Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday's P519 Trip Wasn't A Good One

Thanks go out to Stratamarr for sharing this first-hand account of yesterday afternoon's P519 trip:
You probably didn't hear about this, but there was a huge problem on the 519 out of South Station today. We stopped right outside of West Newton station (on the north side track since it was an express). About 5 minutes goes by and one of the conductors came on the intercom and said they were being held by CSX, no explanation given. So we wait. 10 minutes later, same story on the intercom. The local 521 goes by on the other track. 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes. Same non-explanation to the now-agitated riders. Now we are waiting on "paperwork." What is paperwork?

The express 523 screams by. One hour passes and we are just sitting there. Then someone notices people getting off the train, since the West Newton platform is across the tracks, diagonally behind us. The 527 is due in 10 minutes to West Newton. About 20 people get off, illegally (including me), walking across the gravel and onto the platform. The 527 arrives, the refugees get on, and we finally make some progress. Right after Auburndale stop, the 519 comes up along side us and passes us. So getting off the train was not a great idea. But I did get to hear some interesting tidbits. One of the conductors on the 527 was telling some of the refugees (and I was overhearing) the real reason the 519 stopped suddenly: the engineer ran a red flag, which is a no-no anytime but especially recently, with the scandals that have been plaguing train systems, here to California, with distracted engineers at the controls.
I'm glad I wasn't a passenger on that train, but many of us have had similar experiences.

Speaking of experiences, if you have any you want to share, you may want to attend this. I received a noticed today from the MBCR Rail Mail:

Meet members of the Commuter Rail

Management team and talk with us!

Do you…

have comments or questions about your Commuter Rail service?

Do you…

have opinions or ideas you would like to share?

A team of Managers from MBCR will be at the following stations

Between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to listen to what you have to say.

Back Bay Tuesday October 14th, 2008

South Station Thursday October 16th, 2008

North Station Tuesday October 21st, 2008

We look forward to seeing you there!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was on that train, and I think if the air conditioning hadn't been working overtime, there would have been a riot.

Please, if you were on that train too, make sure you apply for a refund, even the monthly passers. Then we should organize an official MBCR Sucks Day where everyone uses their free tickets.

I can think of no excuse other than MECHANICAL failure for stopping a train midstream. I can think of no excuse at all for not keeping the captive riders better informed about what was going on.