending the ADK down west for that reason.
    SX) Not sure but but could be inclines and whether it can run (authority) down west.

    The above are not excuses - just the situation.
    As if they could I am sure they would.

    As for hiring extra - don’t know.
    I suppose the questions posed would best sent to AT?


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