Transit Adventures

A 3 Day Weekend East… – Part 2

Monday June 14, 2010:
Well after having a nice 48 hours at Mohunk, it was time to take my trip home, back to Colorado Springs. I first had a nice final morning and Lunch at Mohunk, and immediately after left for the hour drive (42 mile) south down the Thruway to Harriman(32 Photos) where I had discovered a Metro-North Railroad operated by New Jersey Transit (sounds as bad as the airlines express subsidiaries) train who’s timing was perfect for my flight. I got dropped off that the stations large parking lot and platform that’s only accessible by car at 2:00 and took far too many pictures doing a photo essay, and got lucky with a northbound trip to photograph just before my train came in. I bought my ticket and a price of only $12.75 (the website says it’s $18.50) I was told to pay, I figured that the $5.50 AirTrain fee wasn’t included. On Time at 2:32 my train came in led by a Metro-North Owed Comet V (even though it’s operated by NJ Transit and the digital sings inside the train cars say NJ Transit). The train made the remaining stops on the Port Jervis Line at Tuxedo, Sloatsburg, and Suffern, before picking up quite a bit of speed and running express, stopping at Ramsey-Route 17 and Ridgewood only before running non-stop through the Bergen County Line and arriving at Secaucus where I got off to transfer. I photographed my train leaving:

And then walked upstairs and onto the large mezzanine level where I went down to the NEC platforms to get my train to Newark, there was a train on one of the platforms that I thought might be the 3:32 Long Branch Train, but the signs weren’t communicating with me and the window’s destination sign said ‘New York’, guess it was never switched, luckily there was another train at 3:40 on the NEC line that stopped at the airport so I took that train of Arrow-III cars instead. As I was waiting I got this photo of an Acela rushing by a locomotive of a New York-bound train:

Then I was off to Newark Airport, standing for the short, two-stop ride arriving at the airport at 4:01, from here I descretely did a bit of a photo essay, There none of the concourse its self, there were two Port Authority Police Officers doing random bag checks, I luckily wasn’t checked. My ticket that the vending machine I thought undercharged me on was accepted by the fare gates (it retained it too) and I got my boarding pass for my 5:25 flight at a Continental Kiosk right in the Train Station, and decided to go for a little joyride on the far too slow airtrain monorail system, taking it out to P3 Station, before heading back to the stop to my terminal C, arriving at 4:35, feeling like I was being too overly cautious, thinking security wouldn’t take half-an-hour as soon as I went down the stairs from the Airtrain Station into the Terminal I realized I was wrong, and could barely leave the station because the security line stretched out of the line’s corrals. Then I started getting nervous and walked to a different line thinking that it might be better, it wasn’t so I got in line, asking a guard if the lines at Newark were always this bad (Flying out of LaGuardia even is never that long) and was told yes. The line went slowly and at 4:55 I got through (just 15 minutes before they could have given my seat a way), as I was picking up my bag from the X-ray scanner a TSA employee started asking me where I was going, I did tell him Denver, but was on the verge of saying I’m scared I’m going to miss my flight and don’t have time to chat, as I walked away I realized he was probably one of there behavior detection personal and I was quite happy I wasn’t rude to him. I rushed off to the gate as I heard the beginning boarding annoucements, quickly stopped at the bathroom and was than on my plane.
Some Take-off Photos:

Inflight I read for most of the flight and was quite happy to receive my only free for the next couple moths meal:

It was actually quite delicious, a Chicken Enchilada that actually had some taste and was even better once I added some of the hot sauce it came with. I was also given Fritos, Carrots, and a fun size Hershey’s Bar. I spent the meal thinking that the enchilada would be something I would actually pay for. We finally landed in DIA and got to the gate early and at 7:50 I was off the plane, I than realized I might have a shot to make the 8:00 shuttle to Colorado Springs (instead of plan B-the 11:40pm Greyhound bus that would have gotten me to COS at 1:20am), I called the company was told they would wait until 8:10, rushed from Continentals annoyingly placed gates at the extreme end of the B Concourse almost got into a fight with someone who was blocking the entire escalator down to the required ‘subway’ ride, and got landside and to the shuttle stop at 8:06, yes DIA is just that big! I paid the driver the overpriced $50 shuttle fee and got home at the reasonable hour of 9:30pm, having a very strange trip of connections, with me taking two commuter rail lines, an airport monorail, plane, and peoplemover-subway and never waiting more than 10 minutes in one spot (for any vehicle) except at the beginning of my trip in Harriman. Wow!
Total Trip time 10 and a half hours from Mohunk, 9 from Harriman.
NJ Transit from Harriman to EWR – $12.75 to go about 50 miles, so only 25¢ per mile
The Flight – Continental Airlines Flight 229, 1605 miles for $150, so 9¢ per mile
The Colorado Springs Shuttle cost $55 (with tip) to go 83 miles, so 60¢ per mile (beets the Olympia Trailways bus and New Jersey Transit In from Newark, nice to put it in perspective)