Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Doomsday on the Broadway Local: Day 17

Where have all the subways gone? Um, and by that I mean all the new trains. Today was Attack of the Old N Train! It was kinda freaky.

I went into work late - 12:45 or so. Kidney thing. I won't get into it. And so, for the first time I experienced the new non-peak-time weekday train schedule on the Broadway line. They weren't kidding about that less frequent train thing. First, I waited a full 12 minutes for a train. I could see two of them hanging out up at the end at Ditmars, and another just chilling on the other side of Astoria Blvd. (Incidentally, a fourth was parked on the express track just beyond my platform, and all four trains were old N trains.) So it's not as if they were behind schedule. They were running right on time.

So not only did I wait crazylong for a train to come. Then, once on the train, it took a full 20 minutes for the train to get from Astoria Blvd. to 59th Street - a full 5 minutes longer than normal. Pish posh you may say, you New Yorkers always rushing, what's five minutes? But believe me, five minutes is a big deal. When you've been making essentially the same ride five days a week for nearly five years, you notice. When I finally arrived at 59th, I saw an N train heading the other way back out to Astoria - another old N.

Coming home a bit later than usual in the evening from 57th Street, I think the MTA was trying to make it up to me for my abnormally long "morning" commute. My old N train (yes, another one) was suspiciously empty. Comfy, but what gives? Once we'd reached the outdoor tracks I confirmed what I'd suspected: sure enough, perhaps a train length ahead of us at Queensboro Plaza, there was another N train. A new N train? Not so much. Based on the number of folk waiting on the platform when we pulled up, and given that we did not spend the remainder of our ride creeping along at a snail's pace, I have a sneaky feeling that the N in front of us went "express". Ah well, I had a seat, so no biggie for me.

Finally, traveling in the opposite direction somewhere around 36th Street, I spotted a New R160 with an N designation. Ah-ha! So they have not all disappeared. Still though, I'll be quite curious to see what pulls up tomorrow...

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