Via The Awl: TV news reporter Stephen Tschida took a train trip from New York City to Philadelphia. The train got stuck. Tschida Twittered the whole thing. His account involves weeping, prayers, zombies, Kafka, a potential mutiny (can you mutineer on a train?) and much more. It's an amazing look inside the mind of a newscaster. You can read the whole thing on his Twitter page, but if cooler heads prevail and the posts get deleted, I am saving the whole account right here, in chronological order. I hope someone adapts these Twitter posts into an opera. They're already kind of an epic poem:
En route phili. Train broke down. Terrrible, cold, no info. Better get what can from cafe. Looks like long night ahead.Sponsored
Really someone here should tell us something. Train gettting colder and colder. Hearing now about a possible rescue train. OMH?
Another train will try run threw trouble spot ( god knows when ). If makes it we will attempt. Just want OFF this train. I am freezing.
OK, getting wierd on here. People starting to talk loud. Demanding another train. But don't think another train will help.
If it gets much colder I am going to have to cuddle with the senior citizen next to me. Hey it's called SURVIVAL!
(Much, much more after the jump. Seriously. Much more.)
Rejoice train moving. Senior citizen off hook. Tells me heat should return. At least now I know how Dr. Zhivago felt.
Train just slammed on brakes. Afraid were not moving again 4 a long time.
Help is on the way. Whatever that means. And they have "emergency food". Whatever that is. How long r we going 2 b on here?
This really is the trip from HELL!
Oh god we r going to back up. Then head all the way back to Balimore. Amtrak says we have heat. Let me tell u my fee r numb!
Conductor says they will do something with us when we get 2 Baltimore. But he doesn't know what.
Train stopped again. So cold can't stop trembling. Going 2 try meditation. Think good thoughts. It will be over soon. Right?
Train stalled again. Pitch black all around, cold air blowing on me. It's like twilight zone. Or I've died and gone 2 hell.
Just sitting here. If somebody doesn't tell us something, I am afraid it's going 2 get ugly. Frustration is building.
OMG backing up all the way 2 baltimore. Asked what then, conuctor said "don't know". Asked about heat, he shrugged. Kinda close 2 crying.
Oh god, lights went out. Train totally dead. No one is telling us anything! Sitting in dark shivering. "Sartre"
Very wierd, everyone wispering. This is so bizarre. Because it's dark they talk in hushed tones.
Afraid they're going to back us off a bridge into cold black water. Maybe I'm paranoid, but afraid this isn't going to end well.
Why will no one tell us anything? People are cold, hungry, and frightened. I hear yelling in other cars.
People are rushing to get off train. Torn don't know what to do. If I get off in perryville where do I go then?
1 man grabbed intercom demanded answers. Another started screaming we have 2 get home. Now total silence.
Still just sitting here. Going 2 try to fall asleep. Hope don't freeze.
Now quiet, people like zombies. Some lined up to get off. Others just blank expressions. Train still stalled.
Oh god all lights went out again. Train dead, it's like a coffin in here. But less anger and yelling. Exhaustion setting in.
Sitting here in still darkness, strange. Spanish lady keeps muttering "please please". Think she wants train to move, just move.
OMG the first glimpse of kindness. A shivering woman asked conductor 4 blankets. He offered her his jacket.
Conductor says we will go other direction now. Says we will head north. Buit doesn't know when. Confusion.
Vague promises of movement. Followed by more stagnation. When will it end? If I get 2 phili, return 2morrow. Think I'll take the bus.
Train MOVING! Spanish lady looked at me with sad eyes said "I want to go to New York". I said you are YOU ARE!
Keep praying don't stop, don't stop. Train picking up speed. It really might be over soon.
God I think I'm close to crying again. I NEVER cry. Just want out. This might be a life changer.
Another hour and I will be off this train. 9 hours of hell! I just hope it keeps going.
This whole night is like some wierd agonizing hallucination. Now they can't open doors to let people off. What is going on?
Oh god, a half hour out of phili and it stopped again. Please please! Ah it's moving, slowly but moving.
I just want to get warm and sleep. take off these frozen boots. Can't wait to step off this train, safe.
No signals, train inching along. Agony till the very end.
This train is going at a snails pace. At this rate won't get of for hours. Kafka could not have dreamed this up.
Oh god, can see phili, but train stopped again. Really it just does not end!
Oh god, close close close! Almost off this god forsaken train!
Off the train! Ten hours of hell is over. Now warmth and sleep, goodnight.
4 hours off train still can't get warm. Supposed 2 go back 2day. I don't know if I can get on train again.