Thursday, April 21, 2011

Newbies: missing their stop

If you travel by train in rail-oriented cultures, like Japan, you'll find helpful signs on the train itself to tell you what the next station is, and how long till you arrive. On Amtrak, you have to rely on the conductors to make an announcement. Normally they tell you about 5 -10 minutes before you get to the station. But you have to be responsible for yourself. It's not really that hard--if you don't know the schedule, it's in each car. Since you walked upstairs to your seat, you should know how long it takes to walk downstairs to the door. This is particularly true in the superliner car, which does not have an exit--you have to walk into the next car to go downstairs to the door. Generally, you want to do this before you get to your stop.

This morning, I noticed a woman rushing past me after we stopped in Anaheim with two kids and suitcases. I always sit in the superliner, and almost as soon as they passed me the train started to move. I figured they didn't make it, and a few minutes later they trudged forlornly back to their seats. The doors had closed before they got there.

Unfortunately, it's the #563, which doesn't stop in Fullerton (just 10 minutes further up the line). Nope, they have a 40 minute ride to LA Union Station in front of them, before they can turn around and go back.

I feel sorry for them, but come on. It's a train. You know when it's supposed to get in. You know how long it takes to collect your kids and your luggage! They announced the station, but you should have been already getting your stuff.

Not a very nice way to start your vacation at Disneyland.


GNS said...

We also get a kick out of the other extreme - people that line up at the door about 15 minutes early.

IT said...

Well,I can be one of those. I always walk down to the south end of car 3 to exit at LAUSPD, because that's generally going to be right at the head of the stairs. By getting in the front of the queue, I can get down the stairs and to my shuttle pronto. Otherwise, the tangle of people and suitcases in the doorway and on the platform can take an extra 2-3 minutes which is often enough for me to miss my shuttle and have to wait another 15-20.

Spokker said...

The conductor also comes to your seat and tells you that the next stop is yours when they take that slip of paper. I have heard "Anaheim is next." many times.

IT said...

YEs, not sure how she missed it.