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CRL Video

Auckland Transport released this video on the City Rail Link today:

I think it’s pretty good actually. A few more detailed numbers around its benefits might have been advantageous, but obviously it needs to be kept relatively simple and I think it achieves that task pretty well.

39 comments to CRL Video

  • Sacha

    That’s good and clear – but it still only talks about getting people into the *CBD* faster. Someone please knock heads together and explain the region-wide network benefits.

  • Sacha

    The busy bus-lane part was great.

  • Ingolfson

    I always cringe at promo-videos. This one was pretty good, I agree.

    Though did others also think that the AUT person’s voice just didn’t quite seem to match her lips? Probably didn’t quite hit it right during the initial shooting and they had to redo it – or am I imagining this?

    To Sacha: If they are clever, they will make it an ongoing series, and provide a few new facts & animations and images every time.

    • Akarana

      Potentially the audio was recorded separately from the camera, which is often standard practice on film shoots but maybe not documentary so much.

    • Sacha

      It’s a core message. Should be in every piece. You saw how Generation Zero managed it in their text-only media release? Brown got close to that clarity.

  • Kim Campbell is a good score….. good to see a breakdown of the unfortunate politicisation of the this project by having a business group supporting it….. But yes Sacha is right this does reinforce the idea that the CRL is really only about the CBD: A good visual explanation using graphics of how it unlocks the network would be a great addition, or even an example of someone travelling say from Meadowbank to Eden Park, or Henderson to Sylvia Park, otherwise great to see AT communicating.
    [despite that terrible logo- oooops i didn't say that, honest]

  • Richard D

    I thought it was pitched at the right level. Most commuters are only interested in their own journey, so to give them detail they are interested in, would mean having to supply a lot of detail (for everyone else) that any particular commuter wouldn’t be interested in. There is also probably the worry that to include detail with the necessary caveats would be verbose and send the wrong message, and to do so without the caveats would leave AT a hostage to fortune in the future.

    I think they got it right.

    • Richard that is my very point: commuters. The CRL is about more than commuters. Currently we have a downtown terminus entirely focussed on the work commute. The CRL will reduce this singularity, so it is important to include this transformation in the marketing. As well as how commuters will also get a much better and more distributed set of destinations along with a more frequent and pleasant ride…. I know it’s harder to grasp because it is such a change but, hey that’s why it’s so important.

  • St Nick

    It would be better if they had a longer animation showing how the Link affects the whole network, i.e showing the current paths trains have to take, and then the increased efficiency with the link connection, so everyone has a really clear idea of what it’s going to do. Probably be better if Lenny wasn’t rabbiting on so much, and speaking a bit slower to really nail its good points.

  • Sacha

    Example of simple missing message was: allows twice as many trains on Southern and Western lines, so less time for you to wait for one.

  • An ok start but there are a couple of little things that I think are missing that would here been good.

    1. It was mentioned that Britomart is a cul de sac but not that it is approaching capacity and without doing something that it hit its limit soon (even with electrification)
    2. No mention that over the last 10 years we have seen patronage increase by over 400% with the investment that has already been made. It was also a bit confusing about where patronage will get to, the 30 mil figure is to low for the CRL but at the very upper end of projections for electrification.
    3. As others have mentioned no mention of the regional benefits of the CRL I.e. more trains between other places like from Henderson to New Lynn or Morningside to Sylvia Park.
    4. Would be good to point out more specifically that it allows us to increase frequencies.
    5. Would be good to mention that no other rail development can really happen until this project is underway (again due to the capacity constraints).
    6. Could have been good to point out the commercial redevelopment that has occurred at Britomart since the station has been built.

    On the positive side, it was great to have the EMA giving their support for it. Now we need a few more organisations perhaps one like Westpac saying how useful it is for them being based above a rail station.

    • Rob Mayo

      Matt L, suggest you and others who are in regular communication with AT, impress upon them, these missing key points, as hopefully a second follow-up video will be produced by soon and these points can be then be covered.

      A video series would be good for AT to produce that literally walks the viewer (ie; Joe Public) through all the benefits of the CRL. Pictures and talking heads saying things clearly, in detail but in an easy to understand manner, are far more effective than thousands of words across multiple pages on the Internet.

      Well constructed and well thought-through soundbyte/videobyte YouTube clips would be the best way to get key info on the CRL and the modernisation of Auckland’s rail network out there and understood by the public at large.

    • I agree that this video was actually a stuff up. I’ll admit to being a CRL sceptic – and this video only reinforced my views. It still seems that electrification and the new rolling stock is going to provide the majority of the capacity increase for the network – not the bloody expensive tunnel.

      What they really need to do is explain how this actually leads to the magical doubling in capacity of the network because frankly at the moment I don’t believe it.

      • Karl. At the moment there is one track in and one track out of Britomart. Every train must go in and then out the way it came. By making it into a through station we are literally, physically, doubling the capacity. Twice as much track twice as many train movements- twice the capacity. Right now at the peaks every single second is used to push trains full of people in and out of there.

        Yes the new trains will carry some more people and this will help, but it is not possible to put more than the 20 odd per hour into the station. By extending through each train will keep going so that figure will immediately jump to 40 -ish trains an hour. Double.

        And the CRL does it cleverly by linking up the currently fractured network, much smarter than just adding width like another motorway lane. Double the capacity and extra reach through the most important destination area. It is the ‘Killer App’ for Auckland on every level, congestion, quality of street and city life and so on.

        Or do you mean you do not believe there will be the demand for this new capacity? Well all the evidence suggests otherwise. Demand has already doubled several times over the last decade and is showing no sign of stopping, on what is still an unreliable, infrequent, often indirect service on tatty old kit. Yes the EMUs will help but then they will stimulate even more demand, as will all the other changes on the network such as integration and bus co-ordination. Demand is not the problem, or at least meeting the demand is the problem.

        It isn’t credible to suggest there will be no-one for this route, there already is, of course the current transport minister says this all the time, but then he also says there’s no need to worry about petrol prices either…..

        • I didnt ask about doubling the capacity of Britomart – I asked about doubling the capacity of the network, which is the claim. Doubling the capacity of Britomart is a moot point if all you are trying to achieve is passengers that are interested in passing through.

          Your plans also ignore the impacts on EG existing passengers going from west to south. Is it the inbound or outbound journey for those passengers that you are planning on making longer?

          Also which trains are just going to do the “link” route in a circle around the loop, and what’s the impact of that on your other magical services?

          • Hamish O

            To continue serving Britomart the whole network suffers capacity constraints.

            To double the capacity of the network we can either:

            - Make most trains avoid Britomart, and loose a lot of demand, making the extra capacity near to useless

            - or build the CRL, at considerable, cost.

            I know which option I prefer.

          • Karl the constraint on the whole network is at it’s bottleneck which is at Britomart. Double that and you double the capacity of the whole system. The network is indivisible from it’s parts, those people arriving in the city have come from somewhere. You are right with the CRL people will have other city stations to use, especially the midtown Aotea which will become busier than Britomart, but by then, say 2020, Britomart will need relief. Again not a problem but a need.

            The trains will not do a full loop. All parts will get a more frequent, quicker and more direct service with the CRL, with the one exception of western line passengers heading to Grafton and Newmarket. It depends on service patterns, which are yet to be decided, but my preference is for running a number of direct west/south services in addition to west/city/east ones. Which would mean say direct Manukau/Henderson services, which currently isn’t the case. Or Grafton and Newmarket bound riders may need to transfer and remember trains will be so much more frequent and there will be no transfer additional cost so there journey times will probably still be quicker.

            Hardly a problem then especially when balanced with the new routes that all lines will offer; like Meadowbank or GI to Kingsland say or Henderson. And Southern Line services either through Grafton or Parnell and through the city stations….. And like I say I am keen on direct west/south services when we have the spare kit, and essentially, integrated ticketing and fares so people can use the Newmarket hub in ways that it is well placed to be used as but that the system doesn’t currently support..

            So yes while all the new work will be in the city it will make for a more flexible and less CBD-centric service; much more of an actual any-destination Metro and less of a one trick city and suburbs commuter system- while still serving way more of the city way better. Win win win win……

        • PS I’m not a tain sceptic – I’m on the train right now ;)
          I just see a whole lot more merit in many other proposals.
          And if bus co-ordination and linkages were the magical answer that keeps getting referred to then there is even less need for the CRL so you might want to bury that bit of the argument.

          • It isn’t a situation of needing a magic answer there isn’t a tricky question: demand is growing at over 10% with the current poor service. Integration is happening because it makes for a better service not to try to get people on trains or buses… it’s a question of providing for the ever growing demand.

      • Doubling the capacity is the easy part to explain. At the moment in any one hour can only safely handle about 20 train movements in and 20 out again. That means we can only have 6 trains per hour per direction on the eastern, western and southern lines while there is just enough space for two per hour to/from Onehunga. Part of the problem is the junction at the other end of the tunnel which has to cater for some fairly complex train movements

        The CRL allows trains to carry on through which would minimise the number of trains that have to cross each other which reduces the impact of the junction. Some of our current lines would actually be joined together. As a result a train heading to the city from out west can go through the tunnel and straight out again on the say the eastern line. In that one train movement you have replaced what was previously two movements which means there is now space for another train to run. Realistically it would allow us to run a train in each direction every 5 minutes on each of the lines (12 trains per hour per direction) which is double what electrification will achieve.

        BTW electrification less than doubles our current capacity as it only really makes our trains longer, it doesn’t allow us to run more trains. The extra capacity delivered from electrification is likely to be used up in the peak by around 2020 while off peak patronage will likely keep growing for another few years afterwards and perhaps top out at about 25m trips per year.

        • So your math is really that there is enough space for 14 per hour southbound and 6 per hour eastbound.

          From your arguments it makes more sense to connect Orakei directly to Newmarket and still not do the CRL

          • Hamish O

            The problem with that idea is demand. Generally we are happy to say that peak rail demand will be able to follow any supply we create, but by bypassing Britomart we get rid of most demand, making the whole thing pointless. What you are suggesting is exactly what we had before 2003 when Britomart opened, and just look what has happened to rail patronage since then :-)

            Focusing on the CBD is of course not ideal either, but ignoring it is worse.

            Don’t forget the CRL also reduces Western line travelling times and adds 3 new stations, with one in the heart of the CBD.

          • I’d suggest that having trains running after 6 o’clock at night was the larger impetus to the growth in passenger numbers versus the actual relocation of the station.
            Although the actual collocation of bus and aim services was the other biggie

          • Yes an expansion of off peak services is urgent and is part of the philosophy of a ‘metro’ system over the current ‘commuter’ one. But that doesn’t alter the fact that we have a critical bottleneck in the system that is preventing us getting full value out of it.

            The CRL costs a lot of money but provides unequal value. Way better value than the RoNS which are simply political and wishful thinking economically. And non-transformative.

  • MC

    I’m a professional, Australia-based media producer with video clients in science and the arts. I’m a supporter of the CRL but, unfortunately, I find that there are a lot of problems with this film.

    Is it a student production? Or did Auckland Council commission this through professional channels?

    For me, the central issue is the film’s structure, which I find is essentially absent. A typical structure is to pose a problem; introduce your solution; explain why your solution is the best one available; and then, perhaps, show what would be the consequences if we don’t do anything.

    Kahu Carter is billed as a commuter, although it doesn’t take a sophisticated audience to see that, for the purpose of this film, this is a set up. We’re not told in any specific sense how her commute from her New Lynn flat to Auckland Uni, if that’s even true, is going to be enhanced by the CRL.

    In contemporary film-making, we don’t tend to use actors/presenters. It’s not 1994 any more.

    Len Brown doesn’t need to over-enthuse – why not just stick to the facts? David Warburton, despite his many skills, does not come across at all well in this film. I’d rather hear from three or four passionate people who are actually working on the project – not just a dry, high-level manager.

    “They’ve got a scale model of Auckland’s new trains – how much is it going to cost… and how far is it going to go?”. Well, who knows, because they’re not talking about Auckland’s new trains, even though they’re inside the mock-up – they’re talking about the CRL. This is confusing.

    The scripted questions and answers are unconvincing. The jump cuts within a scene (presumably to cover re-takes) are amateurish. Unless you’re going for a specific effect, the camera, for interviews, should always be at eye level with the interviewee, not towering above.

    Auckland Council: this is a $2.86b project and it needs much better promotion than this.

  • obi

    I liked that. I think it was easy to understand and the presentation was generally upbeat. Even Brown wasn’t bad… he usually comes across as a bit odd to me. I do think the electrification and the tunnel messages were mixed in an unfortunate way. It’s as if they were presenting the benefits of the electrification project as being delivered by the tunnel, whereas most of the benefits described (nicer trains, cleaner air, etc) happen whether the tunnel goes ahead or not. Maybe they thought the tunnel benefits of capacity and travel time weren’t cool enough, and the other tunnel benefits (a better busier CBD) were a bit esoteric or hard to explain in a short video.

    I wish the AT CEO hadn’t used the term “rolling stock”. In a presentation like this you have to call them “trains”.

    The AUT woman sounded like she was reading a script and wasn’t natural at all.

    But!… Just a few days ago we had a post that quoted from a press release that said: “A huge amount of public money has been invested to try and manufacture consent for the RoNS, despite the government’s own commissioned SAHA report confirming their minimal economic benefit.” Now, just a few days later a huge amount of public money has been invested to try and manufacture consent for the rail tunnel, despite the business case confirming its similarly minimal economic benefit. “The Council has been concerned that a lack of ‘messaging clarity’ would undermine the credibility of the $2.6 billion so called “City Rail Link” spend up”, says someone other than Silvia Zuur, Smart Transport coordinator ;-) How many commenters will condemn the waste, or suggest other transport projects the money spent making the video could have been spent on?

    • Nick R

      I actually thought this was pretty good. Us transit wonks would do well to realise the general public don’t care about anything like the detail we do and need things in more general terms of how it will impact on them. Stuff like quick trips and a bigger city are about as detailed as you can get. What’s that thing they say in politics, if you have to explain it you’ve already lost the case?

      The AT CEO certainly doesn’t have flair for the camera, a bit wooden and technical.

      There already is consent for the CRL, no need to manufacture it.

  • Publius

    A good effort, but it’s failings are due to it showing clips of people talking. It clearly hadn’t been written first, filmed second, and because of that I didn’t come away with why the CRL is compelling.
    The best quote to my mind, and one that should be used more, is that the congestion is not only about cars, but also buses — there’s no more room for them to grow in 20 years either.

  • On a related issue the herald has weighed in with its Infrastructure Advertiser today. Michael Barnett given his chance to concern troll about the CRL: The jury is still out apparently on, well everything; bus tunnel be better, the route it takes and so on, more studies of course are needed, but other than that he’s all behind it, sort of [running for mayor Mr B?]. As well as pushing his nasty little motorway on Onehunga’s last remaining contact with the harbour…..

    No sign of the opinion piece that we wrote on the CRL at the request of Editor, It’s clear that Fran O’Sullivan is running the same line Roughan; just bury all voices except for the the usual list of business insiders as the apparent voices of reason and sense and objectivity; then allow a little space for opposition politicians who can be dismissed as just doing their job of opposing. And of course not being in the real world of big money.

    As I write the student radio station is spending most of the on air time between songs discussing problems on the AK motorway network. Not of course discussing what to do about it but just listing all the problems kind of like a weather report. Very sad. IT’S BECAUSE THERE’S LITTLE REAL ALTERNATIVE…..

    • Barnett’s comments are sort-of encouraging, although the “Just build it all and build it now” approach is a recipe for bankruptcy. We need to prioritise the most efficient projects first.
      I do take issue with this comment though:
      “Regardless, the current proposed route doesn’t serve some big traffic it has potential to generate, such as our universities, hospital and where office workers are concentrated. A re-design is needed here too.”

      Most of the AUT campus would be within five minutes walk of the proposed Aotea station, most of the UofA campus within 6 or 7. In fact the UofA would have not one but three stations within 750m (Aotea, Britomart and Parnell). The hospital is 600m from Grafton station. It also has about a bus a minute past it’s door at peak, linking Newmarket, Grafton and Britomart stations.To put those distances in perspective, 600m is the distance from Britomart to Victoria St, or the near side Viaduct harbour. The new and existing stations would definitely serve those areas mentioned.

      As for the office workers, exactly where does Mr Barnett thing they are located if not around Aotea and Britomart? There are 60,000 job places within 500m of Aotea station alone.

      There is no need for repeating the design process that began in 2004. The CRL cannot put a station under every building in the city, not without being highly circuitous and hugely expensive. The final alignment serves almost all of the CBD within a reasonable budget. Diverting to put a station right under the university would add a billion dollars cost and several minutes to the running time of trains, just to cut a six minute walk down to three?

  • Slightly off topic, but there are some feedback sessions being held at Britomart and Newmarket – see:
    http://www.veoliatransport.co.nz/news.php?newsid=973

    “Veolia Transport Auckland is inviting you to come and meet our managers and talk about trains at four informal feedback sessions being held on the rail network from Tuesday 21 August.

    Senior managers from Veolia Transport, Auckland Transport and KiwiRail, will be at the sessions to answer questions customers may have about a wide range of topics from infrastructure, to timetables, maintenance, seating and the future of rail.

    Tue 21 Aug 4:30-5:30pm Newmarket
    Wed 22 Aug 4:30-5:30pm Britomart
    Thu 23 Aug 5-6pm Britomart
    Fri 24 Aug 5-6pm Newmarket”

    Note: I have no association with AT or Veolia other than being a public transport user.

    • TimR

      Good to see Veolia pounding the pavement. Here’s a suggestion for Veolia- how about an open web forum for users to feedback views? Would help garner views from those of us who are in a crazy dash back to the kids, or aren’t at the right end of the station in that limited time window, and just a good listening tool…

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