Riding the Train in Argentina

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South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Tigre
November 12th 2011
Published: November 24th 2011
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I love the train in Buenos Aires. Its really fast and cheap because it's subsidized by the government. I take it a lot home from school if I don't feel like waiting for a bus during rush hour. However, because the trains are subsidized, the city lacks funding to keep them up and they're pretty rickety and old.

This saturday I decided that I wanted to go to Tigre with my friend Shannon to visit the amusement park that they have there. I was pretty excited to go and they also have a really cool feria there that I was hoping I could go to to get some souvenirs. Well, I was supposed to meet my friend Shannon at the train at 1pm at the ticket window. I don't know what happened but someone told Shannon and her other friends that the train that was in the station was the last one going to Tigre for the day so they hopped on and left without me. I was on the phone with her though and I thought that the train that was in the station was the one that they were on. So i threw my money at the man and ran on to the train, only to wait at the station for 20 minutes. I should have taken this as a sign because the train never waits at the station. It generally just arrives for 30 seconds to let people out and in and continues on its way.

So I wandered through the train looking for Shannon and never found her. I decided that I would just wait in the last car and that I would eventually see her when we got to Tigre. Well after 20 mins my train finally started to leave the station. We didn't get further than 4 blocks before my train stopped in the middle of the track. We waited for a while and everyone seemed pretty confused. Then we started going backwards towards the station. My car, the last car, started rocking from side to side like it was gonna come off of the track. I wasn't really worried because the train is always a little wobbly. But then people started to get panicky and I started to panic. Finally the train came to a jolting stop as the train derailed off of the tracks and was stuck. It wasn't terrible when it derailed because we were still standing up, but it was definitley something that wasn't supposed to happen. Then the train started smoking and people started screaming and running towards the back of the train. I stayed put but I was still pretty scared. So many thoughts went through my head. I was all by myself, I didn't have any more minutes on my phone, and I was trapped in a smoking train. People started banging on the doors which have to be manually opened by a conductor.

Finally, after several moments of panic, they opened the doors and people just started jumping out of the train. I decided I wasn't going to stick around, followed suit and jumped the 4 feet down out of the car. Then we all started walking along the train back towards the station. It was like a disaster zone and people were taking pictures of the train that was now stuck on the tracks. Afterwards I just walked back to my house. I was pretty shaken up but I felt really fortunate that no one had been hurt and then I was so close to my house that I knew how to find my way back. Afterwards, Shannon called me on my phone to see what was up. Apparently her train had made it to Tigre. Well needless to say I think it will be a while before I get on a train again and I guess I will have to plan on going to Tigre on another day.


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