Last night, I attended a meeting of the Lackawanna Coalition in Millburn. David Antonio of Essex 2045, a planning initiative for transportation in Essex County, was the invited guest, and most of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of bus and rail transportation in Essex County.
As usual, I left the meeting about 9:10 p.m. so that I could catch Midtown Direct Train #6674 to Secaucus, where I would transfer to Bergen County Line Train #1281 to Radburn. Train #6674 arrived in Millburn on time at 9:23 p.m. and departed one minute later. It consisted of nine multi-level cars, of which three were open to passengers (and these three cars were far from full). Everything went smoothly until after we departed Brick Church, our last stop before Newark, at 9:39 p.m. We proceeded for some distance, then came to a stop. The stop lasted for at least five minutes, after which we started backing up.
During the backup move, one of the conductors made an announcement about the reason for the delay, which I could not understand. So I walked back two cars to find the three conductors seated at the front end of the third open car. I mentioned to one of the conductors that I could not understand the announcement, whereupon another conductor commented that he could not understand it, either. I was then informed that there was some problem with the signal at the interlocking, so we had to back up and then move forward again. I didn’t fully understand the explanation, but we did soon start moving forward, and we arrived at the Newark Broad Street station at 9:56 p.m. Our ride from Newark to Secaucus proceeded expeditiously, and we pulled into Track 2 at Secaucus at 10:06 p.m., 12 minutes late. Even though we were significantly late, my Bergen County Line train is not scheduled to depart until 10:28 p.m., so I had plenty of time to make my connection.
I’m still not quite sure what happened that required us to make the backup move between Brick Church and Newark.