point nine miles from home and stuck on the tracks
last night, after a weekend in dc, i boarded my usual southbound train home.
normally, this is a 2-and-a-half-hour long journey. uneventful. pleasant. i had the vampire diaries to keep me amused, and was ready for a quick and painless train ride.
turns out, not so much. while i was in dc, home sweet home got hammered by storms – seriously, bad news, y’all – and when we were 0.9 miles from my home station, the train slowed and came to a stop. we were told that some signals were down, so the train would continue slowly until we got to our stop.
we started up again for a moment, then stopped again. and there we stayed, barely three minutes from the train station. the conductors informed us that the storm had not only taken out signals along the way, but that there was a tree down in front of the train, and we had to wait for crews.
this was at 7:20 pm, give or take. the original time we were supposed to arrive.
a few minutes later, they announced that it was not one tree, but three trees blocking our way.
a few men jumped up to ask if they could help move the trees (with the chainsaws they carried in their luggage, i assume) – but due to railroad rules, they couldn’t.
one man, traveling with his young daughter, asked to get off the train to walk home. thanks to liability issues, he had to stay on-board. his response? to stomp up and down the train muttering angrily (seriously colorful language), while his daughter sobbed. it was less than awesome, and i really wanted to ask him to sit down and shut up – we were all in the same boat (train), and he was the only one making a scene.
i got a new seatmate after an hour or so – she was equally angry, though less stompy. she called the station, who explained that crews were en route, and would be there within the hour. she told me she had to get work done at home, and the delay was a big deal – i felt bad for her, but at the same time…what did she want them to do?
around 8:50, the conductor told us that crews were in the area, and that no, the conductors could not work on the tracks. because the trains rent rails from a railroad company, they don’t own the tracks. and they would be sued if they tried to work on the tracks! ridiculous.
at 9:20, the crew arrived and set to work on the two biggest trees (the smaller tree was already off the tracks).
around 9:45, we finally began to move – prompting a text to my roommate that read “MOVING WE ARE MOVING DRIVE LIKE THE WIND”.
he met me at the station with a pint of ice cream and the promise of food and beer at home. have i mentioned my love for my roommates?
at any rate. i survived, but y’all, spending that long sitting on the train tracks when i was so close to home? enough to drive me insane.