Friday, April 14, 2006

Heat Wave



It's not every organization that can claim a surplus on the back of rate increases. It's not every organization that gets to be a monopoly. It's not every organization that doesn't empower its employees. It's not every organization that can ignore increasing energy costs. It's not every organization that is Metro North Railroad.

Today we had a beautiful spring day with temperatures in the 60s. Today we could walk outside without a jacket. Today, Metro North decided to run the heat on both my morning and afternoon rides home. Not just any heat. The amount of heat that makes the walls hot to the touch.

Riding car #8400 into Grand Central for 8:45am, I learned that the conductor can't adjust the heat. No thermostat control. He had to suffer through it too. We trust conductors with the safe operation of a train worth millions and the lives of all those aboard. What Metro North designer felt that we couldn't trust them with a temperature control? The announcement suggested we move to another car. The conductor's answer? Open the one window near his booth. So we are heating in springtime, with temperatures in the 60s and the window is open.... and we're paying for it.

On my afternoon 3:33pm out of Grand Central (hey it's Good Friday), I take a seat in car #8428 and wouldn't you know it... the heat is on. Is this some Metro North joke? Freeze in the winter and heat in the spring? This time there's no window near us, so my fellow commuters look for a way to jam open the rear door so some air will blow through the car. And what do we find under our seat? One of those red planks we've seen the conductor use to prop open his door. Once again, we are heating in springtime, with temperatures in the 60s and the door is open... and we're paying for it.

Today's pics:
  1. Morning magic window
  2. Another view
  3. Parked at Grand Central
  4. Afternoon descent to lower 'cool' track
  5. Door to prop open
  6. The prop

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