Riding on a train is, statistically, much safer than driving a car. But that does not mean that nothing ever goes wrong on New Jersey rail lines. Here are some of the deadliest train accidents in New Jersey across the last century.
- 1904 – A chartered Erie Railroad train from Hoboken to Greenwood Lake stopped near a water tower in Midvale (now Wanaque). No signal was sent to warn other trains that the Erie Railroad train was stopped. Another train smashed into the rear of the special, killing 17 people and injuring 40.
- 1906 – Due to an error in the operation of a drawbridge, three train cars derailed near Atlantic City and tumbled into a creek. Fifty-three people died.
- 1911 – In Martin’s Creek near the Delaware River, an excursion train headed to Washington, D.C. hit an oil tank on the Pennsylvania Railroad, which coated the cars in oil. As the locomotive and four cars fell, fires broke out, killing 12 people and injuring 50.
- 1922 – An express train from Atlantic City to Philadelphia derailed after a tower operator mistakenly sent it onto the wrong track. Most of the train fell down a steep embankment, killing seven and injuring 89.
- 1925 – A special Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Train headed to New York through Rockport derailed due to a clogged track switch. It fell down an embankment and rail cars crushed the locomotive, which spewed hot gas into the cars, scalding the occupants. Fifty people died.
- 1942 – A New York-bound Hudson and Manhattan train, speeding as it entered a station, jumped the tracks. The engineer was found to have been intoxicated at the time of the accident. Five people died and 217 were injured.
- 1951 – The deadliest train crash in New Jersey history occurred when a train called the “Broker” hit a temporary track at twice the speed limit that the track was able to handle. The train slid down an embankment and was torn to pieces. Eighty-five people died and 345 were injured.
- 1958 – A train plunged off the Newark Bay drawbridge after speeding through a red signal. Forty-eight people died.
- 1982 – Five teenage boys tampered with a track switch in Fair Lawn, causing a train to plow into a pasta factory. The engineer died.
- 1996 – Two trains in Secaucus sideswiped one another after one ran a red signal. Three people died and 168 were injured. This accident led to calls by the National Transportation Safety Board for positive train control systems to be implemented on all trains.
- 2016 – The deadly crash in a Hoboken terminal happened when a train crashed through the barrier at the end of the tracks. A woman walking through the station was killed and 108 people were injured. It is suspected that sleep apnea contributed to the accident.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a train accident, speak to one of our personal injury attorneys.