I set out on foot this morning, leaving the Trek in the garage with a forecast of an inch of rain on its way.
I was cutting it close for the 8:16, as usual, turning the corner at Chelsea and Elwood at 8:12.
I hoofed it a bit, picking up the pace. As I crossed the Rte 141 hill, I saw a train ambling into Hawthorne station.
Huh? My watch said 8:12. No way.
Maybe this happens every day, I thought, and I’m just not pulling into the station until a few minutes later.
The train sat there for a moment. I picked up the pace. I broke into a jog.
Could it be the 8:16, three minutes early?
At 8:14, as I stepped into the station lot, it took off.
The platform was empty.
A few confused would be riders made their way down the stairs, looking at each other for answers or support.
An announcement came on the PA system.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the 7:52 is operating about 20 minutes late,” it said.
There was something about a switch problem, which I seem to be hearing a lot about these days.
We figured the 8:16 would thusly be 20 minutes late too.
At 8:17, a train whistle sounded, and the rig appeared from behind Gordo’s.
It was one of those ancient Don Drape expresses, big boxy dull gray things. It chugged past us.
At 8:26, our own sleek 8:16 showed up.
And on we went, 10 minutes tardy and not moving very quickly. But southbound nonetheless.