Terrifying Train Crash at Hoboken Terminal on Thursday Leaves One Dead

Disaster struck New Jersey Transit commuters at 8:38 AM on Sept. 29 when train #1614 failed to stop at the end ot the track and slammed into the wall, then the ceiling of the historic station, killing at least one person and injuring up to 100.

2 minute read

September 29, 2016, 2:00 PM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

"The cause of the crash at [Hoboken Terminal] was not immediately known," reports Berkeley Lovelace Jr. for CNBC. "NBC New York said authorities believe the crash may have resulted from operator error but stressed that the investigation was preliminary."

The New Jersey Transit was not equipped with the positive train control technology that slows down trains when they exceed the speed limit, NBC News reported. Initial reports indicated that the train did not slow down as it entered the station.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday officials will be looking into the positive train control technology and also for similarities between Thursday morning's crash and one in 2011 at the same station, Reuters reported. [NTSB briefing via YouTube].

However, the 2011 crash involved a Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) subway train, not a commuter train, reports J.D. Durkin for Mediaite.com.

The historic station is the second busiest transportation facility in the Garden State after Newark Airport. Passengers arriving on the New Jersey Transit Pascack Valley Line train from Spring Valley, along with passengers from seven other NJ Transit commuter lines [see map] and one Metro-North line, could transfer to:

"The landmark Hoboken Terminal, one of the metropolitan's major transportation hubs, underwent a $115 million renovation project 10 years ago," reports Ron Zeitlinger of The Jersey Journal.

The building, built in 1907 and owned by New Jersey Transit, underwent more renovations after it was flooded in superstorm Sandy in 2012.

This morning's crash caused major damage to the interior of the terminal and there was a partial roof collapse as well.

According to a NJ Transit commuter alert, "All [commuter] rail service into and out of Hoboken Terminal remains suspended.  All Hudson Bergen Light Rail service into and out of Hoboken station remains suspended."

A PATH press release indicates that service will resume at 3 PM on Thursday, Sept. 29.

NJ Transit operates the second busiest commuter rail system in the U.S. after the Long Island Rail Road. Direct rail service to New York Penn Station is available from Secaucus Junction. See map below.

Related Planetizen coverage:

Thursday, September 29, 2016 in CNBC

Black and white Rideshare Pick-Up Zone sign

The Slow Death of Ride Sharing

From the beginning, TNCs like Lyft and Uber touted shared rides as their key product. Now, Lyft is ending the practice.

June 1, 2023 - Human Transit

Urban sidewalk shaded by large mature trees

Cool Walkability Planning

Shadeways (covered sidewalks) and pedways (enclosed, climate controlled walkways) can provide comfortable walkability in hot climates. The Cool Walkshed Index can help plan these facilities.

June 1, 2023 - Todd Litman

Interstate 55 with cars and green freeway signs in Chicago, Illinois

Illinois Legislators Pass Controversial I-55 Road Expansion Legislation

Legislation to enable the addition of express toll lanes on Interstate 55 in the Southwest Side of Chicago, opposed by environmental justice advocates, cleared the Illinois General Assembly last month.

June 7, 2023 - Chicago Tribune

Two blue and white tents on a paved bike trail under an overpass in San Diego, California with palm tree and vegetation on one side

How San Diego Camping Ban Could Impact Neighborhoods

An ordinance supported by the city’s mayor would bar people from sleeping on the street near shelters or services, but critics say it will simply push people to other neighborhoods and put them farther away from the supportive services they need.

June 8 - Voice of San Diego

Small white one-story building with Maggie Hathaway Golf Course sign with American flag on flagpole and green lawn

Expanding Access to Golf in South Los Angeles

L.A. County’s Maggie Hathaway Golf Course getting up to $15 Million from U.S. Open Community Legacy Project to expand access to the sport in South L.A.

June 8 - Los Angeles Times

Wood-frame two-story housing under construction

Opinion: Failed Housing Bills Could Signal California-Style Housing Crisis in Texas

Legislators in a state that so often touts its policies as the opposite of California’s defeated several bills that would have made housing construction easier, leading to concerns that a constricted housing market may exacerbate the housing crisis.

June 8 - The Dallas Morning News

Principal Planner – Advanced Plans

Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Department

Planning Officer

City of Bangor

Planning Director

Park City Municipal Corporation

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.