Conductor to NTSB: Hoboken Train Was More Crowded Than Usual

The train was so crowded the conductor couldn't collect fares.

ByABC News
October 13, 2016, 12:08 PM

— -- The NJ Transit train that crashed into Hoboken Terminal on Sept. 29 was "very" crowded, the conductor told the National Transportation Safety Board, according to a preliminary report released today.

The conductor said fares could not be collected because of the overcrowding, with passengers standing in the train's vestibules. The train was also traveling with four cars, when it usually has five, according to the conductor.

A bystander on the platform was killed and 110 were injured.

The rest of the report reiterated details already announced by federal investigators.

The event recorder from the controlling cab car indicated that the throttle was moved from the idle position to the No. 4 position about 38 seconds before the crash. The NTSB says the train increased from 8 mph to about 21 mph.

Just prior to the collision, the throttle moved back to the idle position and the emergency brake was applied less than one second before impact, when the train was still moving 21 mph.

Investigators have collected blood and urine samples from all crew members for toxicology examinations. The results have not yet been released.

The engineer of the train told investigators he does not remember anything after checking his speedometer upon entering the terminal, which he says read 10 mph, according to the report. His next memory is waking up on the floor of the cab after the accident.

The conductor did not report any unusual behavior and said preparations for that morning's departure were normal. He said he did not notice anything unusual about the speed of the train entering the Hoboken Terminal; he was more focused on the crowds of passengers.

Investigators have been unable to test the brake control system, throttle and other systems due to key controlling components being destroyed in the accident.

The investigation is on-going and is expected to continue for several more months.

In its report, the NTSB said a drone was used to capture aerial images of the accident and the terminal's collapsed roof.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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