Thursday, March 29, 2012

Meet you at the woodpile?

I try to catch Pacific Surfliner train 582 from LA at 4.10pm every evening.  Generally, it's far more reliable than 784 (5.10pm) which has to come down from Goleta and is usually late.

582 traditionally is close to on time.  It used to have a meet with a Coaster train down in San Diego County, near Carlsbad at a site called Ponto (after the creepy old storage unit on the west side of the track). But that got better and we were doing great.

Then, things really went to hell.  Actually, where they went is the Woodpile.  I don't know the proper name (all crossing points have a name) but it is just south of San Juan Capistrano, and marked by a large pile of wood in a construction yard on the west side.  And every night, 582 comes to a long sighing stop at the Woodpile and waits.

And waits, and waits, for Amtrak 785 coming up from San Diego.  Apparently 785 gets tangled up in Coaster traffic (San Diego having lots of single track where trains have to wait for each other) and 582 and its tired and hungry commuters wait sometimes 20 or 25 minutes until we can get going again.

Naturally, we complain.

But there's hope!  The new schedule coming in April will ahve 785 leave 5 minutes earlier.  Perhaps it will be able to evade the Coasters and make the meet at the woodpile more efficiently.

So we won't have to meet you at the Woodpile.