Normbrero

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Monday, July 21, 2008

New Train

Over the past few months I've started to see some new train cars coming in and out of Penn Station, double decker jobbies that seem to be the start of the slow step of New Jersey transit walking into the future, something they've not really done much of. Most of the cars I ride home in at night are probably from the 1970s, literally from the 1970s. So it's about time the slow revolution gets a move on.

My boss is in from Chicago this week so I decided to take the later train, getting the 7:50 from Gilette and switching in Summit. The first leg was the standard Junk Pile that always buzzes back and forth to Hoboken. But much to my surprise the connector from Summit to Penn Station was a new double decker. Sweet! New train!

The first thing is obviously 2 decks to accomodate more people. But you then see that they've made it just 2 seaters on both sides of the aisle so that nobody ever has to be sandwiched between 2 other people. Given that they could have chosen to squeeze an extra seat in there I applaud the decision. The seats, aside from less crowded, are more comfortable. And half of them are facing the rear of the train instead of forward. They've done away with the flip-flop seats and just face half forward and half back. Again, major good decision in the name of comfort as opposed to some somewhat random reason of conformity. Finally, the train is really smooth. The ride is more like a boat than a train from the door. Maybe a little wobbly up here at first but I'm really liking it.

The challenge now is finding all these double deckers that go back and forth on my line. I'd consider a shift in work hours if I knew I would be more comfortable. If only they went right to Brooklyn.

I'm sure the transition from old to new will take 10 years, or longer if it ever fully happens at all. I think NJT has a lot of things they need to improve on, the main one being timing and efficiency. A train should be able to travel the 25 miles from my town to NYC in 30 minutes. Yet somehow the express line still takes 52 minutes officially, an hour most days.

Neat way to start the week. An unexpected surprise.

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1 Comments:

  • At 3:31 PM, Anonymous walter said…

    I've seen the new trains as well. Do you walk in and have the option to go up or down? Agree good call on the nixxing of the flip flop seats.

    A few days late but I bought Nicole the new Weezer and shes really liking it.

     

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