Transit Adventures

A Track Confusion Points Run on Slightly Late #148 from NWK to NYP

I get distracted and don’t leave work until 5:10 which is in Downtown Brooklyn bear Borough Hall. My connecting my two trips segment today is on Springfield-bound Northeast Regional #148, departure time from Newark 6:10. I’m a bit worried and am really wishing I had bitten the bullet and bought a weekly MetroCard this week. This time the math would have worked out in my favor. I didn’t quite realize I’d be running around so much this week. I still decide to do my original plan for getting to PATH without a swipe and this time (unlike yesterday to MegaBus) I find a CitiBike for the trip across the Brooklyn Bridge and ride fast through the tourists. You’d better get out of my way and out of the bike path! I make it across in 15 minutes and including riding down pot holed Chambers Street docking my bike, I’m at the Path station at 5:25. I use the first of 20 trips on my SmartLink card (that don’t expire) that I decided to buy a few days ago before PATH’s October 1 fare hike.
I’m not used to PATH at rush hour and the platform is packed! A train arrives and we leave almost immediately at 5:30. There is one angry man complaining that the conductor is closing the doors too quickly on the crowded train, not giving passengers enough time to enter and leave. Grow up, its rush hour! I get to Newark Penn at 5;52. I go downstairs and some slightly late departures are blocking my train from the station departure board to tie me into tomorrow. I ask the ticket office about the track and am told to watch the board. He does confirm the train is on time.
I check NJT’s DepartureVision on my phone and it tells me track 1. I go up to this track. At 6:04 the train appears on the actual station boards missing a track.
At 6:06 I hear something about the train to Springfield running 6 minutes late without a track. At 6:09 they announce the train will stop on track 2 in five minutes. This is an actual person, not just the automated voice. I use the underpass and head over, there a few other passengers waiting to board for Springfield. Train #148 the Springfield-bound Northeast Regional arrives. We leave at 6:17. I board a car away from the conductors and walk over to the door closest to a pair of them spotting the train. I hear the conductors although there no seat checks up, all have already been removed. The conductor starts walking by. I ask him to scan my ticket and he does, all set for tomorrow and the real trip! The train is crowded enough that I double up in a nearby seat and relax. I’m happy I got the conductor right away, where in the North River Tunnel at 6:28. We get an announcement: “We are approaching New York and to remain in the cars and not ride in the vestibules until we arrive. In New York there will be a crew change and that all tickets will need to be rescanned after departing.” I stand up and notice there is one women with her suitcase standing in the vestibule. We stop waiting for a track at 6:34. It’s rush hour! We’re outside of cell service range. They don’t announce the track. It’s 11 at 6:37.