Pegitboard News

Federal officials to announce cause of fatal Hoboken train crash next month

Federal officials to announce cause of fatal Hoboken train crash next month


The National Transportation Safety Board will vote on the probable cause of the Hoboken train crash Feb. 6.




WASHINGTON -- The 2016 New Jersey Transit train crash at the Hoboken Terminal will be the subject of the National Transportation Safety Board's Feb. 6 meeting, when the agency will announce the cause of the accident. 


The board will also release the cause of a Long Island Rail Road train crash in Brooklyn on Jan. 4, 2017, smashed into the posts at the end of the tracks.


Besides approving the probable causes of both accidents, the safety board plans to issue a special investigative report offering recommendations based on the two crashes.


NJ Transit still in crosshairs


One person was killed and more than 100 injured when in the Sept. 29, 2016 Hoboken crash. More than 100 people were injured when the LIRR train hit the post at the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.


Both trains were traveling at twice the posted speed limit as they reached the stations and both engineers later were found to have untreated sleep apnea.


Efforts to reduce driver fatigue are among the National Transportation Safety Board's most-wanted safety improvements. The board blamed the problem for the June 2014 New Jersey Turnpike crash in Cranbury that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed fellow comedian James McNair.


U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., have introduced legislation to require testing and treatment for sleep apnea for operators of trains and trucks, overturning a Trump administration decision to drop a proposed rule requiring such testing.


Both tracks did not have automated speed control systems in place, another NTSB most-wanted safety improvement. Congress extended for three years an original Dec. 31, 2015, deadline to install such systems.


The absence of positive train control contributed to a Mother's Day crash of an commuter train at the same Hoboken station in 2011, according to the safety board. 


And it was a contributing factor to the May 2015 derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia, which killed eight people and injured more than 200.


Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at jsalant@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JDSalant or on Facebook. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.