Newmarket Tragedy: Man Falls Under Train, Dies


DSCN2480 A man has died at Newmarket West after apparently disembarking a train and falling on the tracks. Early reports say the elderly man was dragged under the train for a distance.

While emergency services removed his body from the tracks and investigated the accident, Western train services halted for some hours.

Expect a disruptive post-work rush hour. Services resumed around 5pm but there are delays.

After the accident, train services were suspended between Britomart and Boston Road and commuters were told to use buses.

Into the third day of the new timetable for Eastern and Southern services, there have been more problems and delays.

Newmarket West where passengers mingle with track work

Newmarket West where passengers mingle with track work

This time the cause is a points failure at Westfield. This has led to disruption on Southern and Eastern line train services.  Although services were resuming around 5pm, there may still be some delays.

During the problem hours, northbound trains via Ellerslie between Penrose and Britomart were suspended, and passengers told to either catch alternative transport or to travel south to Otahuhu and change to an Eastern Line service to Britomart.

Not a good look for a new improved timetable and further evidence of our struggling train service.




  1. andu says:

    yup, i was at britomart about to catch the 1.40 to papakura when it was abruptly canceled, there was a couple of american tourists next to me looking very confused.
    way to go auckland!

  2. William M says:

    I feel bad for the family of the poor fella, however, I feel as though Veolia may not be telling us of something - obviously their guards were not vigilant enough to see the victim step off the train and move over the tactile dots on the platform away from the train.
    And if that wasn’t enough, whilst Police had an obligation to carry out their investigation, the logistical thinktanks in Veolia and ARTA obviously have some work to do on critical incident management as there was no contingency for such a length of service cancellations. Not that I am any expert though, but you would think that if the incident occurred in Newmarket, which is spewing with buses during peak hour, that they would have transferred commuters onto bus services from trains outside Newmarket to go to Britomart and return.
    If anything is to blame for the sheer magnitude of Auckland’s rail network issues, it is not just the age and lack of investment in the network!

  3. Sam F says:

    Police are citing witnesses who reported that the victim got off the train and leant on it for a moment to steady himself, at which point the train moved off and he fell beneath it.

    Now, in my experience trains in Auckland now *never* move off until the automatic doors are confirmed as closed, and those doors close quite slowly and with a loud beeping noise.

    Unless this man ducked out the doors at great speed just as they were closing - which seems unlikely given his condition - or unless the train started off suddenly with the doors still open, this guy would have had to have been leaning or holding onto the train for a fair while as the doors closed and the train moved off. If this is the way it happened, surely you’d have expected the guard who checks the platform and clears the train to leave to spot this guy and maybe even help him out?

  4. Andy says:

    Very good points William & Sam. The guards are now called strangely Train Managers and it is their responsibility to make sure everyone has moved off the train and give the all clear so in the end its their responsibility. But there are definitely other issues and things that can be done to improve our ancient train setup. I mean will we ever get automatic ticket barriers like Sydney and every other modern city?

  5. Jo says:

    What a sad incident for all concerned.

    I was in a building on the other side of the line at street level. I heard the yelling, thought it sounded loud and panicked and went to the back of the shop and out on the balcony and saw the train dissapearing. I hadn’t hurried particularly. The people on the platform were getting out their phones and directing others to push the emergency button. Those people were yelling loudly and for quite a long time, it makes me wonder what the driver and the conductor or person responsible to make sure the platform was clear were doing? If I could hear it inside a building on the other side of the tracks and since I saw the rear of the train dissapearing they must have been yelling from the time the doors were closing and the train taking off.


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