The new train timetables starting the 15th October are now out. Here is what AT has to say in a press release:
Minor changes to train timetables from 15 October
Auckland Transport and its operator, Veolia Transport, said today new train timetables will come into effect from Monday 15 October. The times of most Monday to Friday services are changing.
The timetables are being amended in response to customer feedback and include:
- spreading the timing of services better at peak times to help reduce overcrowding of some trains
- making better allowance for freight trains sharing the tracks with commuter trains to improve the punctuality of passenger services
- allowing for increased boarding time required at busy stations to improve the punctuality of services
- four more return trips to Pukekohe each day, the first service leaving half an hour earlier
- there will be no changes made to weekend timetables given on-going requirements for weekend closures for engineering works as part of the electrification of the network.
Auckland Transport’s Public Transport Manager, Mark Lambert says, “While the times of most Monday to Friday services will be changing, there are no major changes to frequency on any line or to the number of services being offered.
“All midweek services have been reviewed and retimed accordingly to provide a more even spread of service, particularly during the peaks which results in a better service offering and more choice for the majority of customers.
Veolia Transport’s Acting Manager Director, Craig Inger says, “Veolia is focusing on a better customer experience, particularly at peak times. As part of this, new train berthing arrangements have been put in place at Britomart. This means that most trains on each line will berth at a specific platform at peak times which will make it easier and faster for customers heading to catch their train”.
New timetables are available at www.AT.co.nz/timetables and will be at stations from 15 October. Customers are advised to check online for details relating to their train services.
We first heard mention of this new timetable a while ago we also saw in AT board reports suggestions that the timetable would be recast to address timekeeping issues. With that in mind I decided to have a look through them to see just how many changes there have been.
Starting with the western line as it is the easiest and also the line I use, there has been no time added to the services from what I can see with most times just tweaked and services arriving a minute or two earlier or later although the last services of the day are a bit earlier than they used to be. There are also now 6 less services that run during the weekdays. Previously these ran from Britomart to Henderson only at the end of the morning peak and back from Henderson again at the start of the evening peak. They were positioning runs to send the trains to the stabling yard at Henderson that were put into service along the way.
The Southern and Eastern lines have a few more changes to them though. Like the western line, many times, including running times have been tweaked, but not by much. A trip from Papakura to Britomart via Newmarket is scheduled to take exactly the same amount of time however the times between some of the stations have changed and the table below shows the differences (e.g. Papakura to Takanini is now scheduled to take 1 minute less). All up not to bad and it will be interesting to see if it actually makes a difference to the performance stats for the eastern line which has lagged behind the other lines in recent months.
As mentioned in the press release above, there are no changes to the weekend timetables which while understandable from the infrastructure works, is still a shame that there hasn’t at least been an extension to Sunday services out west which terminate at Henderson rather than Swanson. If you are a regular user of the trains and like to catch a specific service it would pay to check out the changes www.AT.co.nz/timetables.
On the topic of timetables, the draft Regional Public Transport Plan suggests the frequencies that we will eventually see on the rail network and I was pleasantly surprised, they are listed below: