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Penn Station (NY) Problems
Old 04-05-2017, 05:11 PM   #1
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Penn Station (NY) Problems

For the second time in less than 2 weeks, a minor derailment of a train in New York's busy Penn Station is causing many problems for the area's train commuters. But even though the recent derailment involved a train from New Jersey Transit, another commuter railroad, the Long Island Rail Road, is bearing a large brunt of the delays, crowding, and inconvenience this week because several of the LIRR's tracks in Penn Station are being used by Amtrak and NJ Transit and are unavailable to the LIRR during the rush hour. The LIRR has canceled, combined, and diverted several trains to respond to the reduced capacity at PEnn Station.

Back in my working days, I was a daily or frequent rider of the LIRR into Penn Station and was subject to many delays and crowding at the busy station. As I have written many times in this forum over the years, the #1 reason I ERed was to eliminate the awful commute I had to endure for 22 of the 23 years I worked. So, as much as I feel bad for all of those commuters who have to endure the latest round of headaches, I am also soooooooooooo glad I don't have to deal with that crap any more!

Any other retirees here, early or otherwise, who used to ride the LIRR or NJ Transit into Penn Station and are also sooooooooo glad you don't have to deal with this crap any more?
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:19 PM   #2
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I was thinking the same thing about the people affected by the Atlanta bridge collapse. Such an interruption, making it all the more difficult to get to and from work, is a real bummer.
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:23 PM   #3
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Although I used Penn Station for Amtrak on occasion, my daily commute was on MetroNorth into and out of Grand Central. I don't miss that trip.
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:30 PM   #4
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I drove to the city just to not deal Metro North.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:52 AM   #5
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I was thinking the same thing about the people affected by the Atlanta bridge collapse. Such an interruption, making it all the more difficult to get to and from work, is a real bummer.
I saw some news footage about the I-85 bridge collapse in Atlanta. Pretty ugly stuff. It reminded me of a collapse on the Connecticut Turnpike (I-95) back in 2004. A collision involving an oil tanker truck caused a fire which caused the roadway to collapse in one direction and sag in the other direction but not collapse.

They brought in a temporary bridge to keep the roadway open until it could be replaced later that year. Can they bring in a temporary bridge to keep the roadway open in Atlanta?

Back to Penn Station and the LIRR. I remember my very first month of daily LIRR commuting back in April of 1986 (I had been an occasional rider for many years before that). For most of that month, the LIRR's unionized workers engaged in a work slowdown which caused 15-30 minute delays on all trains. The slowdown was in protest of the lack of progress in resolving their working without a contract. Governor Mario Cuomo ordered a 9-month "cooling-off period" but when that ended the following January, the LIRR's unions went on strike for 2 weeks in the middle of a harsh winter. There were 3 snowstorms in 2 weeks, and the traffic which was already terrible was made even worse by all the snow combined with the LIRR strike. Welcome to daily commuting on the LIRR!
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:08 AM   #6
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I'm thinking my daily commute to the Pentagon 2000-2001 took 15 years off my life. I'm now as old as I felt by the time that tour was over!
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:18 AM   #7
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I'm thinking my daily commute to the Pentagon 2000-2001 took 15 years off my life. I'm now as old as I felt by the time that tour was over!
DC has the worst traffic on the planet - really dislike that area
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:29 AM   #8
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DC has the worst traffic on the planet - really dislike that area
DC traffic is pretty bad, but not even close to worst on the planet.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:00 AM   #9
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I retired in the midwest and moved east. I now live on the Metro North line and take it to NYC from time to time. I actually love it vs driving. But I can't imagine taking a commute like this day after day. I know you get a nicer home, large lot, but 4 hours per day commute makes for a LONG day. Add delays ....
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:04 AM   #10
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DC has the worst traffic on the planet - really dislike that area


You've never driven in Tokyo then.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:21 AM   #11
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I was thinking the same thing about the people affected by the Atlanta bridge collapse. Such an interruption, making it all the more difficult to get to and from work, is a real bummer.
That's more of what I was thinking. When I saw the I-85 SB bridge collapse in ATL I immediately thought "holy crappers I'm glad I'm not working there and commuting in the aftermath".
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:21 AM   #12
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I lived in northern NJ for 25 years and mostly managed to avoid working in NYC except for occasional projects and meetings. I have no idea how people put up with that commute for decades. From November, 2001-February, 2002 I had a consulting project and went in 4 days a week. Bicycle to the Ridgewood, NJ train station (about 1/2 hour- my town didn't have a working train station), gratefully accept a $1 cup of coffee from the coffee lady, train to Hoboken, ferry to lower Manhattan (PATH stations had been destroyed on 9/11), walk to office. One hour, 45 minutes each way. There was a bus from my town but it went to midtown so then I'd have to get to lower Manhattan. DS was away at school at that point but I suspect most parents of small children didn't see much of them when they were awake during the week.

I was grateful for the work in that dismal economy but also grateful that wasn't my life.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:29 AM   #13
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You've never driven in Tokyo then.
or Mumbai
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:50 AM   #14
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You've never driven in Tokyo then.
nope. why on earth would I want to go to Tokyo?
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:37 AM   #15
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How long ago did you drive in it?

Matters are vastly worse now than they were 15 years ago.

I live many miles from the city, and when I leave for work at 0430, the main road I drive on is already humming. I was doing 62 mph in a 55 zone yesterday at 0435, and was rapidly passed by more than two dozen vehicles inside of a few seconds. Then I went through an area where major arteries branch off from my road and things really got busy. I won't even drive between 0530 and 0900 any more. Oh - and returning from a Sunday matinee show in D.C. lands one on 295 North at 5 p.m. - and it's bumper to bumper, just as if it were rush hour going home from work.

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DC traffic is pretty bad, but not even close to worst on the planet.
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Old 04-06-2017, 03:53 PM   #16
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DC has the worst traffic on the planet - really dislike that area
Same here, traffic anywhere near D.C. is nasty. That was the main driver for our move from there to West Virginia when I retired.

A story about the difference. A few weeks after the move I had to take DW to a doctor's appointment on the other side of the city. We got out at 5:00 PM on a Friday afternoon and not knowing the side roads around the city I drove straight through and was all tensed up for the traffic. It was an amazing and at the time surreal experience. All the traffic lights were green (admittedly that was a fluke but it's still not bad) and we were home in 10 minutes! I was thinking "Man, WV really is Almost Heaven".

The same distance drive where we used to live at the same time would have been 45 minutes to an hour.
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Old 04-06-2017, 04:42 PM   #17
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And it's not just the time, but the tension. Although anybody who drives in any city traffic can relate to that.

During my last couple of years before retiring, I made it a rule that I. Would. Not. Drive. Downtown. Let someone else attend those fun Big Government Meetings on Friday afternoons; I'd done my time.

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The same distance drive where we used to live at the same time would have been 45 minutes to an hour.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:28 PM   #18
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I am also soooooooooooo glad I don't have to deal with that crap any more!

Any other retirees here, early or otherwise, who used to ride the LIRR or NJ Transit into Penn Station and are also sooooooooo glad you don't have to deal with this crap any more?
I am also soooooooooooo glad I don't have to deal with that crap any more! That is exactly what I say when I see the news about this!
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:15 PM   #19
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We were in NY and were going to tale the LIRR out to my sisters from Penn Station. The biggest PITA was you did not know what platform until it was announced shortly before departing-then the mad scramble
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:31 PM   #20
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Note that after Sep 2023 if all goes well the LIRR will also go into Grand Central This will be done with the tracks 14 stories below ground level. It is currently among the largest construction projects in the US. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Side_Access
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