HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Full NJ TRANSIT rail service resumed at Hoboken Terminal Monday morning, less than three weeks after last month’s crash that killed a woman on the platform and injured more than 100 other people.
Six more tracks opened in time for the morning rush, but tracks 5 and 6 remain closed as repairs from the Sept. 29 crash continue. The station’s ticket office has also resumed operations.
Cross-honoring remains in effect for Monday with NJ TRANSIT bus, light rail and private carriers and PATH.
With service finally back on track, some commuters said the hustle and bustle was missing something.
“Everybody’s usually running and going crazy, but people are just quiet and grateful that we’re here, I guess because it was a close call,” commuter Michael Wiseman told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris.
The National Transportation Safety Board said NJ TRANSIT train 1614 slammed into the bumper going twice the speed limit, barreling through the station and sending debris flying.
Killed in the crash was 34-year-old Fabiola Bittar de Kroon.
According to investigators, the train’s engineer, 48-year-old Thomas Gallagher, says he can’t remember the accident.
Tests show the train was traveling eight mph while it heading towards the station, but sped up to 21 mph before hitting the bumper and slamming into the station.
At the time, the signal, train control system and air brake system were all working.
As the investigation continues, many passengers are still left with a major questions.
“We haven’t been given any details, so I’d like to know what happened,” said commuter Matt Buzzone. “Hopefully, we can solve why this woman was killed. I’m very curious about that.”
NJ TRANSIT tops the federal list for railroad accidents with 157 in the last five years, according to a data analysis from January 2011 through July 2016 by The Associated Press.
Before the company can resolve safety issues, it had to fix its management gap.
In the first public meeting in more than three months, Steven Santoro was elected executive director of the company many say is operating in financial ruin.
“There are certainly challenges we face going forward,” he said.
Stephen Burkert, chairman of the conductor’s union, said he wishes Santoro well.
“He’s walking into a tough situation,” he said.
NJ TRANSIT spokesperson Jennifer Nelson said now trains will be traveling at 5 mph as they approach the station.
“I think that any steps that we make toward safety is going to be an improvement for folks and people should expect to see a renewed focus on situations such like that,” Nelson told 1010 WINS’ John Montone after giving reporters a tour of the station Monday.
NJ TRANSIT says it is working towards installing positive train control, a system that has been federally mandated to be in place on all railroads by 2018.