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Of Trains and Tie Fires

I wasn't able to post this from the overnight train as Nomi and I wended our way towards Richmond, Virginia, for Ravencon, but the hotel does have free wireless. Yay! So here's a quick update.

As soon as Passover ended on Thursday night, we tossed the last remaining items into our luggage and called for a taxi to South Station. We had chosen to travel business class because we figured it would be easier to get some sleep during the trip, but neither of us is sleeping very well. (I got some sleep; Nomi hasn't gotten any at all.)

We were supposed to get into Penn Station around 2 AM, but we were stuck on the railroad bridge in Queens for about twenty minutes. I managed to find a few Wi-Fi hot spots that allowed me to check email and LJ, but only sporadically.

Anyway, nothing seemed out of the ordinary until 2:15 AM, when a group of firefighters in full gear walked through the business class car. It turns out that there had been a tie fire on the bridge. The FDNY had gotten their truck to the bridge and then been given a lift to the fire on a freight train; we gave them a lift back.

Just another typical New York City story.

We didn't get much sleep on the train, but we did watch a lot of Stargate SG-1. And when we finally arrived at Richmond's Main Street Station, a gentleman named Brandon picked us up and took us to the hotel. We were able to check in early, and folks, this room is a veritable palace for $89 a night. It's a suite with two rooms, two television sets, and sofas and easy chairs galore. We're definitely not in Massachusetts anymore.


You are wrong. :-)

Glad to hear Patience is a hit!
I think I've heard of railroad ties being afire before, but ... how does that happen? Does the creosote make them more flammable in direct sunlight (which therefore seems like a REALLY bad idea)? Is it punks? I bet it's those little punks.
I have no idea how it happened. But travelling on an overnight train is already a surreal experience; having the FDNY walk through your train just adds to the flavor.
Okay, I'm confused. On the train from Boston to Virginia, how did you end up in Queens? I didn't think Amtrak went through that end of Long Island before it came into Manhattan.

Good to know your trip went well otherwise, though. Sleep well. You've earned it. :)
Amtrak trains from Boston to NYC follow a route south through the Bronx, then veer east over a bridge to tracks in Queens, then south some more, then west into a tunnel which leads right under 34th Street.
This is, I suspect, because Grand Central Terminal is just that...a terminal point. Through trains need to use Penn Station, and to do that you're on the east-west line.
There was a time when the east-west Amtrak trains used Grand Central; when I took the Lake Shore Limited from Chicago back in 1989, it left me off at GCT. But today all Amtrak trains use Penn, and GCT only has the Metro-North trains.
The Lake Shore Limited terminated in NYC, though, I suspect.
Actually, it terminated in Chicago. :-)

(It's actually a southbound train, as it comes down to NYC from Albany.)

I think we're using "east-west" to mean different things.
I'm using "east-west" to describe the general directions of the Manhattan tracks; GCT's run N-S, Penn's run E-W.
Hi, Michael! Great meeting you at the blog panel! I'm flisting you. (I promise not to post about sex if you won't. ;-p)
It was great meeting you too! I really enjoyed the programming at Ravencon.

December 2016

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