Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All Aboard Metrolink!

After work yesterday, I walked to the 8th and Pine Metrolink Station and rode down the escalator to the underground platform. There were hundreds of people waiting for the train.

The people that came down behind me were looking around in amazement. Ridership numbers for the third quarter 2008 compared to 2007 will probably show a 50+ percent increase.

Riding the trains gives you time to think and plan your next day, or week, or year. Low cost transportation and bonus time in your day! Now, that's a bargain.

Looking out the big windows yesterday, there were these huge, puffy clouds filling the sky above St. Louis. It was a perfect day for mid-July. Meteorologists were in their glory. Mild July weather is sort of like a 50-degree day in January. Yes, we have changeable weather!

So I'm riding the train and wondering about those big clouds. How much do they weigh? According to this article, alot. A whole, heckava lot. As much as forty million elephants for a really big one!

The other day was a very cloudy day. Clouds were hanging low in the sky and they were moving quickly. One cloud on the horizon was shaped just like a volcano. It was like a gray volcano set against a gray/white background. Yeah, so we don't have much for mountains and beaches in St. Louis, but we sure have some awesome skies, clouds, sunrises and sunsets.

The natural beauty of a midwestern sky stands up pretty well compared with any physical landscape. And through those giant Metrolink windows, you get a front row seat!

A kid might find an elephant-shaped cloud up in that sky. Speaking of kids, I am reminded of a little boy riding the train with his mom last week. They were sitting across from me, and I could hear their conversation.

He was about three, brown haired, and chatting the whole way. His nose was pressed up against those big windows and he was asking his mom nonstop questions. He reminded me of our son at that age. Tons of questions and a love of trains.

"Mom, this train goes downtown, right? And we don't want to go downtown, do we?" (Where does a three year old get that idea?)

"Oh sure we do. We go downtown for lots of things. Downtown is good"

"Oh, okay, mom. But is that a river?"

"Well, no, not really. It fills up when it rains. It's more like a big drainage ditch than a river."

"Oh, okay." Then we arrived at the station and the little boy and his mom walked hand and hand down the platform. She didn't want the little guy to drop over the side.

Which was completely the opposite of what I saw this morning. Pulling away from the UCity station, a little kid jumped from the station platform, down onto the railbed, ran across the tracks, presumably to climb up the other side.

Strange. Maybe he/she were looking for a short cut? Who knows? It's always something different. Like that time this lady was going on for fifteen minutes on her cell phone giving college "advice" (more like lecturing) to her daughter or niece or somebody.

Why people have such a personal conversations in front of total strangers is beyond me. Your stop is only a few minutes away!


becca said...

i ride metrolink from grand out to umsl 4x/week. i'm always happy to see how crowded it is- oftentimes standing room only for a few stops.

maire said...

I wish I had your patience. Going from SW City (Tilles Park) to SLU's med campus, would take 58 minutes on the Metro. It takes me less than 10 to drive and 20 to ride my bike. Metro is so not efficient! The boy lives in Manchester and I have to drive. I wish I had the patience to be on a train for an hour with people I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Last time I rode the Metro it took around 35 minutes to get from the Shrewsbury/Lansdowne station to DT. Metro timetables show a 24 minute ride to Grand station.