In early June, I get my annual email from the Grand Central Oyster Bar that the New Dutch Herring are going to be in later that month. So it's time for a trip to New York! My add-on for this trip was to ride the ferry over Long Island Sound from Port Jefferson to Bridgeport. In order to do all of this, I had to take a very early morning train from Baltimore. I had to get to the station at about the same time I used to do when I was working. In fact, I arrived at the station at 0526 and had plenty of time to catch Northeast Regional 180, due to depart at 0605. I traveled business class, mostly to get a few more AGR TQP. I think i'll be able to make select Plus, even though I'm not riding Amtrak as much as I used to. The train came in on time, and I was soon zipping up the NEC. I enjoyed a cafe car breakfast of a bagel (toasted!)with a schmear, yoghurt, and (free for BC) coffee. The billboards near Philadelphia expressing dissatisfaction with Amtrak's CEO are still visible. We seemed to be running slowly (no faster than 110 mph) for most of the trip, and after New Brunswick, it seemed that we were being held up for NJT commuter trains. I was starting to worry that we would be getting in late, which might jeopardize my Long Island Railroad connection, but in the end, we only got in about 5 minutes late, but we were going really slowly through the Hudson River Tunnel. Being at the end of the train, the stairs brought me up into the new concourse on the west end of the station. I made my way over to the Long Island Railroad concourse and was immediately assaulted by the hordes of commuters (it was about a quarter to 9). I've never been in Penn Station at the height of the weekday rush hour, and it was indeed a novel experience. I checked to make sure the timetable I downloaded was consistent with reality and found the Ronkonkoma train and also verified the Port Jefferson connection. I then bought a paper ticket at the vending machine, and soon, the train was ready to board. One thing that impressed me about the LIRR was how slowly they run the trains. The first segment on the Ronkonkoma train was a limited stop express, but boy did we creep along. To be fair, it looked like they were doing a good bit of track work. Eventually, we got to Hicksville (yes, that's the name of the place), where I changed to a diesel powered train to take me to Port Jefferson. Apparently, they have some dual-power locomotives that provide a one-seat ride on select trains, but mine wasn't one of them. The consist was 3 bi-level cars pulled by the diesel locomotive, and soon were were rolling along a very curvy track through what appeared to be very rural countryside (although maybe it was just the dense foliage that hid the houses) past quaint looking towns and some charming old station buildings. I think it would be a great route to run scenic train excursions on the weekend with heritage equipment, maybe even dome cars. Eventually, we got to Port Jefferson. It's about 60 miles from Manhattan, and it took us about 2 hours to get there. Now that we're here, the only problem is that the ferry dock is about a mile from this train station. There is a bus, if you want to wait for it, or you could call an Uber, I guess. But what I did was walk. Fortunately, the walk was downhill all the way, which is why I recommend that if you do this trip, you do it in this direction and not ride to Bridgeport first. Will I make my ferry and keep to my schedule? (I still have to eat my herring when I get to Grand Central and get back to Penn in time for my 6PM train ride home to Baltimore.) Stay tuned for the next installment.