Railroad Accident Report

Collision of Port Authority Trans-Hudson Train with Bumping Post at Hoboken Station

Hoboken, New Jersey
May 8, 2011

NTSB Number: RAR-12-05
NTIS Number: PB2012-916305
Adopted November 5, 2012
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Executive Summary

On May 8, 2011, about 8:32 a.m. eastern daylight time, Port Authority Trans Hudson Corporation (PATH) train 820, consisting of seven multiple-unit electric locomotives, was routed to platform track 2 to offload passengers at the Hoboken station in Hoboken, New Jersey, when it struck the bumping post at the end of the track. It was estimated that 70 passengers were on board the train. As a result of the collision, 30 passengers, the engineer, and the conductor were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries and released the same day. Five injured passengers refused medical attention on scene. PATH estimated total damages to be $352,617.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the engineer to control the speed of the train entering the station. Contributing to the accident was the lack of a positive train control system that would have intervened to stop the train and prevent the collision.

This investigation focused on federal regulations and oversight of PATH, and was limited in scope. The safety issues discussed in the report are the following:

Safety recommendations are being issued to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Recommendations

As a result of its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board makes the following safety recommendations:

To the Federal Railroad Administration:

Audit the waiver process to verify it is being managed as required by Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 211. (R-12-37)

Audit the inspection and enforcement program in all regions for compliance with statutes and regulations related to railroad safety, and correct any deficiencies as required by Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 209. (R-12-38)