Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Emeryville -- Balky Doors

Those of you following my train tales know that the "California Cars" used on the Capitol have balky doors. My trainset today is worse than usual. Already running 30 minutes late out of Oakland, we were further delayed when the engineer was unable to get an "all doors closed" indication. The conductors had to run and check every door. To their mystification, they found all the doors were closed. This is Not Good. I was worried that we might end up having to take the train out of service, or cut one car out, either of which would have made for a very long day. Finally, I heard one conductor say that one door was locked out of service and maybe that was the problem, and could the head end override the doors-open reading? The engineer came back a few moments later and said he could indeed do that, and presumably that's why we were able to get moving again. But it will almost certainly mean further delays down the track, as the conductors will have to manually verify doors lest we take off with a door actually open, which isn't healthy.

Here at Emeryville, the conductors announced to people as they boarded that "This train is Standing Room Only. There are no seats at all." I've had to ride SRO for a stretch -- London to York in 1995 -- and it isn't that comfortable for any length of time. I also did once find myself aboard an SRO Capitol, but in that case I had the presence of mind when I heard the SRO announcement on boarding to dash down to one end of the train and stake out the floor space at the end. That's about the best one can do in such a case because the two ends are the only places you won't have people trying to climb over you while you sit on the floor. Everywhere else, you spend the entire trip dodging fellow passengers.

Emeryville: Scheduled departure 1:55; Actual 2:35

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