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Monday, January 10, 2005

I'm not on that one

The phrase "I'm not on that one" has become a bit of a joke between my brother and me--sort of a new saying to replace "I'm not down with that" or more simply "That sucks." But it takes on new meaning when I read what has been happening to more recent versions of Amtrak 's California Zephyr train than the one I was on, which was only six hours late. From CBS:
More than 220 Amtrak passengers were back in Sacramento on Sunday after spending the night stuck in their train in deep snow west of Donner Summit, spokesman Marc Magliari said.

One car of the California Zephyr, eastbound from Oakland, Calif., to Chicago, derailed in the snow Saturday evening. No one was hurt. Amtrak officials moved the passengers to other cars and the train reversed course and returned to Sacramento about 6 a.m.

Because of the derailment, a westbound Zephyr had to stop in Reno and its roughly 140 passengers completed their trip to California by bus.
For the eastbound passengers, their timetable looked something like this:
  • Oakland--9:35 am
  • Sacramento--11:30 am
  • Colfax--1 pm
  • Donner Pass--4 pm
  • Donner Pass--6 pm
  • Donner Pass--8 pm
  • Donner Pass--10 pm
  • Donner Pass--12 midnight
  • Donner Pass--4 am
  • Donner Pass--8 am
  • Colfax--11 am
  • Sacramento--12:30 pm
So, only 25 hours to go from Sacramento to Sacramento! I have to say, and gladly, "I'm not on that one!"

Then again, in the 1840's a group of settlers from the east spent some five months stranded at Donner Pass, with many of them dying.