This morning I am heading off to Newark Airport to visit my parents and brother in the suburbs of Chicago. In terms of getting there, it seems (I hope) that luck is on my side.
After the damage that Hurricane Sandy caused, most of NJTransit’s train lines were out of commission. Slowly but surely the lines have been returning, although the North Jersey Coast Line, Gladstone Branch, and Direct Morristown Lines are still suspended. Most of them will come back Monday.
My own line (Pascack Valley Line) returned for weekday service only this past Monday, albeit without the option to transfer at Secaucus Junction. Most commuters transfer there to get into the city. Amtrak had to repair the substation before allowing a higher number of trains into the city, so that was how they artificially restricted flow – only a few lines can get into the city directly without needing to take a ferry or bus at Hoboken instead.
As I needed to be able to transfer at Secaucus Junction to get to the airport (and also needed weekend service!) I was out of luck for that option. I decided to take a 5:29am bus to the city, arriving at 7:03. Take the 7:15 or 7:30 bus to Newark Airport, and arrive around 8am ish.
But I saw on the NJTransit website Thursday afternoon that weekend service would be returning to the Pascack Valley Line (and other lines) this weekend. Trains would also be stopping at Secaucus Junction on the weekend. And it lets me sleep in an hour later! I really was not looking forward to setting my alarm for 4:15am.
Just in time for Thanksgiving…