Report into Hoboken Train Crash Finds New Jersey Transit Train Sped Up

A preliminary report into the New Jersey Transit accident at Hoboken Terminal that left a woman dead and injured 110 has found the train picked up speed shortly before crashing into a platform.

The report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) follows the Sept. 29 wreck that caused serious damage to the station at Hoboken.

The preliminary report contains only information about facts leading up to the crash. No probable cause was advanced for the accident.

The scene from the train crash in New Jersey

The investigation was hampered by what investigators described as significant challenges in getting to the accident area because of severe structural damage to the station and “environmental safety concerns.”

It took the NTSB investigators five days to safely locate and remove the event data recorder memory board from the mangled wreckage and the video data recorder hard drive from the train’s cab car. The report said both were in a good condition.

The reports from the NTSB revealed how the throttle moved from the idle to the #4 position 38 seconds before the impact. The commuter train picked up speed from  8 mph to 21 mph when it hit the bump post in the terminal.

The engineer applied the emergency brake less than a second before the collision with the bumping post.

The report stated the engineer said he had no memory of the accident. The conductor was also interviewed. Both men said they felt well-rested on the morning of the crash.

For the first time during an investigation into a railroad crash, the NTSB used a drone to capture more than 100 aerial images of the wreck scene, honing in on the collapsed roof of the railroad terminal.

We wrote about the terrible scenes at the station at Hoboken when the commuter train failed to stop.

Witnesses said the New Jersey Transit train never slowed down as it approached the platform. It went through barriers at the terminal's reception area. Major structural damage occurred at the Lackawana Station, including a crushed wall and mangled beams. The crash took place around 8:30 a.m., a peak time during the commute into New York City. The woman who died in the crash was standing on the platform.

The impact of the crash brought down part of the roof of the terminal. It was just the latest in a series of serious crashes involving commuter trains.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a train crash you should call a Virginia railroad accident injury lawyer at (757) 455-0077.

John Cooper


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