Rail transport

Dear NZ Herald Editorial writer, No we didn’t

The NZ Herald editorial writer today must have been Brian Rudman.

Why?

Because it bangs on about Len’s rail loop, and makes heroic assumptions, the worse one being:

Aucklanders, however, showed they shared the Mayor’s enthusiasm for the link when they re-elected him. There is nothing to suggest this sentiment has waned. Only that some councillors are getting cold feet over issues that can be tackled without the project having to be placed on hold. If anything, the link is becoming more important. The council should acknowledge as much and get on with it.

No we didn’t.

There was a 36% voter turn out in Auckland in 2013 for the local body elections. In 2010 it was 51%, a massive slump of confidence in the process as a result of Len Brown’s first term.

Given there was just a 36% turnout then Len Brown’s 164,338¬†votes of the 1,047,910¬†enrolled to vote was¬†just 15% of eligible voters. ¬† Read more »

Auckland’s councillors are revolting

Well, not all of them, but certainly enough to put Len Brown’s pet project in jeopardy.

The $2.4 billion City Rail Link could be deferred until 2020 because of mounting concerns by councillors about its impact on rates, debt and big cuts to community services.

A number of councillors are having second thoughts about an early start on the rail project and support deferring work until the Government comes on board with funding in 2020.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has locked $2.2 billion into a new 10-year budget to begin work on the 3.5km underground rail link in 2016 and completed by 2021.

On Wednesday, all 20 councillors and the mayor will debate the budget and make decisions on the rail project for public consultation.

One commenter notes:

The best news from the article is that councillors seem to be backing away from the train set – with luck Len’s folly will be initially deferred and later abandoned without fanfare.

And another comments:

Had a quick look. Finally it seems like ‘the people of Auckland are getting mad enough and therefore loud enough to be heard. Reading between the lines it seems like the counsellors have decided they would rather get re-elected and keep their jobs than support someone (Lenny) who is going to lose.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

The Tragic 1895 Train Wreck at the Paris, France, Montparnasse Station: train wreck.

The Tragic 1895 Train Wreck at the Paris, France, Montparnasse Station: train wreck.

Train Wreck

Read more »

Auckland Council admits there is no evidence of support for the Central Rail Loop

On a number of occasions Mayor Len Brown has claimed that there is overwhelming public support for the central rail loop.

To see on what this was based, on June 12 one of the Ground Crew lodged a LGOIMA request with the council.

To : Len Brown

Under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act could you please provide all material,in printed or electronic form, provided to or by the Mayor/ and or Councillors showing the level of public support for the planned central City Rail Loop.

In particular please provide the results of all opinion polls carried out which indicate the levels of support for the CRL and the methodology under which these polls were conducted.

Could you please acknowledge receipt of this LGOIMA request and provide a date by which the information will be made available.

Could you please provide the answers in electronic format by email.

Thanking you in advance

The council failed to respond and so the Ground Crew member asked again. ¬† Read more »

New trains stuffed and former fan Mike Lee puts the boot in

Mike Lee in happier times when he loved the new electoric trains

Mike Lee in happier times when he loved the new electoric trains

It seems that Len Brown’s much vaunted new electric trains are in fact a dog.

Auckland’s flash new electric trains have been grounded by power faults which are mystifying the region’s transport authority.

Four of the state-of-the-art Spanish-built trains were disabled in one stroke this week due to power failure.

They have been replaced on the Onehunga-Britomart run since Tuesday by their diesel predecessors, and Auckland Transport says it could take several more days to identify and fix the problem.

But Auckland Council infrastructure chairman Mike Lee says the “bizarre and unacceptable” irony is the old diesels are running at faster speeds than the electric trains were allowed to reach.

The trouble has struck just weeks before more trains in what will ultimately be a 57-strong fleet costing the council and the Government $540 million are due to start running between Manukau and Britomart via the eastern line through Panmure and Glen Innes.

Read more »

Lenny No Mates takes the Train

People often ask me if Len Brown takes the train anymore.

Well, thanks to the WOBH Ground Crew, we can confirm that he does indeed take the train…at least he has this morning.

Hi Cam

I’m on the train right now and Len is sitting on his own. No one wants to talk to him or even have eye contact.

Sad!

Lennynomates

“Oh, I know, I’ll take the train, that will make me popular again”

Lame Duck Mayor interviewed by WO volunteer

Len Brown attended a union organised function yesterday, promoting the Living Wage.

You’d think in his fortress down south and at a union organised function he’d be safe, but no, the now ubiquitous security guards were there to protect the mayor.

Security guards shadow Len Brown

Security guards shadow Len Brown

Len Brown is very happy about his union involvement, even if he has a 12 year old writing his Facebook posts.

Len Brown Read more »

Rail Loop business case really wonky now after census

Len-FacePalm

The census figures are showing that Len Brown’s council plans for grandiose development, the unitary plan and the city rail loop are based on fantasy rather than reality.

Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson says new Census data which show that New Zealand population growth has halved since the last Census could prompt revision of Auckland’s infrastructure plans such as an increase in high-rise apartments and the construction of a city rail loop.

But Auckland Council is standing by its plans for growth, saying that Auckland is expected to grow faster than the rest of the country.

The council’s planning for the next 30 years is based on the prediction that the number of residents will grow by 1 million.

Mr Williamson said the first Census data in seven years indicated that this projection was far too high.¬† Read more »

Dying for a root

Dying for a root

Dying for a root

Dying for a root, brings new meaning to the term legless.

A UKRAINIAN couple’s inability to rein in their passion for each other ended in tragedy when a woman was killed by a train and her partner had his legs torn off during pre-dawn love-making on a railway track, police say.

The accident took place in the southeastern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhia early on Saturday.¬† Read more »

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The Lolly Scramble is now promising a rail line

Labour’s leadership lolly scramble is now promising a rail line…for Gisborne to Napier.

THE two main contenders for the Labour leadership have confirmed they will reinstate the Gisborne to Napier railway line as they gather support towards the party leadership election on September 15.

Candidates Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe both promise they will fix the rail between the neighbouring cities that was broken in a storm in March 2012.¬† Read more »