Wednesday, April 30, 2008

soylent train is people! it's people!

A week ago I learned that a literal passenger train called Frontrunner was opening up for riding between Salt Lake City and Ogden. After spending a little bit of time in New York City, it's nice to see us westerners getting into a commuter rail system. I knew it wouldn't fly though since we all, to quote The Closer in Singles, "love our car." The Closer was a total environmentalist in that show too. This is when that guy who was dying in that one Julia Roberts movie tried to sell her on his "Supertrain" idea with great music and coffee.

I also figured that since I wasn't aware of it, then nobody would be.

So on Monday we decided to take advantage of Frontrunner's free rides before the pricey rides would begin later in the week. Our goal: the 7:25 train. Here's how the night went down:

6:49 - I arrive by foot at the 7:00 meeting place; once again, vastly overestimating the time it would take to walk two blocks.

7:09 - Group breaks into carpool groups and heads to the UTA train hub.

7:17 - Group arrives at hub and parks near Bricks (or whatever it's called). A big line is forming for the group Minus the Bear. Based on their fans, Minus the Bear appears to be an early 80s British punk band.

7:18 - I snap this picture of Jane and Chelsea. Notice that there's actually a huge throng of people at the platform.
7:25 - Nothing in particular happens

7:48 - Our 7:25 train arrives. Passengers packed like sardines begin filing out.

7:50 - I snap this picture of Shanna and Maxim in front of our train arguing about how many stops we should ride.

7:52 - We make our way to the door. Random passenger inexplicably halts her physical efforts to get off the train in order to pose for stranger's photo.

7:59 - After taking a right past the door, we attempt to climb the stairs to Frontrunner's second level. We get stuck in the stairwell because of the sheer amount of bodies packed in. With the lack of space, I'm only able to get this shot.

8:05 - A natural settling of bodies occurs and a nicer picture of some of us in the middle of the stairwell happens.

8:07 - Another Frontrunner arrives on the adjacent track. People begin filing aboard the new train. We realize that the other platform was an option the entire time.

8:20 - The other Frontrunner train departs.

8:25 - In extreme panic, we attempt to open the doors of our train to escape. The doors don't respond.

8:31 - Yet another Frontrunner arrives on the adjacent track.

8:33 - A broadcast comes over the speaker system informing us that there was a problem with our train and to exit out the west doors to enter the other train.

8:34 - We begin wading through the throng of people attempting to board the other train.

8:39 - We finish wading through the throng of people attempting to board the other train.

8:45 - We arrive at Arctic Circle. I order the halibut sandwich combo and a pastrami and swiss burger.

10:41 - After arriving home I hear a UTA commercial that seriously says, "UTA Frontrunner! Catch it... if you can!"

To sum up, I'm glad people are into the train, but the excess of people taking advantage of the free ride was just post-apocalyptic in scale. Also, it would be really nice if the train actually worked.


Blogger cumom said...

I wouldn't be surprised if with all the people packed in there some weight or fire code safety limitation were exceeded. People actually got crushed to death occasionally on public transportation on my mission. I suspect those crazy lawmakers have some wacked out aversion to things like that here in the US.

May 01, 2008 5:20 AM  
Blogger Johnny Metropolis said...

An excellent chronicle. I was there.

May 02, 2008 1:03 AM  

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