N.J. Transit requires conductors to be in train cabs at arrivals

NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 6 (UPI) — A New Jersey Transit order, issued after a train crashed into the Hoboken station, mandates that a conductor be in the cab of the train to assist the engineer during arrivals.

The engineer was alone in the cab of the train on Sept. 29 when it barrelled into the busy Hoboken station in northern New Jersey during the morning rush, killing one person, injuring over 100 others and causing extensive damage to the historic building. The train had not decelerated as it approached the station. The new mandate, issued Wednesday, requires the conductor of a train, who collects passengers’ tickets and is responsible for the safety of passengers and crew, to move to the cab to serve as an observer and engineer’s helper as trains arrive at Hoboken and Atlantic City stations.

The order says the “conductor and the engineer are to focus exclusively on the railroad, calling signal, checking the route and ensuring that the train is operated safely in compliance.”

The Federal Railroad Administration ordered a similar, temporary protection in 2013 after a Metro-North train headed south to Manhattan from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., derailed in the Bronx, killing four passengers.

The cause of the Sept. 29 crash has not been determined. A National Transportation Safety Board official said both of the train’s event data recorders, a forward-facing video camera and the engineer’s cellphone were recovered. The injured engineer told investigators he was not using his cellphone at the time of the crash, but that he otherwise does not recall the incident.



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