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Accident Report Detail

Railroad Accident Brief: New Jersey Transit Train Strikes Wall in Hoboken Terminal

Executive Summary

​On September 29, 2016, about 8:38 a.m. eastern daylight time, New Jersey Transit (NJT) train 1614 failed to stop, overrode a bumping post at the end of track 5, and struck a wall of the Hoboken Terminal in Hoboken, New Jersey. Train 1614 consisted of one controlling passenger car (cab car), three passenger cars, and one locomotive at the rear of the train. The train was traveling about 21 mph at the time of the accident.

About 250 passengers and 3 crewmembers (engineer, passenger car conductor, and assistant conductor) were on the train. One person on the passenger platform was struck by falling debris and died; 110 passengers and crewmembers were injured. Total damage to the train, track, and facility is estimated at $6 million. At the time of the accident, the sky was overcast, an 18-mph wind was coming from the northeast, and the temperature was 63˚F.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the Hoboken, New Jersey, accident was the failure of New Jersey Transit train 1614’s engineer to stop the train after entering Hoboken Terminal due to the engineer’s fatigue resulting from his undiagnosed severe obstructive sleep apnea. Contributing to the accident was New Jersey Transit’s failure to follow its internal obstructive sleep apnea screening guidance and refer at-risk safety-sensitive personnel for definitive obstructive sleep apnea testing and treatment. Further contributing to the accident was the Federal Railroad Administration’s failure to require railroads to medically screen employees in safety-sensitive positions for obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Also contributing to the accident was the lack of either a device or safety system that could have intervened to stop the train before the collision.

Accident Location: Hoboken , NJ USA  
Accident Date: 9/29/2016
Accident ID: DCA16MR011

Date Adopted: 2/6/2018
NTSB Number: RAB1801
NTIS Number: