I left the Barstool Office at 5:45, a typical time for me. I did the usual walk to Penn Station and got my train to Secaucus. That is when the adventure began. The train pulled into Secaucus Junction at 6:15; I had a 15-minute wait for my connecting train to Dellawana Station in Clifton. The train boards on Track E in Secaucus at 6:30, the Main Line. There is also a Main Line train to Port Jervis that boards at 6:25, also on the same track, setting the stage for mayhem.
While waiting for the train, I was watching some videos on YouTube. I boarded the train; it was less crowded than usual; I figured that was due to the Holiday. However, I was riding; I noticed the ride seemed to be longer than usual. It was at that moment I realized I was on the wrong train.
There never was an announcement, and the signage on the train was not working correctly. The conductor checked my digital ticket but did not say anything as my destination was listed as Delawana, which was not a stop for the train. I was waiting for the train to make a stop so I could uber back to Delawana. However, the train was flying down the track to an unknown destination. A check of the NJ Transit app finally told me the first stop was in Harriman. Where the fuck is Harriman, I thought to myself.
After learning where I was heading, I tried to find out how to get a train back to Delawana. The schedules were not in my favor, as the next train coming back from Harriman was not until 10:30, three hours later. Harriman is in Upstate New York; how can a New Jersey Transit train go straight to Harriman without a stop in between is bewildering to me. The ride was nearly an hour-long, and I dreaded the cost of an Uber back home.
When the train finally stopped in Harriman, I noticed a few other passengers walking around like they were lost. I found out there were four other people that had gotten on the wrong train, which made me feel better about the mishap, as I knew it was not my fault as five people getting on the wrong train shows just what a mess New Jersey Transit is with their old beat-up trains. Looking around Harriman I could tell I was in the middle of nowhere as I quickly ordered an Uber. Talking with the other four lost passengers I was able to split the ride three ways, while the other two passengers had a car coming for themselves.
The Uber came after a 15-minute wait and three of us squeezed in for another hour-long ride to Clifton, New Jersey. The lesson here is always to check the train you board, and pay attention because New Jersey Transit won't do it for you. What better way to spend Columbus Day but ending up in a place you know nothing about while attempting to find a different destination.