On Thursday, Sept. 29, an inbound train failed to stop at the bumping block at NJ Transit's Hoboken Terminal and crashed through the block, traveling another 50 feet or across pedestrian access space and stopping at the edge of the historic terminal building.  One fatality was reported, and 108 injuries, some serious; most or all of the injuries were to passengers on the train, but the fatality was a woman on the station platform who was struck by debris. The New York Times identified the fatality as Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, 34, of Hoboken. The train was #1614, which originated at 7:23 a.m. at Spring Valley, N.Y. on the Pascack Valley line and was due at Hoboken at 7:38 a.m.; NJT said the crash occurred at 7:48.  The train arrived on Track 5, and smashed through the busy passenger access area connecting most tracks, the ticket office, and the adjacent PATH rapid transit station.

NJ Gov. Christie and NY Gov. Cuomo participated in a 2 p.m. press conference; Gov. Christie emphasized that speculation about the cause and what might have prevented the crash was premature, until it could be determined why the train failed to stop. 

Much of the information about the crash came from riders and witnesses. One said the train was unusually crowded, and train crew had apologized, saying that the train had fewer than the usual number of cars.  A Norfolk Southern locomotive engineer, on the scene, said he observed the engineer of the crashed train slumped in his cab and feared he had perished, at the. press conference Gov. Christie said that the engineer had survived, with injuries, and was cooperating with the investigation.  A rider in the second car of the train said that she thought there were few serious injuries in her car, but feared for the occupants of the first car of the train.  Another rider said the first car was "pretty crumpled" and that first responders were "triaging" its occupants. The New York Times reported that a transit worker said "The first car was pretty well destroyed. The roof was caved in."

An overhead canopy which covers the area between the end of the tracks and the station building collapsed, and there were reports of injuries from falling debris. Photographs suggest that the front of the train stopped approximately at the outside wall of the historic station building,, adjacent to the ticket office inside; officials said the building would be evaluated to determine if there was structural damage.

NJT immediately announced suspension of all service at Hoboken, but real-time train tracker information suggests that at least several trains departed Hoboken for various destinations in the half hour after the crash. PATH and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service at Hoboken was also suspended.  (HBLR trains that normally terminate at Hoboken will instead terminate at 2d St for trains from Tonnelle Ave, and Newport for trains from Bayonne.) PATH service was reported fully restored by 4:15 p.m., with Hoboken customers directed to the "city" entrance to the PATH station, not the NJT terminal entrance.  Bus service that normally operates at the adjacent bus terminal was rerouted to Hoboken City Hall, but restored to the Hoboken terminal (with possible lane changes) the afternoon of the next day, Friday, Sept. 30.

In the afternoon, NJT announced that "modified weekend service" would operate on the Main, Bergen, and Pascack lines, but only to Secaucus.  Limited service was to be offered west of Montclair State University and Dover on the Montclair-Boonton/M&E lines.  Various ticket cross-honoring schemes were also in effect. A bus shuttle was to operate between Hoboken and the Secaucus transfer station, the normal first stop of many trains originating at Hoboken.

An article by Christopher Maag for northjersey.com says that NJT locomotive engineers say the safety system in effect at Hoboken is "antiquated."  As at other area terminals, a train exceeding speed limits triggers an alert to the engineer; at the other terminals, the engineer must acknowledge the alert or brakes are applied. At Hoboken, according to the article, there is no system requiring acknowlegement or provision for automatic braking.

Reporting by the New York Times can be found here; by the (Bergen) Record here;  by the Star-Ledger and associated papers here; and by the Asbury Park Press here.