We passed an auto carrier train who gave us a "highball" (everything looks good) over the radio.
Passengers are saying "this must be the Calcutta Express," which is certainly overstating things. We are very full, but not true crush load, with people jammed up against each other. And we certainly have nobody riding on the roof!
This stretch of track between Benicia and Suisun City-Fairfield is normally the real speedway, with trains allowed the maximum (79 MPH, the US national maximum in areas not equipped with Automatic Train Stop, cab signals, or similar systems). We just passed one of the automated detectors (they check the train for hot running wheels and other defects) and it announced we were going 70. Presumably the engineer has backed off due to the overload. But we're still bottoming out pretty hard whenever we go through switches like those at the junction with the California Northern railroad line to Schellville.
An ambulance pulled up to the Suisun-Fairfield station as we pulled in. I expect there must be some sort of medical emergency on board, but the conductors aren't talking about it on the train radio, and I can't see what's going on from my seat here, and I sure don't want to get up and let someone take my seat.
The conductor just came on the PA to announce, "There is a small medical emergency on board car number two. Paremedics are on the scene and everything is under control, but there will be a short delay."
Now there is a bit of talk with the dispatcher, warning him that we're stuck here while the paramedics work on whatever's gone wrong. The dispatcher says he'll keep this station clear of any conflicting train movements until he hears from this crew.
The horn on the engine back behind us at the rear of the train sounded once. The engineer here at the lead end in the cab car called the conductor: "Did you put someone on the engine?
"No." said the conductor.
"Then why did the whistle blow! Go back there and check it out!"
They couldn't find anything wrong, so there are obviously ghosts on this train.
The paramedics got the woman who was sick off the train and we're back under way again.