Why are Amtrak Trains at Grand Central?
Last week, I felt like I had entered an alternate reality. It could have been a scene from the TV series, “Fringe.” Or maybe “The Twilight Zone.” Here’s what happened…
I was traveling into New York City on my Metro-North commuter train. Upon our arrival, I stepped onto the platform at Grand Central Terminal and began walking to the track entrance with the crowd. Everyone else was oblivious to ‘it,’ but I clearly spotted an Amtrak train in the station, seemingly tucked away on track 24.
Something was very wrong with this image.
Because all Amtrak trains go through Penn Station… not Grand Central. That’s the way it’s always been.
I felt the need to rush upstairs to see if Zeppelins were flying overhead.
Science Fiction or Reality?
Everything else appeared normal. So, I went about my day.
Upon my return, I took a detour back to track 24. Yep, my alternate-reality Amtrak train was still there. But this time, there was more activity around it…I spotted two conductors and an engineer.
I had to ask. So, I walked up to the engineer.
He looked at me and said, “Are you here for Amtrak?”
I peered back. He seemed normal… human…of this temporal dimension.
So I asked him why this Amtrak train was messing with my reality…
And so he explained…
In fact, Amtrak is running some of its trains this summer out of Grand Central due to track maintenance at Penn Station. This particular train was going to Albany.
I thanked the helpful engineer for his explanation and went home… eager to do a fact check on his explanation to confirm he wasn’t from a different universe.
I did some Googling and (of course) found the story, which reported that this is actually the 2nd summer that Amtrak trains have been diverted to Grand Central (Empire, Ethan Allen Express and Maple Leaf trains).
And this type of anomaly also occurred back in 1991.
Good to know.
It all checked out. There’s no temporal rift. No disturbance of the Force. Everything was as it should be. How silly of me to question the world around me.
So, I turned off my AI…walked downstairs to bed… and lowered the shade. I needed my sleep.
Both moons were full.