Archive for December, 2011

7:36 - the door opens and a passenger climbs down. The door closes quickly.

…in the CSX Rail yard just north of Lafayette, IN.  

The Rail Yard in the morning fog.

The worker warming himself against the damp morning in his van saw something strange.  The 7:30 Amtrak to Chicago suddely stopped in the middle of the yard.


The train leaves.

7:35 am in the Lafayette, IN rail yard, looking South. Amtrak for Chicago stops…
The worker saw the door to the last car open, and down the stairs came a tall business-looking guy in a black cashmere topcoat, a fedora and shiny shoes.
The door slams behind the passenger, who walks a short distance away from the train and takes a picture.

The Rail worker walks over to the ex-passenger and says…”Hey, mister – you aren’t supposed to be here.”
You got that right.  The passenger was me…
So, here’s what happened.
Dad and Sue were heading for Alburquerque on Amtrak for Christmas.  They were ticketed on the 7:30 from Lafayette to Chicago, then on to New Mexico in a sleeper car.  I decided to surprise them with a gift bag of snacks and a hug as they left.  Fine so far.
 They were nicely surprised, and we all trooped out to the platform and the train pulled in on time.  There was a crowd at the door, and the stairs were steep.  I approached the conductor and said “I am not a ticketed passenger – may I help my folks to their seat and get their bags up?”  The conductor said “Fine”
Dad and Sue on the platform

As I swung Dad’s bag up, I was jolted a little as the train started moving.  I was on my way with them!

I excused myself, and approached the conductor.  “What is the next stop?”  He shrugged and said it was two hours away.  I reminded him that I was not a ticketed passenger.  He slapped his forehad, said a few choice words, and said he remembered me…
The conductors held a brief powwow , with one of them asking me an important question.  “If we drop you in the rail yard, can you provide your own transportation from there?”
“You bet.  Just get me off this train.”
Therefore, I was quickly standing in the middle of the North lafayette CSX yard, watching a the south end of a northbound train leave in the fog.
The rail worker came over and asked if I knew where I was.  I said yes.  He asked if I needed a ride.  I said yes.  He got a nice Christmas tip.
I called the folks when I was back at the depot, and they said they were quite famous on the train for being the people with the son who got trapped…

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