Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Big Blog Post of Why

Sometimes when I'm on the train, my mind wanders and I begin asking myself questions. When this happens, I know it is August and my brain has shut down for vacation.  I may not have all the answers to the questions, but at least I can ask them.  

Let's begin.

Why is there no Number 8 subway train?  Many people have asked this very same question and most come to the same conclusion:  Who cares?  We have lives.  Well, not here at TheTrainInVain.  We think, and ponder.  We wonder.  Why is there a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 train, but no 8?  There was a 9 train, it was taken out of service some years ago.  According to Wikipedia, the great source of truth, an 8 train was in service until 1973.  These days, new trains are delivered with cards so that an 8 train COULD be put back into service. So we have that knowledge going for us.  Which is nice.

Would I be better off driving into the city or taking the Long Island Rail Road?
If you are trying to decide between taking the 7:29 AM train to Manhattan or driving, I strongly suggest driving.

How does the Long Island Rail Road manage to keep train lavatories so consistently filthy?
I'm comforted knowing that when I slide open the lav door, I can count on 1) the door lock being broken, 2) liquid mysteries, 3) no running water, and 4) paper towels packed in so tightly that one will only be able to tear off a thumb-sized piece of paper towel.  It's a testament to the LIRR maintenance team that the lavs are consistently in this state.

Why does it cost more to ride the train during peak hours?
Because this is a democracy.  A free market. When you have a monopoly operation, there are price gouging opportunities.  The LIRR is as American as email spying and oversized food portions.

Why is Penn Station's Track 17 so annoying?
This one's for the regular LIRR commuters.  Track 17 is so narrow that your average cat has a hard time walking it without falling to the tracks.  When the conductor announces "Arriving in Penn Station on Track 17," add 10 minutes to your commute.  It will take you that long to get from the train to the nearest staircase as the throng swarms the platform.

Can I contract a fatal disease if I take the middle seat of a three-seater?
Yes, most definitely. For your safety and for the safety of your loved ones, don't ever take the middle seat.  Unless you don't mind being surrounded by anger.

How come when it is comfortable outside, the subway platform is approximately 8 million degrees?
It's primarily due to greenhouse gases.  We all need to shrink our carbon footprint.

How can I shrink my carbon footprint?
Buy smaller shoes.

Do you know the way to San Jose?
No no no no, no no no no no, no.

What time does the last train to Clarksville leave?
I just ask the questions.  You'll have to check the schedule.


Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.

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  1. Oh, so *that's* what I've been stepping in on the platforms. Carbon. Good to know. :-)

  2. What about the alphabet Trains??

  3. Questions always lead to more questions. Excellent question about the alphabet trains. I'll try to address that in my next post.