Train Faults Up 25%


Bring on the new trains.

Train faults are plaguing the Auckland network.
Overall rail performance figures in May are the best since last August but the bad news is that in May service cancellations due to train faults increased by 25%.
Delays in minutes caused by train faults increased by 36%.
Auckland Transport say this declining trend is being followed up with the fleet maintainer.
And they say the increase in delay minutes attributed to operations is partially the result of higher passenger loads on some services, particularly following previous service disruptions, that cause increased station dwell times.

The following major incidents impacted on service delivery during May:
Track, Signals and Train Control – In the month of May there were few major failures of the track or signalling systems and the improvement recorded in the overall performance is largely as a result of the improvement in fewer infrastructure faults with major incidents affecting services on four days.

  • In the evening peak of May 2, a points failure at Penrose caused delays and cancellations to Southern and Onehunga Line trains.
  • On May 16, a points failure at Pukekohe caused disruptions to evening peak services on the Southern and Eastern Lines . This affected 14 services resulting in 113 delay minutes and one cancellation
  • In the early hours of May 31, a points failure at Otahuhu caused some disruptions to morning peak services on the Southern and Eastern Lines.
  • A track fault between Newmarket and Britomart on May 19 caused disruptions to morning peak services on the Western, Southern and Onehunga Lines.

Train faults – Service disruptions caused by train faults increased during May and affected the performance on eight days.

  • During the evening peak of May 6 a train fault at Newmarket caused disruptions on the Southern and Western Lines.
  • On the morning of May 9, a train was disabled in the Britomart tunnel leading to disruptions to morning peak services on all lines.
  • The following evening Western Line trains were disrupted after a train was disabled at Swanson.
  • The next day, again in the evening, major disruptions were incurred on the Western Line following a train fault at New Lynn. This impacted on 70 services causing 613 delay minutes including 10 cancellations.
  • During the evening of May 13 , a train fault at Otahuhu caused delays and cancellations to Southern and Eastern Line services. This caused delays to 16 services and five cancelled service
  • On May 18, a train fault at Parnell in the morning peak caused delays and cancellations on the Southern, Western and Onehunga Lines.
  • On May 21 a train fault at Panmure resulted in delays to Eastern Line morning peak services
  • The following day a train fault at Britomart led to delays to cancellations on all lines through the evening peak.

Two other incidents affected performance during the month.

  • In the early morning of May 10 a train collided with a metal object that had been placed on the tracks at Fruitvale Road. The incident caused minor damage to the train and disrupted morning peak services operating on the Western Line with the train being removed from service for inspection. This affected 24 services resulting in 198 delay minutes and five cancellations.
  • Western Line services were disrupted again during the morning peak of May 30 following a fatality at Avondale which impacted on 36 services including 17 cancellations.

Remember Britomart's hi-tech advisory system?

Auckland Transport says train delay minutes increased by 4.9% in May to 14,139 minutes however there were 20% more services operated during May than in April and the network upgrades did not involve changes to critical control equipment that has, in the past, caused some service disruption.
Infrastructure delay minutes fell by 53%, a further improvement from last month, to a level not observed for nearly five years

But overall rail performance figures in May are the best since last August.
Fewer speed restrictions on the network, imposed during the construction and maintenance work being done, is said to have helped this improvement.

This was how it looked for the previous month - April:

In May, 84.1% of all services arrived at their destination within five minutes of their scheduled time, compared to 81.9% last month and 79.3% in May last year. Punctuality trends comparing 2009/10 and 2010/11 are below:

In Wellington for May , 83% of trains were on time to within 3 minutes.
89% of trains were on time to within 5 minutes (the Auckland measurement).
In the previous month, April, 90% of Wellington trains were on time to within 5 minutes in April. 84% of trains were on time to within 3 minutes.

Performance by line:
Johnsonville Line – 87% on time
Kapiti Line – 85% on time
Upper Hutt Line – 80% on time
Wairarapa Line – 54% on time

Veolia always have a hissy fit if I compare Auckland versus Wellington performance saying Wellington’s trains are electric so I won’t this month. LOL




  1. Paul in Sydney says:

    How are the SD carriage sets holding up? They need to go forth into the future and partner new electric locos

    What’s failing on the trains?

    And the DMUs will be needed for some time too, before and after the new EMUs arrive. Will they be used to extend services beyond the wires?

  2. Matt L says:

    Paul I think the loco’s are the biggest issue so that should be solved by the new electric loco’s to pull the sets. The sets themselves also have problems from time to time from things like faulty doors but I don’t know what percentage of faults are non loco related

  3. Paul in Sydney says:

    Thanks Matt

    I hate to say this or think it, KR hasn’t just given MAXX its old hand-me-downs, probably didn’t have much else going, ah well good things are coming and lots has been done, keep plugging away at it Auckland

  4. Jon C says:

    AT says as part of the transition to electrification the options available for managing and meeting demand
    over the next few years before EMUs are available are currently being examined. A report will be
    made to AT’s July Board meeting.

  5. Smeg says:

    1. Paul; How are the SD carriage sets holding up? They need to go forth into the future and partner new electric locos
    The SD carriages are holding up as you would expect from rebuilt stock, ok but not as well as a new one. Don’t hold your breath for electric locos, none have been ordered and instead the order for EMUs has been increased as a better value for money option.

    What’s failing on the trains?

    What’s not, they are all very old but the worst offenders seem to be the locos (DC’s & DF’s) followed by ADL’s with the beloved ADK’s being least problematic at present probably due to the fact they are the most recent to be refurbished, I don’t think the SX is used enough to be included which in itself speaks volumes.

    And the DMUs will be needed for some time too, before and after the new EMUs arrive. Will they be used to extend services beyond the wires?

    Yes, the ADL’s are to be refurbished for use beyond the wires once the EMU’s arrive, The ADK’s are expected to be around until 2018. KR is looking at extending the wires from Hamilton to Auckland as you read this.

  6. Daniel Harrington says:

    actually, if you set aside the disaster that is the DFB’s and T’s The DC locomotives are quite reliable. The DMU’s not so much. Unfortunately, believe it or not, the doors on the SA’s cause the vast majority of delays and cancellations


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