Friday, June 8, 2012

3 Track Morning

What is a 3 track morning you ask?

VRE requires me to ride in the northern most car, in the southern handicap seating area. They have installed loops between the folding seats to hook a bungee cord to hold the bike.

VRE is at the mercy and whim of the track owners, CSX. As we all know, freight rules and passengers drool.

We are forever running late because of track speed limits imposed by CSX, or waiting for a freight train to pull past.

VRE runs on the 2 track. The one on the right in the photo, with a platform that is 6 cars long. There is a short, 2 car long platform on the left or 3 track.

So, again you ask, "what is a 3 track morning?".

Monday and Wednesday morning we approached Springfield below speed. I got a bad feeling as I noticed a track out the right side of the car. It was supposed to be the platform.

The Conductor then announces that we were arriving on 3 track and only the two middle car doors, out of 6, would open. All passengers from the front and back 2 cars had to meet in the middle.

So it's off to the races. As the train comes to a complete stop, I have to turn my bike in the other direction, pull my two panniers (luckily Ortleib's are quick release) and push my bike down the middle aisle, through 2 cars. I found it easier to hold my 2 bags over the seat with my right hand and lift and hold my front wheel off the ground with my left.

Can't help but bump into people's elbows and shoulders as I roll my way back to the exit. "Excuse me. Sorry. Pardon me. " I say. I hit the next car and the aisle is packed. "Where do expect me to go?", this disgruntled guy says to me.

I squeezed past and made it to the exit, just as the door was closing. The friendly Conductor, Brian reopened the door and apologized like it was his fault.
To complete the dance, I have to ride 2 elevators to get back over to the 2 track platform.

This my friend is a 3 track morning!!

And it happened to me twice this week.

But.... The weather this week was amazing, 50s in the morning, dry and mid 70s on the way home has norn. That made up for two, 3 track mornings.

Besides, I am not on I-95.

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