Thursday, October 31, 2013

The haunting of 763: the Curse of the Coaster?

It's Halloween, so appropriate to talk about curses.  The last few weeks have been tough on the 763 (the first northbound departure of the day from San Diego), with frequent delays.  This Tuesday it was 40m late, and then on Weds it was annulled completely, having broken down south of Sorrento Valley.  The grumpy passengers were accommodated on the next train, 565.

Alas, it was an Amfleet day (the loathed single-level Amfleet set is on a rotation that puts it on the 565 every other day), which adds considerable delays as the doors must be manually opened and the stairs folded down.  By the time 565 lumbered into LA, it was over 20 min late itself, which added insult to injury, making the 763 passengers almost 1.5h late into Los Angeles.

Normally the 763 goes up to Goleta, and turns to come back down as the 784.  One of the regulars who tweets train stuff (@Twitamtrak) suggests that the real curse is on the 784.  As I've complained, 784 is now making coaster stops between OSD and SAN, which @Twitamtrak points out, involves anything from 0-3 people getting on or off the train, but makes the 784 20 minutes later into SOL than it used to be back in the good old days.  Maybe the 763 is breaking down because it doesn't want to come back as the 784 and do the Coaster stops.

More likely, the 763 is breaking down because all these trains and their locomotives are tired, and need proper investment.  The commuter-time trains are pretty heavily used, particularly 763, 582, and 784, although @Twitamtrak thinks there are fewer people in the Solana Beach parking lot now.  Are they driving up to Oceanside to pick up the Metrolink?  It's a cheaper ticket.  Or maybe just getting off the Amtrak there.  After all, you can drive from OSD to SOL in less time than the 784 takes to make the run, with those extra stops.

No comments: