Thursday, July 17, 2008

First Impressions...

Yesterday I had my first opportunity to ride both MAX and Front Runner (besides opening day).

Having rode the Front Runner cars in Los Angeles and Miami, I had a pretty good idea of how nice the Bombardier cars will ride and I was not disappointed. The cars are very smooth and benefit by the fact that the tracks are exclusive to Front Runner so heavy freight trains will not cause the trains to ride rough (except for the expansion north of Ogden).

My original plan was to ride the 45 to TRAX and then catch the 35M. However, I walked over to 1300 East and decided to walk over to Van Winkle instead of walking north to Murray-Holladay road because I did not feel like walking that far (totally ignoring the 213 which was closer but of no use). At this point I decided I would not ride the 35M at all and ride Front Runner up to Ogden and do photography all day.

I caught the 307 at about 6:30am and took it to State and 200 South. The bus was one of the new 2007 Gillig Advantage BRT buses but the good news it had no wrapped (in fact I only rode one bus with a wrap yesterday!!). Most new low floor buses and especially most of the newest buses UTA has bought lately seem to rattle really bad but this one was so bad. The biggest rattle came from the farebox.

Next I took the 500 over to the Central Station to catch Front Runner. I had 4 minutes from the time the 500 arrived to my train was scheduled to depart and I had to buy a ticket. I walked over to the ticket machine closet to the bus area and it was dead. So then I rapidly walked over to the far side of the platform and bought my ticket and jumped on the train.

The train left right on time at 7:25am. Being a reverse commute train, there was not a lot of passengers on board but the southbound trains looked packed. I was able to snag one of the sets of seats with a table so I sat up and did some writing as I enjoyed my ride. We stayed on time for most of the trip except when we had to meet a southbound train at the passing siding around Centerville. Despite leaving Farmington about 5 minutes late we still pulled into Ogden on time.

I then walked over to Union Station and did some photography and then walked to Washington and 25th and caught a 612 up to the Ogden Sign by the Ogden River on Washington Blvd. I then walked back to 25th and Washington taking pictures along the way before catching a 603 out to the McKay Hospital.

It was about 11:00AM at this point and I was hoping to find someplace to eat but nothing was standing out to me. The only thing within walking distance was Taco Bell but I stopped drinking soda seven weeks ago and that is all they offer for drinks so that was no go. I decided to catch the 625 which took me over to the Ogden Regional Medical Center. I walked down took some pictures of the toll booth then walked back and took the 612 back to Washington and 25th. I did see a couple of Chinese places that look good along the way but by the time I noticed them were already were passed them and I didn't feel like walking at that point.

From 25th and Washington I walked back to Union Station, took some more pictures, purchased a water from a machine at the transit station and caught the 1:08pm train back to Central Station. This train was packed and we did have a UTA Police Officer check for tickets on this trip. We arrived on time back into Salt Lake and that ended part I of my day.

I will continue this story next time...

Zemanta Pixie

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