Posts Tagged ‘Auckland’

No contingency for Auckland rail…again

March 5, 2009

Yet again, transport policy setter ARC, transport policy implementer ARTA and rail operator Veolia are caught with their trousers round their ankles! When will they start to put in place adequate contingency plans for a variety of potential system’s failures? Hell, or any contingency plan beyond ‘dither for 2 hours, then get all passengers a taxi chit or hope they go away’.

Accident’s and equipment failures happen. The real beef I have is how poorly ARC, ARTA and Veolia respond – every time! They should list every kind of outage they can realistically expect (from Auckland’s volcanos erupting to signals loss to points jamming or derailments) and what measures they will take to rectify and keep passengers informed and moving.

Instead, another ludicrous mega-billion plan to disrupt the services in pursuit of an unachievable utopia.

Did the Remuera Rd rail overbridge naturally crack the other day, or was it caused by the Newmarket rail station upgrade (bozo with bulldozer?). Why was the bridge not physically inspected during the station upgrade planning process? (what are those project managers paid for, hmmm? will there be a penalty for them for this oversight?).

Interesting that in the Remuera Rd bridge article linked to above, no answer was given by Ontrack to the obvious question by Newmarket Business Assoc. ceo Cameron Brewer; namely, why did no-one working under this bridge spot the cracks earlier?

Passenger growth is badly hurt by the perpetual ‘incremental improvements over 20 years’ mentality pervasive in ARTA. These risk averse bunnies should be axed – give the implementation of public transport planning back to ARC and save on paper pushers.

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Heritage lost

August 14, 2008

A NZ Herald article on Aucklander’s concern over vanishing heritage structures has jolted me to mention my concern over one specific heritage aspect in Auckland province (i.e. entire urban Auckland area).

As part of the ‘upgrade’ of Auckland’s urban passenger rail services, Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) – a wholly owned subsidiary of Auckland Regional Council – has been steadily rebuilding rail stations and pedestrian overbridges in the region.

Sadly, in doing so, the blinkered town planners & architects have been either removing the existing heritage buildings & bridges, or been destroying them. Recent examples include the removal of the 2-storey wooden signal box and bungalow style station building from Newmarket so a new, (supposedly) improved station layout could be built. Similarly, a (genuinely) better* pedestrian overbridge at Middlemore station in north Papatoetoe saw ARTA remove the old and still-strong and safe wooden overbridge.

Historic Middlemore rail station overbridge (removed, 2008)

Heritage structures – the anchor that links our waka to the land – are being treated with contempt because it is faster & cheaper to destroy the diverse buildings than to restore them. What an embarrassing lack of intelligence from ARTA, ARC and the half-wit contractors…

Far too many Kiwis ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at overseas heritage buildings and landscapes, without putting 2 and 2 together, and realising to get historic visitor attractions you have to actually preserve them from the knuckle-draggers with chainsaws and diggers.

P.S. I heard Wellington rail network also had a footbridge removed a week ago. The march of the mindless concrete contractors continues.

* Though better because it includes a disabled lift, the new Middlemore footbridge is uglier (subjectively), but also illustrates the idiocy of the ‘planners’ involved. Despite the obvious possibility of linking Middlemore hospital to one of their new multi-storey carparks across the tracks and over a small adjacent sideroad, the planners did not see fit to talk the Counties District Health Board into extending the overhead bridge so people could walk directly from carpark to station to hospital. A small 20m extension either side. Talk about short-sighted!