Posters have recently popped up on trains and about town advertising City Rail Link information days. I can’t find the actual poster online, but the image below is front and centre on these public service announcements:
There are a couple of things going wrong here, and I have to ask how AT could release such an image when they should be marketing the CRL in a positive light.
I have a couple of questions. Why would AT release an image in public that included:
- A single tiny tram down the far end of the platform. Not a pair of our new extra long electric commuter trains filling the station up, one little tram. A tram FFS! This is no doubt going to confuse some people about what vehicles would actually run in the tunnel (“oh, they’ve gone back to that old light rail plan again I see”), leading to questions of why trams need a multi billion dollar tunnel to make their way down Albert St. It also suggests that the station is being built far too big for what it needs to support. This picture shows a wasteful extravagance, not an efficient piece of critical transport infrastructure.
- A station with a few ghostly passengers in it, and a street above with a scattering of pedestrians and more than a few cars. Is this the empty lifeless CBD that demands an underground railway, or is this ghostown the result of station construction perhaps? Why are we building this tunnel in the first place? He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!
- A grey and lifeless tint to the city. Sure overcast skies have little to do with rail stations, but it makes it all look quite dreary. Shouldn’t we be getting the public excited and enthusiastic instead?
- A station that appears to have only one track. I realise that is just a combination of the perspective and the lack of a train on the other side, but it still looks like a single track station.
- Buildings with for lease signs all over them. Ok this is a little hard to see, but it goes completely against the value of the CRL. If that station is sitting under the CBD there bloody well shouldn’t be any empty buildings right next door. They missed a trick here by not photoshopping a “LEASED” banner across the top of that signage.
- A cityscape with a roadworks sign in it. Yes the CRL will cause plenty of roadworks and disruption. No we don’t want to advertise the fact!
My only conclusion is that no one is really thinking about image and marketing at all. Sure this render probably came from the architects doing the station interior, but it’s pretty slack to just slap it up in the public domain without any thought or improvement. Maybe I’m being too harsh here, but I think they really need to shape up on how the CRL is presented to the public if we ever want it to get good support.