Monday, July 6, 2009

My Weekend Outing on a Double Decker Train

Penn Station at Trenton,NJ.

Have you seen the new double decker train’s on the New Jersey Transit Lines? I didn’t even know they had these multi level trains until this weekend. I traveled to the Garden State this weekend to visit family. I was going alone or just two of us on this trip so I didn’t want to drive. The train was the next best option for this trip, so we went for it. I like the trains but haven’t used them in years.

When the kids were younger, we did a lot of travel by Amtrak along the North East corridor. The kids loved it. The trains were a good value then and took us closer to our destination than the buses. Of course driving was the most convenient but it was too tricky for me traveling long distance by road with the two young ones. On the train they had my undivided attention and the trains had all of the conveniences we needed. The trip to the station and the train ride with the kids was an excursion all its own.

We got the outbound train as scheduled. It was the regular old run of the mill train that we used to take back in the day. It cost a whole lot more now, and that did not go over too well with us. It was fine though, all things being what they are. The train was clean, comfortable and traveled at a nice speed. The stations where we boarded and exited were renovated and looked quite welcoming. Despite the crowds in the station, the train car wasn’t crowded but then again it was a very long one. We left the station on time and arrived at the destination on time. This was very good.
On the way back we were in for a big surprise. We had a new double-decker train. Wow! I did not know they existed. We looked at the train with glee and quickly chose an entryway. I thought to myself, I have to get pictures. The train was almost ready to depart when we boarded so I thought I would take some shots when we got into our station. We were going to the last stop on this train. And as usual, I forgot to take pictures even though we were the last ones to get out of our car.

So to tell the story, I did an internet search to see if I could find some photos to show you. You know a picture paints more words than I have time for. In looking for pictures, I realized that there were quite some publicity and events about the trains and the launch that just passed me by, last December. There was even a mishap cause by the height of the train that led to some major delays on the rail system. I vaguely remember a story about this but didn't pay attention to the details. Thanks to you I’ve learned a few things about the train and how the folks feel about them and the NJT. Thesee trains are said to be more roomy and carries more people than the old model trains even thought they had a row of 3 seat on one side of the aisle.

We got on the train with the excitement of kids. Where do you want to sit? Upstairs or down stairs, we asked each other. Upstairs won out! We went up the 4 or 5 steps and took our seat. It was a very nice ride. It seems to have good shocks, we remarked, because the car didn’t rock and roll as much as the outbound train did. Maybe because it was still new and in factory condition.

I like this idea of making trains to accommodate large groups of people comfortably, on each schedule. Since the move is toward increasing the utilization of mass transit, it is very good that the transit authorities are making the vehicles more appealing and comfortable for the passengers. You bet we will use it again, and again. Just hold on to the cost per ride, it pinched!

NJ Transit information and train picture sources.
http://davidgaw.typepad.com/cuzwesaidso/2006/12/nj_transits_new.html
http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061219/BIZ/612190301
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NJ_Transit_Multilevel_7014_on_Train_6651.jpg
http://www.esparail.org/images/uploads/Interior_NJT_Multi_Level_Car_thumb.jpg

2 comments:

Samantha said...

oh how cool. I haven't been on a train since my son was a year old (and now he's 10 1/2).

I just found your comment on my blog. The design is one I made. I've thought about starting a blog design thing, but I'm still practicing with mine on different things first.

quba said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Patricia

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