Off and on during parts of the day, I would ask myself, “what do I want to write about when I get home?” In the auditorium after being talked at and shown PowerPoint slides with long blocks of text. When I felt fatigued and my irritation growing with the pain in my feet on the way back from lunch. At 4:30 when I literally had nothing else to say because I’m not an expert like the people I was with in the room.
Afterwards, I got back to Union Station and sat down in my seat, I thought, “when you get off, ask the conductor if they use Kawasaki trainsets on the Camden Line.” Then, I wondered what I’d write about.
I never decided what I felt like saying.
I did, however, pose my question to the conductor. After I climbed down the steps, I stood near him and waited, the other passengers filing around me to cross the tracks towards the parking lot.
The answer, once everyone else had disembarked: only sometimes, he said, readying to command the train towards Camden Station. The Kawasaki trainsets are used almost exclusively on the Penn Line. The Camden and Brunswick lines use the newer MARC IV Bombardier sets. I wish I had more reason to be on the train and ask railfan questions to the conductors. I wonder why I never did it more often in New Jersey.
This morning, I finally got a ride on a Kawasaki 7000-series Metro train. Much cleaner. Video screens showed news, like PATH trains. Digital message signs displayed the next and future stops like newer cars on the NYC Subway. Everything a subway car should be in 2016, even if they’re lacking the charm of 70’s chic, which some folks still like.
I didn’t get home until 8. And I have to be in bed already for tomorrow. But I got to write about trains before I went to sleep. It was a good day.
Tomorrow, I’ll be on the Penn Line. Maybe I’ll get a Kawasaki set. Tomorrow will be a good day, too.