Wednesday, December 5

A more-than-acceptable train journey

It was back to the LIRR today, as I was scheduled for the worksite in far southern Brooklyn right off the Brighton Line.  Driving to this site would require dealing with the Southern State and Belt parkways.  Thanks, but no thanks.  Definitely no thanks.

Having gotten the timing down a bit better, I was able to take the 6:08 from Ronkonkoma, which while still early is not as bad as the 5:29.  When I pulled into the south side parking  lot around 5:50 it was plainly evident that I was getting there later than I would have with the 5:29.  The number of cars had increased to the point that I had to park at least twice as far away from the platform as had been the case, though it wasn’t nearly as long a trek as I would have faced had I been taking a train around 6:45 or 7:00.  The 6:08 makes all stops to Bethpage, then Jamaica, so even though the car in which I was riding was only about half-full when we left Ronkonkoma I knew it was likely to become a cattle train by the time all was said and done.  It worked out okay, as a slightly chubby but tolerable woman in her 40’s took the seat next to me at Brentwood.

Speaking of age, one thing I noticed while waiting for the train to leave Ronkonkoma was the curiously high ages of most of the other riders in the car.  Almost all were men, and I’d say that the average age must have been close to 60.  I was surprised that some of them hadn’t retired already.  One thing I remember is that Ronkonkoma ridership does tend to skew older, but I’ve never noticed anything remotely like this.  At least for this train it was solely a Ronkonkoma phenomenon, as the passengers who boarded at the line stations were a much more diverse bunch in both gender and age terms.

There were no delays to Jamaica, and the connection to a Brooklyn train was quick even though not an across-the-platform deal.  When I got to Atlantic Terminal, and made my way to the B/Q platform, I encountered the same situation as last week: two Q  locals came and went in the time it took for the first B express to arrive.  I don’t understand this situation, generally most lines have roughly equal numbers of expresses and locals.  Not the Brighton.  Fortunately I was no under time pressure and eventually a B moseyed along.

The subway after work was a bit different than usual, as due to track work the Q’s were running on the express tracks to Kings Highway and the B’s weren’t running at all.  I waited just a couple of minutes for a now-express Q and made it to Atlantic Terminal much more quickly than I had been anticipating.  I had about a half-hour to spare until my train, the 3:05 to Far Rockaway connecting at Jamaica (yes, it was a short workday), so I walked around outside and got a beef empanada from a nearby food truck.  The 3:05 wasn’t crowded in the least, and the Ronkonkoma train at Jamaica was moderately crowded but not too bad.  I believe it leaves Penn at 3:03, so it doesn’t get that much daily commuter ridership.  In fact the generally loud level of conversation within the car made it evident that the riders tended to be people traveling in groups as opposed to solo commuters.  I had a seat next to a woman in her 30’s or thereabouts, who spent most of the ride reading on her Kindle.  Those are useful devices, though since I have a free Kindle app on my phone I’d have no reason to buy one!  We got to Ronkonkoma right on time, and it was still early enough to be light out.


Published in: on December 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

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