New Jersey train riders involved in accident


Photo via Google under Creative Commons license

New Jersey runs trains on a daily basis throughout the state.


A New Jersey Transit train crashed through a station in Hoboken Thursday, Sept. 29, killing one woman and injuring more than 100 people. The train went through a bumper at the end of a track and plowed into the station, collapsing part of the roof and causing debris and people to fly everywhere.

“It’s hard to believe such a disaster occurred. I can imagine the shock and horror the scene must have been. Hopefully such an incident will not occur again,” stated Neshaminy junior, Ammie Faunce.

While investigating the cause of the crash, the officials noticed that the train had been traveling at twice the speed limit of 10 mph, just before slamming into a bumping post and hurtling airborne into the waiting area of the Hoboken Terminal. The train was originally traveling at 8 mph with the throttle, a device controlling the power and fuel of an engine, in the idle position; however, in about 38 seconds before the crash, the throttle increased to 21 mph.

The NJ trains are programmed to alert engineers with a loud alarm and stop locomotives when the throttle increases over 20 mph. The throttles are usually set to idle position or at first and lowest speed spot since there is no reason for the throttle to be pushed higher. However, there is still no exact public explanation as to why no one heard the alarm go off or the reason why the throttle increased. At this time, further investigations will be taking place.

Most of the injured were people who were rushing to get onto the morning train at 7:23 from Spring Valley, Rockland County. About 250 people boarded this morning train; it was struck by a locomotive gear as the train collided into the platform.

The woman killed, identified as Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, was standing on a nearby platform and was struck by a flying debris.

Witnesses described the horrific scenes that played out. “People were running, obviously screaming,” witness Tony Spina told Fox News. “I saw folks bleeding from their heads. I saw folks limping. Folks were on the ground who couldn’t move.”

Bleeding and limping people wandered around in a daze as many passengers helped one another and first responders rushed to rescue them. Thomas Gallgher, the conductor of the train that crashed, was also injured. He will be questioned later in further investigations regarding the cause of the crash.

“I think it’s a tragedy, one that could have been avoided if proper protocols had been followed. Of course, I don’t know all the details, only that the train was definitely above the speed limit when it crashed. I hope it brings about changes that prevent such a thing from happening again,” said Neshaminy junior Rachel Hoenisch.

Rail service in New Jersey and eight of the 17 tracks of the Hoboken Terminal was set to resume Oct. 3. In addition to this, a new requisite will be set so that it will be mandatory for the conductor to join the engineer whenever the train pulls into a station.