Transportation Safety Board released Thursday details downloaded from the event
data and forward-facing video recorders on a NJ Transit commuter train involved
in the Sept. 29, 2016, accident at the Hoboken Terminal, Hoboken, New Jersey.
The following information,
gathered from both recorders, is preliminary and subject to change as data is
Information from the forward-facing video and event data
recorders was successfully recovered Thursday at the NTSB’s recorder laboratory
here. Both recorders appear to have been working as designed, and captured the
engineer’s entire trip that morning, including the accident sequence. The
forward-facing, color video from the cab car of train 1614 is of good quality
and includes audio from an exterior microphone. Information obtained from the
The forward facing video showed the cab car colliding with and
overriding the bumping post at the end of the track #5 platform at the Hoboken
Terminal. A large flash was observed as the car collided with the panel just
beyond the bumping post.
The forward facing video recorder captured the sound of one
blast of the train’s horn about one minute before the collision, while the
train was in the yard leading to the terminal. The train’s bell began sounding
shortly afterward and continued until the end of the recording.
The event recorder indicates throttle increased from idle to the
#4 position while the train was traveling about 8 mph, approximately 38 seconds
before the collision. Train speed began to increase and reached a maximum of
about 21 mph.
According to the event recorder data the throttle position went
from #4 to idle just prior to the collision, and then engineer-induced
emergency braking occurred less than a second before the collision with the
The event recorder shows train speed was about 21 mph when it
collided with the bumping post. Event recorder speeds during the final seconds
are consistent with train speed estimates obtained from the NTSB’s preliminary
analysis of images from the forward facing video camera.
A group of technical
experts from the NTSB and the parties to the investigation is scheduled convene
at NTSB headquarters, Washington, Oct. 11, to continue to verify and validate
the data recovered from both cab car recorders.
No analysis is provided in
the facts released from the event and video recorder data extractions. The NTSB
has not determined probable cause and cautions against drawing conclusions from
these facts alone. Analysis of the findings from these recorders and from other
facts gathered during our comprehensive investigation will take place after the
factual record is complete.
The investigation remains
in the fact-gathering phase, which could take a year or more.