On May 8, 2011, a PATH train overran the platform Hoboken, striking the bumping post at the end of the track. Of the 70 passengers on-board, 30 passengers plus two crewmembers were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. An NTSB investigation concluded that PTC would have prevented the accident:
PATH has submitted its PTC implementation plan to the FRA, and the FRA has approved the plan. The proposed PATH PTC system would enforce an absolute stop for trains approaching the platforms at Hoboken station. The NTSB, therefore, concludes that the PTC system proposed for implementation by PATH would have automatically alerted the engineer to the train’s excessive speed; and if the brakes were not applied, while operating in automatic mode or manual mode, the PTC system would have automatically applied the brakes to stop the train and prevent the collision.
PATH suffered a similar kind of accident in 2009 at Journal Square.
It has been more than four years since the Hoboken crash, which is sufficient time to install the PTC system. The Port Authority, however, is dragging its feet:
PATH officials have joined officials from 21 passenger and commuter railroads and seven freight railroads asking the U.S. Senate to extend a Dec. 31 deadline to implement an automatic speed control system.
PATH officials warned that they could be forced to reduce or suspend service if the deadline isn’t changed and the Federal Railroad Administration fines railroads that haven’t complied.
“The delay in meeting the deadline in no way, shape or form jeopardizes the safety and or quality of service that PATH provides to 265,000 daily riders,” said Michael P. Marino, PATH director and general manager in a Sept. 17 letter to a U.S.senate committee.
Since the passage of a 2008 law that mandates PTC, PATH has “zero accidents” that would have been preventable if PTC were installed, Marino said.
Not only are PATH officials endangering riders, they are also lying to Congress.