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Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train crash
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Author:  PaulWWoodring [ Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:44 am ]
Post subject:  Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train crash

Breaking news this am: An NJ Transit commuter train out of Spring Valley, NY on the Pascack Valley Line, failed to slow down when arriving in Hoboken Terminal shortly after 9 am this morning and crashed through the bumper, causing part of the terminal ceiling to collapse and wiping out historic pillars and gates in the area. At least one passenger is dead, 10 seriously injured, about 50 other "walking wounded". No indication yet as to why the train failed to slow and stop, but authorities are saying that the accident does not appear to be a malicious act.

Author:  diningcartim [ Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

Attachment:
Track5.jpg
Track5.jpg [ 131.72 KiB | Viewed 3894 times ]
This view of the track involved, circa 1915. Very little has changed from this view.

Author:  Dave [ Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

Well, until about 0900 this morning.......... since that time it looks as if a commuter train failed to halt and ran past the end of track up onto the platform, taking out some of the roof supports.

Author:  EDM [ Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

I think the Bush trainshed is OK, from what I've seen online. There is a fairly new roof over the concourse, with plastic skylights, which had been damaged, and I don't think the cab car went into the ticket office. All from images online, of course-

Now the media...Several reports have said that a PATH train, on NJT's tracks, went into the terminal. Separate terminals, different elevations. And the media is saying PTC would have prevented this, if NJT had bothered to install it? It is still a work in progress, and is PTC even intended to be used within yard limits; i.e. at restricted speed?

Author:  1361prr [ Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

The fatality was a woman standing on the platform, struck by debris. The newsies always get it wrong; the train was a diesel powered train in push mode, being operated from a cab car, as are all eastbounds into Hoboken, including locomotive-hauled electrics. The EMU's can of course be operated from either end as well.

Author:  Tyler Trahan [ Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

EDM wrote:
And the media is saying PTC would have prevented this, if NJT had bothered to install it? It is still a work in progress, and is PTC even intended to be used within yard limits; i.e. at restricted speed?

Continuous cab signals and Automatic Train Control (ATC) are in service in the terminal. At the lowest speed, Restricting, trains cannot exceed 20 mph. ATC cannot enforce a positive stop.

Positive Train Control, however, can and will enforce a stop when the braking curve approaches zero. The wheel rotation counters and landmarking balises ensure the train knows exactly where it is at all times. That said, the positive train stop zone is much more imprecise than a skilled engineer who can bring a train within fifteen feet of the bumpers. Under PTC trains would be forcibly stopped by penalty application further away from the terminal than under current operation.

NJT's PTC installation is a work in progress, but Amtrak's ACSES (on which NJT's ASES system is closely based) has been in service since around 2000 and the introduction of Acela Express.

Author:  dinwitty [ Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

There were train stop controls on Steam engines in the 50's, pass a red signal the device kicked in the brakes. There was no PTC then and you had a way to stop a train.

The news stories kept texting the train had no automatic stop control..pfooey.

I think what you have to do here is any train entering the station has to make a safety stop prior to entering the station, then creep in.
You would install autostop signal points that would kick in emergency no matter what till you get clearance after stopped.

We will have to wait for the NTSB results, everything else is guessing.

Author:  Dougvv [ Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

Hi,

I like Dinwitty's solution.

Some people think that having a computer means never make a mistake. However imperfect humans write programs - how can imperfection make something that is perfect?

The simple minded knee jerk reaction of a computer solution does not even allow for a review of the causes and see what can be done to improve the current methodology and see if this tweak is better than the "throw the baby out with the bathwater" approach.

I am a former electronics test engineer (digital and low power electronics) that keeps tweaking the assembly process instead of starting over with a new test program every time a failure is found. Sorry if this is overreacting, but the unlearned's knee jerk "start over" get's my goat at times.

Are there any photos of the accident area and/or train that are not media generated?

Doug vV

Author:  Trainlawyer [ Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

There is some decent reporting out there. http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/news/njt-train-crashes-at-hoboken-terminal.html?channel=00&utm_source=Publicaster&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=RGN+9.30.16&utm_content=Full+Article

In the mean time remember that while we may fancy ourselves subject matter experts (many of the fan comments I've seen concerning signals, PTC and brake systems in regard to this incident are simply wrong) the mainstream media has to report on Everything. They do not have the luxury of learning the subject before they have to talk about it.
GME

Author:  Heavenrich [ Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

Trainlawyer wrote:
There is some decent reporting out there. http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/news/njt-train-crashes-at-hoboken-terminal.html?channel=00&utm_source=Publicaster&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=RGN+9.30.16&utm_content=Full+Article

In the mean time remember that while we may fancy ourselves subject matter experts (many of the fan comments I've seen concerning signals, PTC and brake systems in regard to this incident are simply wrong) the mainstream media has to report on Everything. They do not have the luxury of learning the subject before they have to talk about it.
GME


Thanks for posting the link - I hate to think about the number of times the operator of the train has been called a conductor by the media "experts: !!!!!

Bob H

Author:  Dougvv [ Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

Hi,

Thanks for the good reporting on the accident.

Forgive me but the first thing I thought of when I saw the photos was Gene Wilder's Silver Streak when the "AmRail" train crashed through through the end of the platform and into the waiting area. The one of the actor's lines was something like It looks like its smiling at me when the nose of the F unit was shown.

Doug vV

Author:  RCD [ Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

The problem is the crew will become lasey and reley on the PTC system. Saw something like that first hand on the Nortistown line, the crew made no effort to ajust speed when the came to a signal and let the saftey system kick in to slow them down.

Author:  EDM [ Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

I think I know what you are trying to say; spelling does matter. What line, where did this happen? If the crew ran a less than favorable signal, and the safety system took over, they should have been brought into the office and perhaps been given some time off, or even discharged. No excuses for not complying with a signal!

Author:  rcw7585 [ Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

RCD wrote:
The problem is the crew will become lasey and reley on the PTC system. Saw something like that first hand on the Nortistown line, the crew made no effort to ajust speed when the came to a signal and let the saftey system kick in to slow them down.



There are 3 reasons PTC is being embraced by Class 1s.

1) Cash grab for grant money to fully implement an unfunded regulatory mandate (Read as: Corporate Welfare).
2) Eventual acceptance/adoption of crewless trains.
3) Public "Safety"

Ranked in that order, by the way.

Author:  Dougvv [ Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hoboken Terminal seriously damaged in commuter train cra

Hi,

RCD:
Quote:
The problem is the crew will become lasey and reley on the PTC system.


This is human nature - think about the airplane when the pilot had to know about flying (or sailors who know about celestial navigation - sextant).

The commercial pilots of today MIGHT be relying on Auto Pilot too much.

Sunday sailors may rely too heavily on GPS for navigation. No fallback position (read not learned enough).

Doug vV

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