Security and Safety

NTSB releases preliminary report on NJ Transit crash investigation

Posted on October 13, 2016


The National Transportation Safety Board released Thursday its preliminary report on the investigation of the Sept. 29, 2016, accident involving New Jersey Transit train 1614 at the Hoboken Terminal, Hoboken, N.J.

One person died and 110 more were injured when the 400-foot long train, which consisted of a controlling passenger car (cab car), three passenger cars, and one locomotive at the rear, failed to stop, overrode a bumping post, and struck a wall of the terminal.

The preliminary report details factual information gained to date in the investigation. It does not contain analysis and does not state probable cause. The information contained within the preliminary report is subject to change as data is validated.

The NTSB investigator-in-charge formed the following technical groups to gather information and evidence for the investigation: Operations, Human Performance, Survival Factors, Signal Systems, Track and Engineering, Mechanical/Equipment, and Event/Video Data Recorders.

Both the engineer and conductor were interviewed by NTSB investigators. The emergency response to the accident is being reviewed by investigators as are records for operations, signal systems, mechanical equipment, and track and engineering. Investigators inspected the track structure, signal system, and mechanical equipment involved in the accident.

Investigators tested the signal and train control system; the accident route was duplicated with signal alignment and functioned as designed. The signal system was restored to service with the exception of the damaged signal at the end of track 5, the track upon which the accident happened.

NTSB/Chris O'Neil
NTSB/Chris O'Neil

NTSB investigators found the cab car’s electrical communication network — necessary for brake, signal, and propulsion control — was destroyed in the accident. Conversely, accident damage to the cab car’s air brake system was minor and was repaired for testing. The train brakes functioned as designed during a friction brake test using the rear locomotive to apply the brakes.

To read the full report, click here.

In addition, the New York Daily News is reporting that a man who had one finger partially ripped off in the crash is planning on suing NJ Transit.

The man also suffered deep gashes carved into his head when his train slammed into a restraining barrier at twice the normal stopping speed at the Hoboken station Sept. 29 during his morning commute. For the full story, click here.

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