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Platform 2 Mystery Solved – Better Newmarket Transfers

Back in September I wrote a post on better Newmarket Station Transfers, following up from this & the many comments debating the issue I decided try answer the mystery of Platform 2 once and for all.

EMU Newmarket

On the 22.11.2016 I received a reply to my LGOIMA (Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act) request


Dear Harriet

Thank you for contacting Auckland Transport (AT) on 25 October 2016 requesting the following information: “What is the reason that Platform 2 at Newmarket cannot be used, and has any investigation taken place to better utilise platform 2.”

Auckland Transport can confirm that platform 2 is currently not in use for health and safety reasons related to how the door control system was designed and configured on the current fleet of trains. At present, although the doors can be opened on the right, or left hand side independently, the door close system works on both sides of the train at once, thus closing all bar the Local Door.

In normal circumstances the Train Manager (TM) will open the doors on one side of the train. At the time of departure the TM places a key in the doorway they are operating from. This door then becomes the Local Door and remains open once the TM has ensured that it is safe to do so and has closed all of the other doors on the train. By keeping the Local Door open, the TM is then able to undertake the second, mandatory safety check to ensure that no one is trapped in any of the doors and that it is safe for the train to depart. Once this assurance has been gained the TM can then close their Local Door and give the departure signal to the Driver.

At Newmarket, if the train is standing with the doors open on both sides and the TM is working from their Local Door on Platform 3, once they have undertaken their first safety check on Platform 3, the TM presses the Door Close button from their ‘Local Door’ (which is located on the Platform 3 side of the train) the door system automatically closes all of the doors on both sides of the train, aside from the Local Door.

This means the doors on Platform 2 could potentially close on or trap a customer as no safety check has been made. Additionally, although the TM is able to make the mandatory second safety check on Platform 3, there would be no doors open on the Platform 2 for the TM to ensure that it was safe for the train to depart.

This, of course is not a safe method of operation and is not permitted. This situation has been recognised as an issue by both Auckland Transport and Transdev and thus Platform 2 at Newmarket has never been formally commissioned, is not equipped with Passenger Information Display and is not included within the Transdev Railway Safety Case as an operational platform. AT are working with Transdev, KiwiRail and NZTA to agree a safe method of operating, to support the commissioning of Platform 2.

Any investigations would have to include, but is not limited to:

  1. A review of Departure sequencing from Newmarket.
  2. An understanding of how this may affect Timetable resiliency, Station Dwell Time, and Terminal Congestion.
  3. Signal sighting requirements from P2.
  4. Installation of, and upgrade to, a number of required Signalling and Public.
  5. After these, and other identified requirements have been satisfactorily concluded, Transdev Auckland, would be required to submit a variation to their safety Case for approval from the regulatory bodies. 

We trust the above information has addressed the matters raised however, should you believe that we have not responded appropriately to your request, you have the right in accordance with section 27(3) of the LGOIMA to make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman to seek an investigation and review in regard to this matter. If you have any further queries please contact Auckland Transport on 09 355 3553 quoting Official Information request number CAS-432585-S8M8M4.

Yours sincerely Brendon Main Group Manager AT Metro Operation


So what have we learnt, we have learnt that

  1. Doors can be opened on both sides.
  2. That with with the right upgrades & training opening the doors on both sides is perfectly feasible.
  3. That the doors can be opened on just P2 for Northbound Services with even simpler upgrades such as signal sighting and passenger information.

In my post I wrote about opening the doors just on the P2 side for Northbound services, & just for P3 for Eastbound services to allow greater transfer accessibility for those transferring between the Onehunga/Southern & Western Lines, commentators discussed opening the doors on both sides as a solution as well.

How a timed connection at Newmarket could work. The trains already use these routes, it's just a matter of timetabling them to arrive at the station at the same time.

How a timed connection at Newmarket could work. The trains already use these routes, it’s just a matter of timetabling them to arrive at the station at the same time.

What this reply shows us is that both options are feasible, with the option of doors only opening on the side for easiest transfer is very feasible.

I encourage AT/Transdev/Kiwirail to quickly implement either the option I suggested, or the opening on both sides option, as it will make the Network just that little bit better for the users.

135 comments to Platform 2 Mystery Solved – Better Newmarket Transfers

  • AKLDUDE

    Excellent post – thank you Harriet.

    Does beg the question of how unsafe all those train operations overseas that open doors on both sides must be?!

    Most systems I have been on have a system in place that if the door doesn’t close sufficiently (ie due a head hanging out of it) that the door reopens. Most just have a driver only – no TM and no physical stepping or leaning out of the train to see if it is clear. So is it a case that AT is being over-cautious? Certainly nobody wants to see a person lose an arm in a train accident – question is how likely is that? I mean there are emergency stopping systems in place and it would be quite rare for there to be only a single person in a carriage and for them to up against the door (that normally occurs when a train is full). Also Auckland generally has massive clearances to the sides of trains unlike the London Tube for example where it has tolerances of only a handful of centimetres in places. The expression don’t let perfect get in the way of good comes to mind.
    Furthermore this is the only location on the Auckland network where this would occur so surely they could just be a little more cautious at Newmarket only (look left, look right, good to go).

    • Mike (the longstanding one)

      Door dragging incidents do happen, so it’s necessary to try to eliminate them. That’s why DOO systems have an effective means for the driver to see every door (CCTV, or mirrors on some older systems) sometimes complemented by platform despatching staff. Until those are in place TMs will continue to have to make the mandatory second safety check, which can happen on only one side of the train until/unless the door closing system is modified to enable closing of one side at a time.

    • “In normal circumstances the Train Manager (TM) will open the doors on one side of the train. At the time of departure the TM places a key in the doorway they are operating from. This door then becomes the Local Door and remains open once the TM has ensured that it is safe to do so and has closed all of the other doors on the train. By keeping the Local Door open, the TM is then able to undertake the second, mandatory safety check to ensure that no one is trapped in any of the doors and that it is safe for the train to depart. Once this assurance has been gained the TM can then close their Local Door and give the departure signal to the Driver”.

      And this system is why our dwell times are so much longer than overseas train networks…

  • So basically it doesn’t happen because AT and Transdev are too lazy to do it.

    There are multiple solutions I can think of and some could also speed up dwell times at other stations. Too much to explain in this comment but I’ll put a post together

    • William M

      Matt, over the years, I have agreed with you on a number of things, but on this one, I totally disagree.

      On any railway – safety comes before amenity. Sure, it would be convenient to enable the train to be accessed from both platform 2 and 3, but this has not been addressed in recent years because they’ve had to deal with ensuring a great EMU roll-out first. “Lazy” is not doing the due diligence and lining up safety cases before enabling such new functionality. This is exactly what the reply to the LGOIMA request stated – that the current safety case does not allow for boarding from P2, and that a number of (not insignificant) changes (infrastructure, training, culture and communication) will need to be carried out before this change. Instead of complaining that the functionality wasn’t put in, folk will be complaining that corners were cut by the agencies (as armchair planners and engineers always complain) when a patron is involved in an accident.

      I’m sure our friends who work in the railway, regardless of the operating company, will agree – safety must always come before passenger amenity. Lazy? Seriously?

      • Mike (the longstanding one)

        I agree that it’s daft (and insulting) to put the current situation down to laziness, but it’s also daft to say that railway safety must always come before passenger amenity. The only well-nigh completely safe train being a static one, that would mean that the railway would have to close down, putting people at much greater risk (about 10 times greater) on the roads.

        What the railway actually does is to provide passenger amenity in a way that is as safe as reasonably practicable, and Auckland (and everywhere else) will be a better place when that same principle is applied to the mode that is much riskier than any other.

      • 01anthony

        safety and amenity … most of auckland rail stations have neither. Very easy to just walk onto tracks with no physical barriers.
        I am not saying that there needs to be physical barriers at every train station either. I’m just pointing out the fact that this particular issue, I feel, is fairly low risk.

  • Kevin Pivac

    From Britomart the train can pass to Grafton not need stop at Newmarket during busy time.

    • What about the significant proportion of Western Line users who work in Newmarket who want to travel home?

    • Dgd

      A better solution would be to have a platform on that western-northern curve (which looks unused) so that western trains stop there instead of the current shenanigens of using existing platforms and the LE changing ends. WIth exit stairs/escalator up to broadway and a walkway over to existing platforms (like penrose). Just one up side platform that with some crossover switching could be used for both down and up western trains.
      Future crosstown western trains use platforms 1 and 3 as they do now.

      • Nick R

        Way too tight a curve to put a platform on. You’d have a metre wide gap between the train doors and the platform.

      • Ian

        We need less stations like Penrose. I left the Phoenix game on Saturday and was wondering which platform to choose because I needed to get back to Glenfield via Britomart. I got lucky in that I had to wait for the Onehunga line train bound for Britomart before I could cross the tracks.

  • Andrew W

    Also: can’t the TM check both sides out of both doors of the driver’s cab (front or rear)?

  • Dgd

    This is one of the worst excuses I have ever heard. Blaming train door closing sequence for creating an even greater health and safety issue in forcing passengers to rush up and down escalators with all that potential for some major injury.
    If there is a technical problem then just solve it, door opening and closing is not rocket science and hiding behind health and safety is a poor excuse for incompetence and laziness especially when that creates an even greater health and safety problem.

  • Bigted

    Part of the March timetable changes will see ‘some’ southern services using platform 2 but they will not be opening on both sides.

    Using the platforms as per Harriet’s example picture will likely cause both excessive confusion and congestion.

    • How would it cause excessive confusion and congestion?

      • Bigted

        Currently the western trains use platform 1 so if you have them crossing over each other and using different platforms you will have congestion of the trains and confusion of both the crews and the passengers.

        • Sailor Boy

          How is the train platform being platform 2 any more confusing than it being platform 1? The trains would still take the same route, just one service in one direction would open a different door than it currently does.

        • Harriet’s diagram still has Westbound trains on platform 1, as far as I can see there is no change to the train platform pattern, just a change to the side the doors open for one service.

          • Bigted

            Yes but how many delays are caused by the Britomart bound trains using platform 3? There is a effectively a 10 minute blockage on that platform for western trains to use it, in peak time the trains come from the south of New,arket more often then 10 minute intervals.

          • There is definitely congestion at Newmarket, my point was that there is no difference between the current train pattern and what is proposed by Harriet so it won’t make congestion any worse, which you appeared to be suggesting.

          • Bigted

            So the trains approaching from the south do what? wait or cross over the western train delaying it further?

          • Sailor Boy

            Spot on Jezza.

          • Bigted – what on the earth are you on about? The trains from the South arrive on platform 2/3 in Harriet’s diagram, the same piece of track they currently arrive on, how will it be any different to the current situation at Newmarket.

          • Bigted

            They can’t while there is a west train there, as per the picture. The problem is the west trains block a platform for effectively 10 minutes.

          • It’s only about 4-5 mins at the moment no reason it would be any more under Harriet’s proposal.

          • Bigted

            It is closer to 10 minutes by the time the inbound route is set until the outbound train is clear to allow another in.

          • That doesn’t sound correct at all as Britomart bound Western and Southern trains currently both use the track between 2 and 3 at the moment at peak, which would be impossible if one train effectively occupied the track for 10 minutes.

          • Bigted

            You might what to check that because even the timetable shows that between the time a Britomart bound western train arrives and departs there is both an Onehunga train and a southern train, something that is impossible if they all use the track between platforms 2 and 3.

          • The Onehunga ones usually jump onto platform 4 at peak, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been on a ex Papakura service that has done that, they always go onto the track between 2/3.

          • Bigted

            They can’t if there is a western train there. There needs to be the same amount of trains going in the counter peak direction as are going in peak direction.

          • Sailor Boy

            Nope, every 10 minutes the western train to Britomart leaves at 00, the Southern comes through at either 02 or 04. No conflict.

            Trains crossing over doesn’t create confusion for users.

          • That’s the thing, there isn’t always a citybound Western line train there as they only spend approx 4 mins on the platform and they run every 10 mins.

            I’m getting the feeling you haven’t spent much time on trains travelling through Newmarket.

          • Bigted

            Jezza 4 minutes on the platform plus the time they take to approach (from the time the route is set) and depart (clear the section) while not a literal 10 minutes is is effectively blocking that platform for that time also TC can not set route with conflicting movements. Every new counter argument you come up with actually contradicts your original statement.

          • ‘Every new counter argument you come up with actually contradicts your original statement’ – such as?

            I’m merely using empirical evidence – I travel through Newmarket every day, usually on a Southern line service and they always use platform 3 as do the Western line services. If you don’t believe that then frankly it’s pretty hard to take any of your arguments seriously.

            Just out of interest, what platform do you think city bound Western line services currently use at Newmarket?

          • Bigted

            How is that the (Britomart bound) western line AND (Britomart bound) southern line services can use the same platform when a southern line trains passes while the western line train is still there?

          • They don’t – the Western line service leaves at :00 :10 etc and the Southern line service arrives at :02 :12, as Sailor Boy explained above.

            You haven’t answered either of my questions from the previous comment. If you know what you are talking about regarding Newmarket I imagine you would find the second question quite easy to answer.

          • Dgd

            Newmarket gets morning busy, P3 gets train from West and while LE changes ends a Britomart bound train arrives on P4 before Onehunga and Papakura southbounf trains,its leaves for Britomart before the train from West.
            While this is happening a Whangerai freight (3 DCs and up to 40 wagons) from South cruises through P1 and goes up the NAL

          • Sailor Boy

            I really don’t see what your confusion is Ted: Harriet’s proposal is to use the exact same piece of track that it currently uses. The only thing that changes is the side the door opens on.

          • Bigted

            Sailor Boy, Harriet’s proposal is almost exactly what will be happening post March 17.

          • Sailor Boy

            So why are you arguing against it. You just look like you’re poo-pooing the idea because of some personal vendetta against Harriet.

  • Dgd

    Is there a competent computer programmer working for AT? One who could adjust the train software so that doors on one side are closed by the TM then the TM moves to the other side, does the usual checks and closes the doors on that side? Too complicated Eh? would cost millions of $?

    • Mike (the longstanding one)

      With trains being complex beasts and rail safety systems and procedures being just as complex (read the bit about the Safety Case, and then compare and contrast road safety procedures), the answers to your third and fourth questions are likely to be “pretty complicated” and “pretty expensive”.

      On the railway, “just solve it” is nearly always much harder than it appears to the lay person.

      • nonsense

        “pretty complicated” and “pretty expensive” are the answers I give to clients when a new request would erode my margins… This is just sellers talk dressed up as H&S

      • Didn’t AT mention a few months ago they were having issues with the software supplier providing the support they were contractually obligated to? Seems unlikely that the programming is done in-house.

  • Sailor Boy

    The image at the bottom of your post is such an obvious solution.

    Have you considered reporting them to worksafe for the rushing pedestrians?

    • Mike (the longstanding one)

      The obvious solution – except that the little word “just” in “just a matter of timetabling” doesn’t necessarily make it easy. Are west-south connections at Newmarket so important that the whole timetable should be designed round that particular constraint? (because that appears to be what’s being suggested).

  • Sam

    There is usually staff on the platforms at Newmarket in the AM and PM peak, with clip boards. If they have these staff already present, the train manager can watch the doors on one side of the train for safety purposes, and the staff member on the platform can check the other side. The staff are already there so its just a matter of training

    • Anyone know what those staff do? What they are writing on the clipboards?

      • Bigted

        Times mainly, they do also record that the crew is correct and the position of the TM.

          • Bigted

            Someone at AT thinks so.

          • They must have issues with crew being on the wrong trains. If so I’m starting to get a picture of why door operation procedures might be being considered complex.

          • Bigted

            Like I said times mainly, there is also a requirement from AT that the TM is at the door closest to the stairs to make it easier for those that can’t be at their train on time, this causes it own issues at Remurea as the TM can’t see the signal from that end of the train and as per the rail rules the TM can not give right of way on a red signal. Knowing the correct crew is on that particular service makes it easier in Britomart to keep a track during a disruption when crews can be anywhere.

    • Nick

      It’s the easiest thing in the world, isn’t it? Suitably trained person stands on platform on other side of train from TM, level with where TM is in train. TM closes doors. TM checks their side of train. Person on platform checks other side of train and gives train manager a thumbs up, or waves a flag, or signals them by some electronic means. Train departs.

      Duh

    • Trundler

      This seems like the solution of least resistance. Place a qualified TM on platform 2 from 7am to 7pm Mon-Fri, then when driver comes in they open doors on both sides (at these times only). TM on train when ready to leave, puts his key in a platform 3 side door and presses close (which the above from AT says will close both sides), the TM standing on platform 2 will perform the “safety check” and signal with a flag through the window to the TM inside the train that they can proceed with closing their Plat 3 final door. Shouldn’t need any re-programming, signal sighting checks, or increases to Dwell times etc. Simple.

      AT have to pay cost of extra TM roster to cover this until DOO is brought in and this problem is solved.

      • Bigted

        That would work but would require at least three extra TMs to cover the that time. Also DOO operations are a long way away and even a lot of places that appear to have DOO have a TM (or similar) controlling doors from the rear cab, like most states in Australia still have a TM but few have them in the train to provide a customer service role.

  • How the hell can anyone make something that was operating seemlessly for years (pre AT) so complex and unworkable??
    A committee to decide if they might be able to change something so simple. Anyone consider that if only one side of the trains doors can be opened at one time that they just open the platform two side?? Not the platform three doors?
    The lines of sight for drivers etc is the same signalling etc is visible where ever you are. Nothing more than excuses and lunatics in charge of the aylum…
    Here’s a thought why not employ someone to direct passengers and make sure they don’t do anything stupid like try to enter a closing door or leap into gap between the train and the platform…. they’d need a flouro coat of course, hold on there’s usually a bunch of guys upstairs away from the trains why not use them… ahhh it’d be too difficult I understand now we just all need the stress and the exercise running upstairs to catch a “service” (I use the term loosley) before it takes off and leaves us stranded

    • The train managers need to sight the signals as well, as there is no point them closing the doors while the signal is still red.

      • A simple toot from the driver would alert the train manager that signal indication is good to go. MAking a simple problem complex to make someone feel important it’s easy stuff.

      • Radio then we do have them, the point is solutions are easy…. there’s a whole bunch of people on this blog who show they could sort it out in an afternoon, no degrees, no flouro coats, just using the staff already employed to do a job at the station…. and yes you might want to rewrite their job descriptions and give them a performance management cycle. Or cover it with one clause, “to ensure the safe working and operation of the station and it’s environs…” oh hold on it’s probably in there already… so someone isn’t doing their job and the contract needs to be pulled from a bunch of wallys who never were involved in an open and honest renewal process when contracts came around on the gravy train

        • Given they are using platform 2 from March onwards, I’d say they have solved the problem by re-sighting the signals, which is the best long term solution, rather than further impacting our absurdly slow dwell times with a radio communication sequence.

        • Mike (the longstanding one)

          “there’s a whole bunch of people on this blog who show they could sort it out in an afternoon..”

          Except that none of them could actually do that, because the legalities don’t permit it – just read the (legally required) Safety Case bit in AT’s letter, and consider the detailed risk assessments that are required.

          In the real train-operating world things are just a little bit more complicated than they may appear, and no amount of blog discussion will change that.

        • Bigted

          On an open channel that every other rail operator uses and if TC are on any channel they automatically go to that channel over the local channel.

    • Bigted

      Some services will open on platform 2 after the March timetable changes.

  • JBM

    I sometimes wonder what century our train operators live in. Why can’t they just have 2 people on either side of the bloody train checking the doors???

  • Why do we need to sight the doors in the first place? Can’t we have automatic sensors? Hell if a car can drive itself and detect people how hard would it be to set up a door to do the same?

    • Mike (the longstanding one)

      Because people have been killed and seriously injured through thin barely detectable items (scarves, straps) being caught in doors; the railway is much more risk averse than road transport; autonomous cars can’t yet detect trucks and buses in a fail-safe manner, as both Google and Tesla know only too well; and detecting people is much easier than detecting items that may be attached to them.

  • I have used passenger trains over the world that open doors both sides at stations, it surely isn’t that hard. Mind you these are places that also run efficient dwell times (~30sec), un-padded timetables, and trains that don’t dribble up to stations or through level crossings.

    Something is seriously wrong with how we run this railway at the moment, and it needs sorting. I don’t pretend to understand the technical minutiae, but it is plain that the outcomes are currently substandard. AT needs to focus attention on this.

    One thing that seems likely to be behind the padded timetables are reliability KPIs. If reliability is the primary metric then the operator is incentivised to claim a very slow timetable is the only safe option, so there are plenty of opportunities to hit those targets by slowing or stopping trains. This is a lot easier than keeping up to a faster programme. It is notable that the current timetabled runs are a lot longer than the proposed ones before electrification.

    Safety is of course very important, but it is also, like security, the easiest fig leaf to hide other agendas behind…

    We look forward to the new timetable next year to see if AT and Transdev have come up with substantial improvements in this.

    • Bigted

      They probably use door systems more like the SAs and less like the EMUs and they don’t use ETCS level 1. Fix both of those and you get your faster trains with shorter dwell times.

    • amstriv

      This is incorrect information from Brendon at AT. EMU doors only close on the side that the TM is operating from. Transdev are aleady working on a safety case for this and are ahead of Harriet with the idea, March timetable change is a possibility.

    • John

      The current schedule from Newmarket to Papakura is 45-46 minutes for 28km with 14 stops (including the terminus). In an urban railway of normal efficiency with an average dwell of 30 seconds and acceleration/ braking at 1 metre per second per second, this would be –
      – with a line speed of 20 metres per second (72kph): 35 minutes
      – with a line speed of 25 metres per second (90kph): about 32 minutes.
      The difference does seem excessive. If you assume a very conservative acceleration/braking of 2/3 metres per second per second, that adds about 2.5 minutes to both the above times. You can work this out from the relevant equations of motion, which are: s=at and d=(att)/2, where s is speed, a is acceleration, t is time and d is distance.
      This assumes there are no speed-restricted curves. A glance at the map suggests this would not be a significant issue.

      • Bigted

        A glance at just the temporary speed restrictions, not even including the permanent restrictions suggests these would be a significant issue.
        ETCS limits the speed making an EMU take 30-45 just to clear the Papakura platform, they are capable of their maximum line speed (110kph) for less than 2 minutes of the trip.

      • Dave B (Wellington)

        For any who may want to attempt such calculations:

        Here are the relevant equations of motion with the normally-used units in [brackets].
        If different units are used (e.g. Km/h or MPH), then care must be taken to ensure the relevant conversion is applied to each quantity

        d = distance [m]
        u = initial velocity (before acceleration) [m/s]
        v = final velocity (after acceleration) [m/s]
        a = acceleration [m/s²]
        t = time [s]

        1. v = u + at

        2. d = (u + v)·t/2

        3. d = ut + ½ at²

        4. d = (v² – u²) / (2a)

        These should enable any journey-profile to be analysed from a knowledge of Stop-locations, Allowable speeds, and service-acceleration/braking rates.

        • Nick R

          In my experience once you’ve built up a ‘linear physics’ models such as this, you need to reduce the run times by about 30% to account for the non-linear bits like grades and curves and humanity.

          Don’t forget dwell times too of course.

          • Dave B (Wellington)

            Yes, these equations represent the ideal-world only. Various “real-world” allowances have to be factored in to get the actual achievable timings. However they offer a good guide as to what is going on.

            Also, it should be noted that the acceleration rate of most trains is only constant up to a certain speed (e.g. 35Km/hr for CAF units). After that it tails-off and more-complex calculations are needed to properly-analyse this.

        • john smith

          @Dave B – yes. I omitted the initial velocity element for simplicity.
          Acceleration of 2/3 m/s/s on average is probably a good approximation for initial acceleration of 1m/s/s, tailing off. Certainly that’s the case with the acceleration function of Sydney’s Waratah trains.
          @Bigted – I did say speed restricted *curves*. A temporary speed restriction should be temporary, shouldn’t it? And if ETCS is forcing trains to crawl for long distances, far beyond the reasonable requirements of safety (which is the tenor of many comments on this blog), that’s silly and should be changed, shouldn’t it?

          • Bigted

            Temporary speed restrictions should be temporary but there has been 8 -10 pages of them (just with in Auckland metro) for the last few years showing they are not and as fast as one repair removes a restriction another replaces it. Now that is getting warmer the heat restrictions also take their toll. ETCS is causing excessive crawling due to poor infrastructure and the level being used, there is no easy quick fix for this.

  • TimR

    80 comments, and we’ve all skipped over the key detail.

    The trains have cameras that allow vision if both sides at once. Why pay for these if we’re not going to use them!

    Driver sights the signal, sights the door camera feeds, shuts the doors.

    Not the TM.

    Job done. No need for vulnerable timetable coord

  • Chris Randal

    Why is everybody making such a fuss?

    Trains from South (Onehunga and Papakura) that arrive on the centre track open doors on platform 2. That will facilitate South-West transfers.

    There are some times of the day, due to AT’s appalling timetabling, when there are an Onehunga and a Papakura at at Newmarket at the same time so one, usually the Onehunga, ends up on platform 4.

    Ultimately it makes sense to run Western trains via the Western link with Kingdon St platforms permanently reinstated and the plan for the walkway to Broadway dusted off.

  • Guy M

    Docklands Light Rail trains in London normally open on one side only, except for the central hub station at Canary Wharf. There, on the 2 or 3 central platforms, doors open on both sides at once! Shock, horror! It’s that simple.

    And then when it comes to close the doors (remembering that the DLR trains are driverless), the guard or “train captain” puts the key in the gizmo on one side, looks left and right, and closes the doors. Then takes key out, moves 4 foot sideways to the other door and does the same. Both sets of doors closed in under 20 seconds, and the train carries on. No limbs or heads lost. Very reliable, stable system. Bombardier trains I believe. Simple as a very simple thing. Just do it.

  • amstriv

    This is incorrect information from Brendon at AT. EMU doors only close on the side that the TM is working from. Transdev are already ahead of Harriet’s idea and are working on a safety case now, March timetable change a possibility.

  • Andy S

    This is incorrect information from Brendon at AT. EMU doors only close on the side that the TM is working from. Transdev are already ahead of Harriet’s idea and are working on a safety case now, March timetable change a possibility.

    • Harriet Gale

      Why you posting the same thing with two different accounts. Transdev isn’t ahead of anything since this idea has been floating around since DART, unless you are arguing they are as quick as their dwell times

      • Andy S

        Mobile glitch 🙁 Dwell times currently hindered by train design. Poor communication between manufacturer and AT at time of new train order and the assumption from AT that the door closing process along with the T-car ramp operation would be quick and efficient. Many folks were lost in the excitement of a new train order rather than the finer detail and the promise from CAF of a great product.

        • Harriet Gale

          Fair enough just looked suspicious two posts from one email.

          I think we can all put the EMU procurement process done as an example of how never to do a tender. to many players with no direction, annoying major bidders like Bombardier by changing the shortlist, picking style over substance, buying a signalling system from a company that was bought later by Siemens who want little to do with how it was implemented, CAF not doing the due diligence on the track conditions or Kiwirail not providing accurate track conditions.

          • Andy S

            Never mind onwards and upwards it is what it is. Improvements for NMK look promising and many good people working hard to improve the train fleet and service.

          • Harriet Gale

            I think lots of good people are working hard to improve the train fleet and service, I also think those people cower down an awful lot to upper managers who are a bunch of demographically unrepresentative antediluvians who belong in the 1960s not the 2000s and assist those same people in flagrantly undermining official legal policy set and consulted on by AC.

            But I digress lets hope onwards and upwards, after all Goff fired some shots this week to make sure of it.

  • As someone who transfers from Southern line to western line every day I find this very frustrating. But what really kills me is seeing people in wheelchairs having to having to navigate though potentially hundreds of people down half the length of the platform, go up one elevator and down another then half way down the platform again. If the doors would open they would need to travel less than 10 meters.

    I have raised this issue with AT several times also. They have said they are “working on it”, but can not give a time frame.

  • Big SDW

    Pity that Auckland has the only commuter rail network in the world and there aren’t any other systems which operate with significantly higher levels of patronage and train capacity that easily (and safely) resolve such issues that we could learn from.

    This isn’t one of those occasions where AT/ Transdev can roll out some redundant argument about NZ ‘culture’ being different ergo they need to reinvent the wheel.

  • John

    So it appears that because of lack of foresight during procurement they have stupidly acquired trains that cannot safely open doors on both sides at once.
    It’s still unclear why they don’t use platform 2 *or* 3 according to which makes sense for the major interchange movements.

  • I’m starting to feel “slightly” more optimistic about the Mid March 2017 timetable etc improvements….let’s hope

  • evanjames

    Whenever I am at Newmarket I have noticed people in hi-viz vests – sometimes referred to as “security guards” – wandering the platforms. Couldn’t they but put to more gainful employment and be put in charge of door control on platforms 1 and 2/3? If that is a problem maybe someone needs to pop down to MOTAT or GVR and see how it was done back in the old days when passengers could board in safety from both sides 🙂

  • Chris Randal

    I believe that platform 2 at Newmarket is small bikkies compared to other improvements on the network

    1. Every Southern train slows almost to a stop at Wiri in case there are staff to board. What if a plunger / card scanner were provided which illuminated a theatre type signal at Homai / Puhinui that showed a requirement to stop. If the sign was not illuminated trains would proceed at line speed unless there was a staff member to disembark

    2. The timetable needs a major rejig to get rid of or alleviate the appalling number of junction conflicts at Wiri, Westfield, Penrose, Newmarket and Quay Park. Often on my trains from South we are held for more than two minutes at Wiri waiting for a Manukau to depot, or Britomart, to clear the junction. This also happens southbound but not quite so much.

    • Bigted

      You just contradicted point 1 with point 2, have you ever thought that the reason southern trains slow at Wiri is not to see if there are staff on the platform (most are aware when to expect staff there) but due to the red signal at the Wiri junction that point 2 implies is a regular occurrence?

  • Dgd

    March 12 come and gone, new train timetable, Westfield closed, Parnell opened etc…
    But still SNAFU at Newmarket, platform 2 still closed, the crazy rush up and down the escalators to get from Platform 3 to Platform 1 still the only transfer method.
    C’mon AT, are you taking the piss?

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