Saturday, January 06, 2007

5 and a 1/2 hours of HELL!

Last night as I was making my way to Joe's birthday dinner I heard a first time ever announcement in the subways.

"There is no Long Island Railroad Service from Penn Station to Jamaica due to police activity. Please take the E to Suphtin Blvd and connect there."

I was stunned. Never have I heard just information being broadcasted at multiple stations! 59th st/Columbus Circle and 7th Ave I heard this. Last night was a night I was happy not to be commuting on the LIRR.

My sister, Stephanie, arrived in Penn and it was a mob scene. Gates were being drawn and people were being forced to exit. Being on her toes she fled to Flatbush in hopes of catching a train from there. She was able to board a train to Valley Stream and with the help of Laurie's directions our Mom was able to pick her up.

My brother, Jamie, was not so lucky. As it turns out a teenager was close to the tracks working on his graffiti when he got hit and killed by a train. Jamie was in the train behind the one that hit the the kid. He was on the 5:27 express to Valley Stream. He arrived home 5 and a 1/2 hours later around. The passengers who were on the train that was involved in the accident were rescued by another train that took them back to Penn Station. Jamie's train sat there until 8:30.

At 8:30 when they began heading home the conductors discovered break damage. This then lead them on a 2 hour journey to Jamaica at a snails pace. When Jamie's train finally arrived at Jamaica they transferred to a working train that was suddenly a local. None of these passengers were going to get off at the local stops since they were on an express train. Eventually Jamie made it home.

I was told that no one on his train freaked out. They remained calm. Since it was an early train there weren't that many people and everyone had a seat. I can only imagine the scene if people were standing. There would've been yelling, fainting, possibly even a fist fight. Early on when the announcement was made that there would be delays people quickly got up and formed a line for the bathroom. Obviously commuting pros.

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