Passenger Rail, Safety, Standards & Regulation

Youths graffiti moving Auckland train

Graffiti. Photo: Oliver Wolters

A pair of near-fatal incidents have led Auckland Transport to issue a strong and public warning to graffiti artists and other trespassers.

“Someone will be seriously injured or killed if foolish young people continue to graffiti trains,” Auckland Transport said in a statement on Friday.

The warning followed an incident on May 27 where a group of youths were captured on CCTV spraying paint on a train as it slowed and stopped before entering the Parnell tunnel, on the Newmarket Line.

Auckland Transport’s manager for rail services Craig Inger warned being anywhere near train tracks, at any time, is “stupid and dangerous”.

It’s also costly, he said, with ratepayers and taxpayers forking out tens of thousands of dollars a year to cover up the damage.

He said improved security at railway stabling yards has seen the problem move onto suburban rail lines in recent years.

The region’s new fleet of electric trains are also faster and quieter than the old diesel units and this poses an even greater risk, he pointed out.

In another, unrelated incident also on May 27, a young man was struck while trespassing on tracks near Orakei station.

CCTV footage shows him running away after the incident.

Services were delayed, and thousands of customers inconvenienced, until Police and the rail operator, Transdev, investigated as it was initially thought to be a fatality, Auckland Transport reported.