More questions after latest Penn Station derailment

and Eyewitness News
Friday, July 07, 2017 06:04PM
Jim Hoffer reports on the continued safety concerns after another train derailed in Penn Station.

NEW YORK - Exclusive pictures show the derailed New Jersey Transit train as a team of Amtrak Supervisors assessed the damage and try to figure out what happened. It is the third derailment in nearly as many months.

"Relatively the same proximity of the other two derailments, but not exactly the same spot," Amtrak Chief Operating Officer Scot Naparstek said.

NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line train number 3276 derailed off track 11 at 31st Street and 7th Avenue at a "slow speed" at around 8:55 p.m. None of the 100 to 150 people on board were injured, and there may not have even been any passengers on the car that derailed.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called for a "full investigation into all potential causes."

The locomotive and car behind it came off the rails as the train rolled slowly through the complex maze of switches and signals known as the interlocking system. Two separate sources tell us that the derailment occurred at a location that had just been repaired and reported fixed Amtrak denies this saying it is scheduled for repair as part of the 8 week track renewal project.

"It was relatively minor as far as infrastructure damage (split) we were able to derail equipment by 2:45 am and repair infrastructure on time for morning peak," Naparstek said.

Just weeks ago, 7 On Your Side Investigates reported that the head of Amtrak received a letter from the union representing track maintenance workers at Penn Station warning that "We believe a state of emergency exists on Amtrak property and that unspeakable tragedy awaits us"

Reporter : It says unspeakable tragedy
Amtrak Engineer : We've had two wrecks in the last two years , how many more before we finally wake up "

Bad track again appears to be at fault since preliminary data from the train's black box recorder indicates the engineer was within the 15 mile per hour speed limit. Despite the slow speed and the scheduled track overhaul, the rash of derailments has commuters not just worried about reliability, but also safety.

The massive Penn Station repair project is slated to begin Monday at Penn Station, as Amtrak reduces the number of available tracks over the next eight weeks.

You can find more information and continuing updates on Penn Station's repairs from Eyewitness News at Also get alerts by downloading our Eyewitness News app.

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