NJ Transit Had 150 Accidents In 5 Years, Paid More Than $500K to Settle Safety Violations, Federal Data Show

What to Know

  • New Jersey Transit trains have been involved in more than 150 accidents since 2011, causing $4.8 million in damage to tracks and equipment
  • Federal Railroad Administration data show that NJ Transit settled 183 safety violations within the last six years
  • NJ Transit has paid over $500,000 to settle safety violations

Federal regulators were "very concerned" about safety on New Jersey Transit and dysfunction within the agency after federal data showed the railroad had 150 accidents in five years.

Dozens of violations were discovered by the Federal Railroad Administration during an audit on the safety of NJ Transit's line in June, a source familiar with the audit told NBC News. Regulators began the investigation after observing an uptick in rail incidents.

The agency was fined as a result of the audit, and federal agencies are continuing to work with the railroad to ensure compliance with federal safety guidelines, the source said.

NJ Transit trains have been involved in more than 150 accidents since 2011, according to federal data. The agency has settled 183 safety violations ranging from employee drug and alcohol use and violations of railroad operating rules since Jan. 1, 2011, and has spent over half a million dollars to settle safety violations.

Signs dated from February posted at an NJ Transit maintenance facility in Hoboken said there had been 10 incidents involving trains in the past two months, five of which were derailments.

There were 25 accidents in 2015, federal data showed. More than half of the accidents occurred in train yards and most of them were at low speed.

Thomas Gallagher, the engineer of the train that crashed into the Hoboken Terminal platform, was interviewed by the National Transit Safety Board Saturday.

Though the NTSB would not provide details on the interview, offiicals said that the signals on the tracks leading to the terminal seemed to be working normally.

NBC News contacted NTSB for comment, but was unable to immediately reach the agency.

Contact Us