Goldy’s (hopefully excellent) rail adventure

actrainstation

I’m off on my rail adventure from Atlantic City, NJ to Pittsburgh, PA as I head out to Netroots Nation, and I’ve already come across a couple of glitches that might frustrate the casual traveller. Apparently, NJ Transit’s website doesn’t see fit to advertise directions to its Atlantic City Station, or even a street address. Meanwhile, Atlantic City doesn’t exactly provide adequate road signage.

Oh, if you want to get to the new outlet mall, that’s clearly marked. But the entrance to the rail terminal tucked into a corner of the new convention center across the street… not so much.

The other glitch, NJ Transit’s website warned me of in advance, so it is more a temporary inconvenience than a surprise.  See, it turns out, when you build rail infrastructure, you occasionally have to spend some time and money maintaining it.  And that’s exactly what they’re doing to the tracks between Hammonton, NJ and Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.

The result? An earlier start than I would’ve liked to make sure I arrive in time for my connection, and the fact that I’m writing this post from a (gasp) shuttle bus on the Atlantic City Expressway.

More later…

UPDATE:

Approaching Philadelphia via the Ben Franklin Bridge, as viewed from the (gasp) Bus.

Approaching Philadelphia via the Ben Franklin Bridge, as viewed from the (gasp) Bus.

The shuttle bus between Hammonton and Philadelphia was uneventful. Crowded, cramped, and briefly stuck in traffic, but uneventful. The train/bus got us in about 20 minutes later than the train alone was scheduled. Not too bad… but it was a bus.

Oh, and FYI, the fare between Atlantic City and Philadelphia was $8.00. Not a bad deal.

Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, as viewed from Market St.

Philadelphia's 30th Street Station, as viewed from across the river.

As a kid, I used to think it weird that 30th Street Station was actually outside of Center City Philadelphia… you know, all the way across the Schuylkill River. But since I moved away over two decades ago, Center City seems to have grown larger, and walking distances shorter.

Comments

  1. 3

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Hey Goldy–
    You should have stayed in Jersey for a few more months to help your guy Corzine!

    Thursday, August 06, 2009

    Republican challenger Chris Christie has regained his 13-point lead over incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine in New Jersey’s closely watched gubernatorial race.

    A new Rasmussen Reports survey of voters in the Garden State finds Christie on top 50% to 37%. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are not sure.

  2. 4

    spews:

    Raven @1,

    Yes… “1 Atlantic City Expressway” is not a real address. What I needed was the address of the entrance to the terminal, which is actually attached to the convention center. And it didn’t help that at the driveway to the convention center, there was no sign saying “Rail Station.”

    Now I know. Other than that, so far so good.

  3. 5

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    After you get Corzine in NJ back on track, you can head for Virginia:

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Republican candidate Robert F. McDonnell has opened a nine-point lead over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds in the race for governor in Virginia.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Virginia voters finds McDonnell leading Deeds 47% to 38%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and 12% are undecided.

    These figures reflect an improvement for McDonnell. A month ago, the GOP hopeful led by just three percentage points. Since then, he has gained three percentage points of support while Deeds has lost three percentage points.

    Rasmussen polls LIKELY VOTERS. Gee, why do that?? Why not poll any asshole wandering the streets like the Leftist Polls? Oh yeah, that’s why Rasmussen is #1 in election accuracy…CUZ THEY POLL LIKELY VOTERS not illegals and lunatics.

    Goldy, if you are gonna save all these at-risk Democrats, your gonna be busier than a one-legged guy in a butt-kickin’ contest!

  4. 6

    Blue collar libertarian spews:

    Goldy how about checking on the Atlantic City jitney’s while you are there. And maybe fill us in on the private bus operations in the state and the ones that take the laborers into New York for the day. How are they working out since they’re all privately run?

  5. 7

    Lurleen spews:

    numerous Amtrak “trains” land you on a bus. Ever taken the “rail” up to Vancouver? Depending on the schedule you choose, it can look stunningly like a bus on I-5.

  6. 8

    Emily spews:

    the fare between Atlantic City and Philadelphia was $8.00.

    If you lose enough money in the casinos, they’ll send a limo and drive you down there for free. My parents used to live about 100′ from US 40 (in Elmer) and you could go down to the corner on Friday night and watch the limos on their way to Atlantic City. Watch again on Sunday evening, and you’d see them coming back.

  7. 10

    Casey Jones Goldstein spews:

    Throw Goldy from the train a kiss. Particularly if Lee is driving. High on cocaine.

  8. 11

    Casey Jones Goldstein spews:

    The only (other) Lurleen I ever met or ever heard of was crypto-governor of Alabama.

    So, Lurleen, like the South did you rise again?

  9. 12

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    Emily, the Casinos are now running a special train using New Jersey Transit equipment from New York Pennsylvania Station to Atlantic City, using deluxe-equipped coaches based on the New Jersey Transit Bi-Level design(sometimes refered to as the Comet VI), an Electric Locomotive on one end, and a Diesel-Electric on the other(the Atlantic City Branch is not electrified).

    http://www.acestrain.com/

    The multi-level coach, aka COMET VI is probably one of the best Canadian(that’s right, it’s a Bombardier Product, product of a Canadian company but built at an American facility of Bombardier) rail coaches designed for a unique situation. NJT needed to increase capacity and the Hudson River Tunnels were congested, and bi-levels looked out of the question. They had high-level platforms, and the trains had to squeeze under the overhead wires. The type that SOUNDER uses would not do.

  10. 13

    ArtFart spews:

    @7 It was reported today that the Cascades is going to add a second daily round trip to Vancouver, this one an evening run. With the Winter Olympics coming up, this has been under negotiation for some time. The Canadians had been balking on picking up the tab for customs services, but apparently they’ve realized it’s worth their while to encourage more people from the US to go up there and spend money.

    The bottom line here is that it’s going to be easier to get all the way from Seattle to Whistler by train–and those who’ve been there know that while there’s some pretty scenery it’s a long, long drive, and once you’re there a car is absolutely useless.