Authorities, including the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), are still trying to figure out what led to the deadly Hoboken train accident that happened at the end of September. One woman was killed and over 100 were injured as a result of the train crash, which we wrote about in a previous blog and our own Ken Rothweiler spoke about on Fox 29 News. The New Jersey commuter train’s engineer was among those hurt in the wreck.
Although many witnesses say that the train was going too fast as it approached the Hoboken train station, the engineer told investigators that he was only going 10 mph leading up the crash. However, the train engineer also admitted that he does not remember the train accident. With the train engineer’s memory of the incident proving to be seemingly unreliable, investigators were hoping the train’s black box event data recorders would be able to shed more light on how the train accident happened.
Unfortunately, MarketWatch reported that the event recorder from the rear of the train was malfunctioning, preventing it from providing investigators with any train crash data. Fortunately, there was another black box recorder, as well as a video recorder, in the train’s lead car that may be able to provide the investigators with some much-needed answers. In addition to the black box issues, New Jersey Transit is facing flack for the fact that it was already being investigated by the FRA prior to the Hoboken train accident.
Why Was the Federal Railroad Administration Investigating New Jersey Transit?
According to The New York Times, the FRA began investigating New Jersey Transit in June of this year. FRA became concerned about problems within the New Jersey transit system that may have gone unchecked after observing an increase in safety violations of late. In addition, The Times reported that the FRA had taken note of a leadership vacuum at the top of New Jersey Transit, which it believed could’ve been partially responsible for the increase in violations.
Following the conclusion of the FRA’s investigation, it issued a series of safety violations to New Jersey Transit. The spokesperson for FRA who The Times quoted in the piece could only confirm that FRA had been investigating New Jersey Transit, but could not reveal the nature of the violations issued as a result of the investigation.