Analysis of "black box" and video camera information indicate that the NJ Transit train that crashed in Hoboken last week was traveling at 21 mph when it struck the bumper at the end of the track, smashed through it and ended up in a passenger concourse at the edge of the historic station building. The speed limit for trains entering the station is 10 mph. The train was traveling at only 8 mph, within the speed limit, as it entered the station; the engine's throttle was in the neutral or "idle" position at that time. But then the throttle was moved to an accelerate position, "Run 4," and remained in that position for about 38 seconds, while the train speed increased. Seconds before the impact the throttle ws returned to the idle position and emergency brakes applied, but it was too late to prevent the impact, which occurred at about 21 mph. The engineer says he has no recollection of the collision beyond normally entering the station.  An account of the new information at is here.

The wrecked train has now been removed from the station, raising hopes of an early restoration of service into Hoboken.

In a related development, in the wake of the Hoboken crash, NJ Transit has tightened operating procedures for trains arriving at the terminal.  The train conductor is now required to be in the operating cab along with the engineer as the train approaches the station. The new rule also applies to NJT's other major terminal in which all tracks end in bumpers, Atlantic City.  It does not apparently apply at New York Penn Station, in which tracks 1-4, used by a significant fraction of NJT trains, also end in bumpers. The story was reported by Patrick McGeehan and Emma G. Fitzsimmons here in the New York Times (October 6).