OTOL Florida RailFest 2008
July 19-24, 2008
Photos by Eric Minton, Jishnu Mukerji, and Piotr Dzwonek.
Click small photos to see larger
Chapter 6.5: Lunch at Steak & Ale
As he had done in Tampa for the Spaghetti Warehouse, Steve had called ahead so that they were expecting our group of twelve people and one guide dog. The service was not as great as it has been at the Spaghetti Warehouse. The waitress did forget Grace's order, finally bringing it out to her when many of us were just about finished. At this restaurant we did not request separate checks, so we went through the exercise of having one person pay and then paying him back. Piotr volunteered, which allowed him to earn points on his Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard.
In addition, we had another potential problem brewing. Out the restaurant's window we heard thunder and saw the sky darkening again to the west. With Grace still eating the food that was delivered to her late, and the possibility we could get caught in an electrical storm, I was considering that we stay put and take the next TriRail train one hour later. That would in turn have set back our remaining schedule on MetroRail and MetroMover back by an hour, but we did not want anyone to get hurt. As things turned out, Grace finished and the majority of the group felt was could make it. We recalled the parking garage we had walked through earlier, which would provide us cover if we had lightning or heavy rain.
The final segment of our walk involved going upstairs, over a pedestrian bridge, and back down to get to the southbound side. For some, this meant two elevator rides. Somehow we did make it back to the station well in advance of our scheduled 1:49 PM southbound departure, and we made it without the threatened storm materializing.
Chapter 6.6: TriRail Train #P627, Cypress Creek to TriRail/MetroRail Transfer
We were on the platform on time for our next train, but the train didn't cooperate. Announcements on the station's variable message signs indicated that our train was running anywhere from seven to twelve minutes late, depending on when one looked at the sign. The delayed train finally came at 1:59 PM, ten minutes late, and we all boarded.
This train was scheduled to make the trip between Cypress Creek and the TriRail/MetroRail Transfer in 44 minutes, but we did it in 41, thus reducing the amount of time we were behind schedule by a few minutes. We arrived at our destination at 2:40 PM, seven minutes late. Complicating matters was the fact that the TriRail train discharged us at the eastern platform, so we all had to go to the other side to access the MetroRail station. Rather than using the pedestrian bridge, we walked to the grade crossing just south of the station and crossed there once our train had passed.
Once on the western platform, we used our TriRail tickets in the fare gates to access the MetroRail system, and we went upstairs to await our next conveyance.
Chapter 6.7: MetroRail Green Line, TriRail/MetroRail Transfer to Palmetto
We did not have to wait long, as a Palmetto-bound train soon arrived and picked us up. When we departed at 2:50 PM, we were twelve minutes behind our intended itinerary.
There was a little delay entering the last station, Palmetto. When we finally came to a stop at the platform, it was 3:03 PM. Since this was the only equipment in the station, I realized that we would be here for twelve minutes since the next scheduled departure was 3:15. Our group stayed put in or near our car until departure time.Continued in next section