Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Hoboken Terminal Incident

I was saddened and sickened by the train crash at the New Jersey Transit in Hoboken, N.J., this past Thursday.  The engineer was apparently unable to slow down the train in time and caused the crash that took out a good deal of the pillars and roof of the terminal platform and went through a passenger concourse.  A couple of the rail cars were severely damaged as well.  One woman on the platform was killed an 114 passengers were injured; the engineer, slightly injured himself, is cooperating with investigators.
Like the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia in May 2015, this tragedy could have been stop with positive train control technology.  Why wasn't it available?  Why is is so difficult for this country to provide safe, efficient, quality passenger rail service?  And why do politicians keep giving it short shrift when it clearly is a benefit for our country and our economy?    
This is never going to end, as long as passenger trains are treated by the government like unwanted stepchildren.  I found it to be an all too appropriate coincidence when I realized that this accident occurred almost fifty years to the day after passenger rail service to where I live was ended, never to be reinstated.  I'll talk more about that in a different post. :-(  

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