Tuesday, July 28

Cattle trains, the sequel

Today was one of those rare days when I was truly surprised by ridership levels.  It’s summer, after all, when many people are on vacation, and because it wasn’t a Monday there were few if any people returning from weekend getaways in the morning.  After taking the shuttle from Medford, I boarded the 7:04 from Ronkonkoma to Penn, rather than waiting for the 7:19, because there didn’t seem to be too many people waiting on the platform.  In the five or so minutes between the time when I boarded and the we got underway, however, the car must’ve reached close to 90% capacity.  As far as I could tell nearly all of the non-middle seats and even some of the middles were taken.  The car was the third or fourth from the east end, but there’s no reason to believe it was any more crowded than the others.  Most of the people who boarded at Deer Park had to take middle seats and those who boarded at the rest of the stations had to stand.  It worked out fine for me, however, as a smallish woman of about 40 sat next to me and hardly took up any room.  The trip into Penn went by without delays and I only had to wait a minute or two for a 3 train to Fulton, though it was packed too.

After an uneventful subway trip (3 from Park Place), I arrived at Penn to an unwelcome sight – the electronic message boards were saying “residual 10- to 20-minute delays” near Mineola due to “an earlier track condition,” whatever that’s supposed to mean.  Under the first rule of LIRR mathematics, I multiplied the 10 to 20 minutes by three to yield the actual delays I was likely to encounter, in other words anywhere from a half-hour to a full hour.  Amazingly, there were no delays at all on the 5:41 to Ronkonkoma, the delays presumably having gone away in the interim.  How cool is that? By the way, the 5:41 was yet another cattle train, perhaps a hair less crowded than the morning’s train but full by any standards.  I had an aisle seat next to a 35-ish man who was a bit wider than I would have preferred but still tolerable.  Between reading and some remarkably successful Tetris-ing, the ride to Ronkonkoma and the shuttle went by very quickly.  A whole lot faster than would have been the case had the “rail condition” delays still been around!

Gym: day off

Published in: on July 29, 2009 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

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