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.

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When public service announcements on Twitter go wrong

Oh no, a truck hit a bridge…

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Would you like the bash with your train ride?

I don’t believe in public transport. And here is one reason.

After at least 14 assaults Auckland train inspectors are to wear lapel cameras for added protection.

No wonder rail patronage is dropping and growth is stagnant – it’s simply a dangerous place to be.

I’d drive my car rather than be assaulted on a train.

Ticket inspectors on Auckland trains are to be armed with small CCTV cameras on their jackets to combat fare evasion and violence.

Video and audio footage will be used as evidence for police prosecutions in the absence of any direct financial penalties able to be imposed on those caught riding trains without paying.  Read more »

Map of the Day




USA and Canada Rail Network Map

An Idea for Len Brown to implement to assist with his rehabilitation

Len Brown’s spin doctors are trying to find a way for him to rehabilitate himself…I think I’ve found just the thing.

When Len Brown gets back from his extended summer holiday hiding from the citizens of Auckland and finally fronts for something he might think about implementing this for Auckland’s train system.

He is after all qualified in all aspects.

Yes, people do ride mass transit. And once a year, they do it without pants.

As part of an international improvisation event called the “No Pants Subway Ride,” scores of people  – fully dressed, but only from the waist up – swarmed stations in major cities around the world.  Read more »

Map of the Day


US High Speed Rail

How John Key just rat-f*cked Labour on the Rail Loop

Yesterday the Labour party, and Phil Twyford in particular were all cock-a-hoop because apparently John Key has done a u-turn on the Auckland Rail Loop.

Without debating the merits of the loop project, which I still don’t support, let’s look at the politics of it.

John Key has just taken this debate off the table, he has taken all the cards, stacked the deck and dealt the cards into his own hand and Labour are all chuffed by this.

It is a brilliant move and one that the morons in Labour are yet to realise. Even today they are going to continue crowing in parliament with several questions on Transport.

The full details haven’t even been released yet and I think that they may well feel like the proverbial lemmings rushing for the cliff and suddenly realising that they have been pushed over it by John Key.  Read more »

No money for trains?

I’m finding it somewhat perplexing that the council on the one hand refuses to consider spending $6 million on a rail link that cannot guarantee sufficient business (and quite rightly so) but on the other is prepared to put Auckland into hock for $7.3 billion for a highly speculative central city link.

Auckland’s northwestern settlement of Waitakere is to lose passenger trains after more than 130 years.

In a move condemned by rail enthusiasts and local politicians as short-sighted, Auckland Transport intends axing the final 3.9km Swanson-Waitakere section of its network when electric trains start running on the western line in 2016.  Read more »

Headline of the Day

This headline is a masterpiece (hint over the break)

via Imgur

via Imgur

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Lesson from WA, same applies to Labour here

There are many lessons from the WA election at the weekend that apply to New Zealand. This lesson applies to Labour here. Labor got hammered in the WA election. A former Labor MP, now independent, explains why.

The result is that the party has now probably lost everything in the region; the message they just don’t get is that carving seats up based on union heavies personal whims, factional membership and the sex of the candidate is a bad idea.

Another bad Labor idea is recycling old pollies – it almost never works.

This election has put Labor in a very bad place and the light on the hill that Ben Chifley spoke of, if not quite extinguished, it certainly has the dimmer on low.

There are lessons for Len Brown too. Labor campaigned on a new expensive, gold plated, rail line to the airport…voter simply didn’t like their grandiose spending plans.

The Metronet rail network is the centrepiece of Labor’s plan to snatch an unlikely victory over Premier Colin Barnett at next Saturday’s election.

It involves building rail lines to connect Perth’s suburbs in a bid to ease congestion.

Last month, Mr Buswell released documents from the Public Transport Authority which put the cost of Metronet at about $6.4bn. He stood by the estimate today, saying the Treasury costings had not included a $1.2bn section of rail between Bayswater and the CBD.

Mr Buswell said a $5.2bn injection into Perth’s rail system was not warranted. “It’s a lot of money,” he said. “I don’t think you can justify that investment.”

As we now know Labor bombed, and the Liberals increased their majority.