Signal Work Caused Overcrowding


We’ve read about Wellington’s overcrowding issues on trains where they have even had to bring in an old London double-decker bus to carry passengers.

This morning  we got to see real overcrowding issues in Auckland.

Signal issues at a number of places caused this morning’s peak-time Auckland train meltdown.

Frustrated commuters on the Western Line complained to AKT about waiting for an hour or so for a train - and then one did come it was too crowded to get on.

First train arrives at Kingsland after an hour

At Kingsland - one of several stations I visited- , train staff told waiting commuters if they were prepared to and able to squash in, things would get better after Grafton when school students got off.

It was hard to see how any one could possibly get on. But people were complaining they had waited an hour and were going to be very late for work.

Once some people get on, there was hardly room for Train Guards or Maori wardens.

The Southern, Eastern and Onehunga lines were closed at the weekend for work and that work triggered the problems.

A KiwiRail spokesman told AKT: “ Kiwirail’s contractors are carrying out progressive installation of new signaling system as part of the electrification project, with most of the work being done at night outside of the commuter timetable.

“Unfortunately last night the team encountered some technical difficulties with their scheduled tasks, which unfortunately meant they missed the cut off time for completing their works and were late handing back the network for commuter train operations.

“This impacted on the morning timetable.

“We regret this and would like to offer our apologies to rail users for the disruption this caused to their morning commute.

“We have spent some time reviewing processes with our contractors to identify ways to further minimise any risk of impact on commuter services while we  continue with this important work to upgrade the network.”

There will be similar disruptions next weekend so let’s hope next Monday is smoother sailing.




  1. patrick says:

    These things happen
    Wellington had it’s problems during the upgrades

  2. Matt L says:

    What I want to know is what kind of performance agreement AT has with Kiwirail for these kinds of things. With this level of impact there would be compensation claimed in any normal business so why should this be different, especially considering how the track access charges are increasing by such a huge amount.

  3. Andu says:

    Just want to re-assure people these things happen in London fairly regularly too, as soon as one major tube line is taken out of service the whole tranport network (including trains and buses) is thrown into absolute chaos.
    Its not necessarily Just an Auckland problem :)


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