Evening commute rant #1

I can’t claim that what you’ll see here is excellent photography. Or even fair photography. I took these frikkin’ pictures and I can barely make out the various figures in them.

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But what’s truly great about these images is that they accurately portray the chaos, frustration, and anxiety created by poor scheduling. For months now, several times per week my 5:26 train from Grand Central pulls into my home town of Fairfield, Connecticut, at roughly the same time as the train that departs GCT at 5:48.

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My train comes in on the south side of the tracks. I park on the north side, which means I need to ascend some stairs, walk over the tracks, and descend to my parking lot. Simple enough, except when the other train lets off a buttload of passengers on the north platform and we all meet like warring armies, battling our way up or down the stairs.

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And even if I navigate the steps without incident, the sound of the approaching 5:48 causes panic to take hold. I begin with a trot and then accelerate to a gallop, hoping to pull out of the parking lot before the other train releases its cargo. The prize is significant: I could avoid spending 10-15 minutes inching my way out to the street and then sitting through the traffic that results from the simultaneous ejection of two packed trains.

But it hardly ever works. The photos here were taken as I was running to my car or trying to motor past the hordes. Do the conductors not report how often these two trains’ schedules clash? It seems some small scheduling adjustments would solve this problem forever. Do the train gods know what’s happening? Do they care? Did they hear that I generously referred to them as gods? Doesn’t that make them like me more and want to help?

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