January 31, 2005

Train in Vain

I swear, I feel like the subway system has completely lost it since the blizzard. Even now, when things seem like they should be mostly back to normal, crazy shit happens. This morning, between Broadway-Lafayette and West 4th, our riotously thick-accented conductor announced: "This train will be goin' on the E LOIN starting at Wes' Fourt' Street. For the SIXT' AVENUE LOIN, transfer downstairs at Wes' Fourt' Street." (This is the tidied-up-for-blogging version; in actual practice, all his sentences included multiple hesitations and restarts.) I mean -- what benefit does this confer? And why couldn't the subway powers that be have decided this while we were still in the Broadway-Lafayette station, so we could have just stayed on the same platform, instead of waiting and forcing us to squeeze an entire train's worth of people down two flights of stairs? Gah.

But anyway, it's hard to avoid the feeling that nowadays any train can suddenly become some other train with no warning whatsoever. This F train? Now it's a D train. No, wait, it's an E train. And this R train will now be traveling over London's Piccadilly line. For service to Brooklyn, please transfer to the Paris Metro at Bakerloo. Thank you for riding the MTA.

Posted by Francis at 11:25 AM | TrackBack

Francis! Remember the track fire? It's all about blue line commingling with orange now, baby! And it's gonna take five years -- no, wait, 3 months -- no, wait, nine months -- to get everything back on track, and yes, I just made that lame pun.

Are you really THAT shocked by train chaos? Seems a clever guy like you shouldn't be so discombobulated by this... Frankly, I feel impressed that considering how old and crappy our subway is, it functions as well as it does!

Posted by: Col at January 31, 2005 11:30 AM

Just think of the puzzle possibilities now that a train can switch lines at will!

Posted by: Marc at January 31, 2005 11:37 AM

I'm surprised you haven't made a puzzle out of it yet. "The train hits this station, then that station, then the other station, so you can deduce that it started as an F train then became an R, an E, an O, and an N."

Posted by: rikchik at January 31, 2005 11:39 AM


Posted by: rikchik at January 31, 2005 11:40 AM

Yeah, Col, but I was under the impression that the track fire only screwed up Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, and hadn't messed with the E line. And what's with the crazy train dispatch improv of deciding to reroute a train 15 seconds before it pulls into the station? Oh, I know, I'm so naive, it's like I'm a simple country lass who doesn't understand why the train conductors don't step out to hold the doors for you, sigh.

Posted by: Francis at January 31, 2005 11:40 AM

I kind of had my fill of subway-themed puzzles quite a while ago.

Posted by: Francis at January 31, 2005 11:55 AM

The Piccadilly is probably a safe one for trains to switch over to (aside from it's being some two-and-a-half miles beneath street level; I feel like a bit player in Journey to the Center of the Earth when the elevators are down), but you should be careful if any of the MTA trains are routed to the Circle or District Lines. One or two weekends a month they're both down for repairs and run no trains at all. You could easily get stuck at Earl's Court without any trains back to New York at all.

Posted by: Scott at January 31, 2005 02:50 PM

Hello Heaneyland! My mother's maiden name was Heaney. So I thought I'd say hello from one Heaney to another.

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