...so it might as well be me.
Why is Hoboken Terminal still closed?
The derailment occurred on the morning of September 29, on train shed track 5. My NJ Transit System Timetable No. 4 Special Instructions GO 401, effective 1201 AM, April 4, 2009-- a bit out of date I admit--special instruction ME 613-1, identifies Tracks 1-17 as train shed tracks.
My NJ Transit Rail Operations Physical Characteristics TRO-7/TRO-8, 2005--even more out of date--show tracks 1-14 as being within the footprint of Hoboken Station Train Shed.
The same track chart shows interlocking routes available to access these tracks
So why is Hoboken Terminal still closed; preventing NJ Transit from providing an essential, and safer than cars, buses, limousines, service?
We know the interlocking was not affected by the derailment.
We know that no anomalies in track or signals contributed to this derailment. The NTSB has told us that.
We know that there is no systemic fault and risk to the public with the rolling stock involved in this derailment. The same types of equipment are providing service to Seacaucus and other locations.
We know that there is no systemic flaw and risk to the public in the operation of this equipment by NJ Transit crews. They are operating trains safely.
We know there is no systemic flaw or risk to the public in the oversight, supervision, management of the rail operation by NJ Transit Rail Operations officers. We know that because only a single train derailed on a single track, operated by a single engineer, on a single day, and because those same officers are overseeing operations in all other locations safely.
I know that too because I know the NJ Transt Rail Operations officers.
Is it impossible to separate and secure the derailment site from the rest of the station? No.
Is it impossible to provide safe routes for passenger movement to and from trains? No.
Does the movement of trains on any train shed track create vibration sufficient enough to dislodge debris and impinge the investigation into this accident?
Here's how we handle that: we restrict those recovery efforts to off-peak, post-peak, late night hours, just as we would restrict any construction work in the terminal.
Short version: The investigation is not the critical effort necessary for public safety, because we know there is no systemic fault underlying this isolated incident. So let's truly isolate the incident.
Restoring rail service, a service much safer than travel by automobile, is the critical factor.
So why is Hoboken closed?
October 4, 2016