Rowdy fans catching post-game trains during the Rugby World Cup should be careful. Police officers will be watching—if they manage to push their way through crowded carriages.
Police Superintendent Brett England, who’s heading Auckland’s police operation during the World Cup, says officers will patrol trains travelling from Eden Park.
Police will also be working with Auckland Transport to dampen down potential hotspots at Britomart and Kingsland Stations.
However, one passenger says footy fans catching trains to recent Super 15 games at Eden Park stadium this year have been packed into carriages “like sardines”, with many forced to stand.
Stevens is concerned police won’t be able to patrol jam-packed trains during the Rugby World Cup.
“We were sandwiched in, which is par for the course as far as trains go,” says rugby fan Matthew Stevens. “But it’s a bit of a hassle when people have been drinking.
“You cram a group of drunk people up against each other and get them to stand there for 20-plus minutes, they can get a little rowdy.
“How a cop can make it through all those people standing in the way is anyone’s guess.”
Auckland Transport estimates 17,000 fans per game will take trains to the stadium during the tournament.
Auckland Transport says trains will depart from Kingsland Station outside Eden Park every five minutes, with the trip into Auckland usually taking 20 minutes.
Auckland Transport spokesperson Wally Thomas says the organisation is comfortable with plans to combat any drunken rowdiness.
“We don’t anticipate there will be any major sorts of problems,” he says.
“We’ll have security and police on platforms at Eden Park and Britomart. And we’re still discussing with police about how much of a presence they’ll have on trains.”
He says commuters to and from Eden Park will be expected to stand if they miss out on a seat.
Matt Stevens hopes catching the train will be a carefree experience come Cup time, but is wary of things going wrong.
“If there’s a good vibe in the stadium, there should be a good vibe on board afterwards. But with boozy fans, you never know.”