Breakdown at Radburn

Today, I had a ticket to an New Jersey Symphony 1:30 p.m. concert at NJPAC in Newark.  I always try to go by train, and usually would take the Pascack Valley Line.  But midday service on the Pascack Valley Line is currently being bustituted, so I decided to drive to Radburn and take the Bergen County Line instead.  

Train #1166 arrived three minutes late at 11:37 a.m.  It was pushed by Engine 4028 and included cars 6017, 6759, 6573, 6762 and 6501. 

We arrived at Secaucus two minutes late, giving me plenty of time to transfer to Northeast Corridor Line Train #3841.  We pulled into the Newark station at 12:18 p.m., and I took the Newark Light Rail to Washington Street, from where I walked to the Green ChicPea on Halsey Street for a delicious lunch.

Following the concert, I took the Newark Light Rail back to Penn Station, where I boarded Northeast Corridor Line Train #3954 to Secaucus.  There I transferred to Bergen County Line Train #1263, which arrived at Radburn at 4:57 p.m.

As I crossed the tracks to the eastbound platform, I noticed a train on Track 2 (the eastbound track).  The train’s headlight was off, and the train was positioned some distance from the Fair Lawn Avenue grade crossing.  I walked up the platform and noticed that the trainset was the very same one that I had taken this morning.  Only the first two cars were on the platform.

The door to the second car was open, and the conductor was standing inside.  He explained that the train had broken down, and that they were waiting for a rescue engine.  The conductor indicated that he had no idea when a rescue engine would be coming.

Just then, two teenage railfans appeared.  They told me that Engine 4111 would be the rescue engine, and that it was on its way, having already passed HX (the Hackensack River bridge).  We looked down the tracks and, sure enough, we could see the engine coming!  (The boys also told me that the train that had broken down was Train #1174, schedule to arrive at Radburn at 3:41 p.m.)

I watched as the rescue engine crossed Fair Lawn Avenue, stopped, and then coupled onto the train.  I caught a photo that included eastbound Train #1178, which was operating about 15 minutes late on the westbound Track 2. 

It was quite ironic to see Engine 4111, built over 50 years ago for the Central Railroad of New Jersey, rescue Engine 4028, which is less than 20 years old.


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