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Accident Report Detail

Near Head-on Collision and Derailment of Two New Jersey Transit Commuter Trains

Executive Summary

On February 9, 1996, about 8:40 a.m., eastbound New Jersey Transit (NJT) commuter train 1254 collided nearly head-on with westbound NJT commuter train 1107 near Secaucus, New Jersey. About 400 passengers were on the two trains. The engineers on both trains and one passenger riding on train 1254 were killed in the collision.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of New Jersey Transit (NJT) train 1254 proceeding through a stop indication and striking another NJT commuter train was the failure of the train 1254 engineer to perceive correctly a red signal aspect because of his diabetic eye disease and resulting color vision deficiency, which he failed to report to New Jersey Transit during annual medical examinations. Contributing to the accident was the contract physician’s use of an eye examination not intended to measure color discrimination.

Accident Location: Seacaucus , NJ    
Accident Date: 2/9/1996
Accident ID: DCA96MR003

Date Adopted: 3/25/1997
NTSB Number: RAR-97-01
NTIS Number: PB97-91630