Train Delay Announcement Interrupts Grafton Train Opening Ceremony


It was a reality check of Auckland’s recent rail service performance.
At this afternoon’s Grafton train station opening ceremony held on the new platform, Auckland Mayor John Banks was interrupted early on in his speech by an announcement on the platform from train control that services were delayed.
The loudpeakers on the platform blasted an apology to waiting commuters at other Western Line stations that the services were running eight minutes late.

Some in the specially-invited audience laughed. if not a little nervously, and the Mayor joked that it was a message to him to hurry up his speech.

John Banks said he had spent time last week in Brisbane, looking at that city’s integrated transport and infrastructure developments, all of which was encouraging for Auckland.
He ended his speech with a quip: “May we do this every week leading up to the election of the supercity.”

Auckland Mayor John Banks says Brisbane's an example of what Auckland could be

Neither the KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn nor the outgoing chair Jim Bolger were present at this afternoon’s ceremony.

KiwiRail's Rick van Barneveld says Grafton project had challenges

Rick van Barneveld from KiwiRail said the Grafton project, which included the two new rail bridges and the laying of the second track in the area, posed engineering challenges.
For example, the intersection had three basalt flows for workers to break through.
He also acknowledged the disruption to nearby residents and to train commuters.
“Like ARTA, we want to improve performance,” he said, referring to the low performance statistics on especially the Western Line for February.

Fulton Hogan’s Bill Perry also thanked neighbours and train users.
He said his company had been involved in New Zealand’s infrastructure projects for 75 years and was pleased to have been involved in the Grafton project.

Fulton Hogan's Bill Perry pays tribute to the unsung heroes

He paid tribute to the “unsung heroes” - the workers - and their safety record, which, on this project, had achieved 97% of days without any injuries.
“I won’t be happy until we get 100%,” he added.


Videos and photos: First commuter train arrives at Grafton train station

Auckland’s big rail day in photos

Steven Joyce unveils plaque

Goodbye Boston Rd train station , Hello World class Newmarket -are railway stations

Videos- Steven Joyce opening Grafton says  good transport boosts Auckland’s economy

Station looks stunning

Mike Lee’s speech




  1. rtc says:

    No criticism of Brisbane but if that is what Auckland’s see’s as a role model then the people in charge are pathetically pessimistic.

  2. Nick R says:

    Perth would be the better role model IMHO.

  3. max says:

    Cut him some slack. He wasn’t going to say “I was in Brisbane last week, and really liked the PT there, but DAMN, the Perth guys are really reputed to be a lot better than those pathetic Brisbanians.

    I’m with Banks - I want him to do a PT ceremony every week until the super city!

  4. Jeremy Harris says:

    Brisbane has 5 or so rail lines plus some busways, that is a pretty good model for Auckland in the short term..!

  5. curtissd says:

    Brisbane is a step ahead of Auckland. Not a lot of steps ahead, but a step ahead and that’s something to look at for what they’ve done right and wrong.

  6. Matt L says:

    Oh the irony of this story. It is a good reminder of the system we have.

  7. Kurt says:

    Grafton station looks brilliant and along with the double tracking its top effort. Aucklanders should be proud. Well done Ontrack and Kiwirail.

  8. Geoff says:

    The announcement came from Veolia - train control doesn’t do announcements :)

  9. minga says:

    Rick Van Barneveld is the cheif operating officer of Kiwirail Networks (Ontrack), who are managing the Auckland upgrades - he’s not just any old person from Kiwirail.

  10. Jon C says:

    @Thanks Minga. I meant to go back and put in his correct title and you are right, he is indeed important-and a good speaker!


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>