ABC7 Reporter Comes Unglued on Train Ride

ABC7 reporter Stephen Tschida likely woke up with a pounding hangover today — not one from drinking, mind you, more the emotional kind when you write a bunch of crazy sh-t on Twitter and wake up to realize, wow, I really did write that.

The short of it: Tschida boarded a train for Philly and life will never be the same. The long of it, well, we’re giving you the long of it because it’s just that good.

We randomly start on Dec. 14th with this note about his dog because it all feels like a premonition for what unfolds next and how he deals with things in everyday life like putting, er, oil, in his dog’s food. “Vet made me put oil in puppy’s food. In bed watching TV. He smells like DEAD FISH! Really. I can’t do this.”

Stephen (yes we’re on a goddamn first name basis with this guy at this point and you will be too by the end of this) boards the train approximately 14 hours ago: “Train broke down. Terrrible, cold, no info. Better get what can from cafe. Looks like long night ahead.”

And we’re off…

Slight annoyance

#2: “Really someone here should tell us something. Train gettting colder and colder. Hearing now about a possible rescue train. OMH?”

Extreme annoyance

#3: “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.”


#4: “OK, getting wierd [sic] on here. People starting to talk loud. Demanding another train. But don’t think another train will help.”

#5: “If it gets much colder I am going to have to cuddle with the senior citizen next to me. Hey it’s called SURVIVAL!”

Empathizing with movie characters

#6: “Rejoice train moving. Senior citizen off hook. Tells me heat should return. At least now I know how Dr. Zhivago felt.”

Fear sets in

#7: “Train just slammed on brakes. Afraid were not moving again 4 a long time.”

Mild panic arises

#8: “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?”

Getting angry

#9: “This really is the trip from HELL!”

#10: “Conductor says they will do something with us when we get 2 Baltimore. But he doesn’t know what.”

Meditation begins

#11: “Train stopped again. So cold can’t stop trembling. Going 2 try meditation. Think good thoughts. It will be over soon. Right?”

Losing hope

#12: “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.”

#13: Just sitting here. If somebody doesn’t tell us something, I am afraid it’s going 2 get ugly. Frustration is building.”

Near tears

#14: “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.”


#15: “Oh god, lights went out. Train totally dead. No one is telling us anything! Sitting in dark shivering. ‘Sartre'”

#16: “Very wierd, everyone wispering [sic]. This is so bizarre. Because it’s dark they talk in hushed tones.”

Paranoia sets in

#17: “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.”

#18: “People are storming the conductor. He is letting them off in Perryville. He says u get off at your own risk.”

The drama continues to unfold. Read as Stephen grows more and more confused, starts praying, is on the brink of tears and more…

Confusion: What the hell does he do now?

#19: “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?”

Uh oh…

#20: “1 man grabbed intercom demanded answers. Another started screaming we have 2 get home. Now total silence.”

#21: “Still just sitting here. Going 2 try to fall asleep. Hope don’t freeze.”

#22: “Now quiet, people like zombies. Some lined up to get off. Others just blank expressions. Train still stalled.”

Drama builds again

#23: “Oh god all lights went out again. Train dead, it’s like a coffin in here. But less anger and yelling. Exhaustion setting in.”

#24: “Sitting here in still darkness, strange. Spanish lady keeps muttering “please please”. Think she wants train to move, just move.”

Awww. Doesn’t this sh-t just bring out the best in everyone?

#25: “OMG the first glimpse of kindness. A shivering woman asked conductor 4 blankets. He offered her his jacket.”

#26: “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.”

#27: “Train MOVING! Spanish lady looked at me with sad eyes said “I want to go to New York”. I said you are YOU ARE!”

Praying his a– off

#28: “Keep praying don’t stop, don’t stop. Train picking up speed. It really might be over soon.”

His John Boehner moment: Praying and on brink of tears

#29: “God I think I’m close to crying again. I NEVER cry. Just want out. This might be a life changer.”

#30 “Another hour and I will be off this train. 9 hours of hell! I just hope it keeps going.” (We assume he means the train not the hell.)

#31: “This whole night is like some wierd agonizing hallucination. Now they can’t open doors to let people off. What is going on?”

More praying

#32: “Oh god, a half hour out of phili and it stopped again. Please please! Ah it’s moving, slowly but moving.”

#33: “I just want to get warm and sleep. take off these frozen boots. Can’t wait to step off this train, safe.”

#34: “No signals, train inching along. Agony till the very end.”

#35: “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, so close

#36: “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!”

Miracles happen: He’s off the train

#37: “Off the train! Ten hours of hell is over. Now warmth and sleep, goodnight.”

Oh noooo. He may hope back on the train. Heaven help us all if he starts tweeting again.

#38: “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.”