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As Christie Hounds Amtrak, N.J. Transit Safety Fines Mount

  • Inspectors cite worn Hoboken switch, no brakes on idle trains
  • Similar conditions caused fatalities, derailments around U.S.
A New Jersey Transit train arrives at Pennsylvania Station in Newark.
Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg
Updated on

Fresh details of safety lapses are emerging at New Jersey’s beleaguered mass-transit agency even as Governor Chris Christie deflects blame and excoriates Amtrak, the national railroad, for mishaps and riders face upheaval.

In Hoboken, a major hub for New York-bound commuters, a “worn and chipped” track switch remained in use more than three months after it was identified, according to documents that New Jersey Transit provided after a public-records request. The faulty part, cited as a possible cause of a minor two-car derailment in 2014, endangered “thousands of commuters” a day, a Federal Railroad Administration inspector wrote.