NEWARK, N.J. — Federal and state officials have confirmed that a top official at NJ Transit wrote a letter to federal safety regulators alerting them about a staffing shortage at the agency two months before the deadly commuter train crash in Hoboken, N.J. last year, The Record reports.
In the letter, the agency's VP/GM, rail operations, detailed the losses: 93 non-union employees had retired from NJ Transit, or sought work elsewhere, between January 2014 and July 2016. Combined, their experience totaled 2,339 years. The letter was sent to the Federal Railroad Administration, which at the time was conducting a safety audit of NJ Transit, the nation's third-largest mass-transit agency.
Ten weeks later, on Sept. 29, 2016, an NJ Transit commuter train from Spring Valley, N.Y., crashed into an end-of-track barrier at Hoboken Terminal, collapsing part of the station platform, and hitting the station building.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. The train's engineer had an undiagnosed sleep disorder that may have been a factor. For the full story, click here.