Train de­lays: the bizarre rea­sons why

Central Leader - - WHAT’S ON - JACK­SON THOMAS

Aban­doned cars, boul­ders and busy shop­pers, it’s amaz­ing what you find on the tracks.

Al­most ev­ery day trains and train crews are thrown out of se­quence, and hun­dreds of pas­sen­gers are in­con­ve­nienced due to de­layed or can­celled trains in Auck­land.

And while it is easy to blame Auck­land Trans­port (AT) for why you were late to work or to that ap­point­ment, there are some bizarre rea­sons as to why your lo­co­mo­tive might be be­hind sched­ule.

Staff at the AT op­er­a­tions cen­tre were alerted on Novem­ber 21 to a car stuck at a level cross­ing in Glen Eden.

The ve­hi­cle, which had been stolen, was be­ing pur­sued by po­lice at the time and took the un­usual and dan­ger­ous de­ci­sion to try and use the Hen­der­son­bound track as an es­cape route. The in­ci­dent led to the can­cel­la­tion of seven trains through the early af­ter­noon.

‘‘In­ci­dents have an im­pact not only on the im­me­di­ate area, but across the wider net­work,’’ an AT spokesper­son said.

The de­par­ture of the 1833 Manukau to Brit­o­mart ser­vice was de­layed on Oc­to­ber 30 when a mem­ber of the public, shop­ping bags in hand, de­cided to take a short cut home via the tun­nel. They were ar­rested a short time later by po­lice.

This in­ci­dent re­sulted in a de­lay of five min­utes to this ser­vice, but was one of over 282 tres­pass in­ci­dents recorded over the past year that has seen the can­cel­la­tion of 50 train ser­vices, and dis­rup­tion to thou­sands of rail pas­sen­gers.

Some of the more reck­less ex­am­ples are those who tres­pass into the 427m long Brit­o­mart tun­nel. Not only is it dark and dan­ger­ous un­der­foot with track

There have been six in­ci­dents in the past year, AT said.

The most se­ri­ous hap­pen­ing dur­ing a Fri­day evening rush hour in June which re­sulted in the can­cel­la­tion 36 trains, de­lay­ing up to 70 oth­ers, and mak­ing thou­sands of pas­sen­gers late home.

SI­MON SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

There are on av­er­age 22 col­li­sions a year be­tween cars and trains and 31 be­tween pedes­tri­ans and trains.

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