PATH derailment witness recount
It turns out that Hoboken411 reader “Bryan227” was on the PATH train that derailed yesterday, and he shares his experience below:
Stopped dead in its tracks
“My wife and I were on the 5:25 PATH leaving Hoboken for 33rd Street. After about a minute or so, the train came to a screeching halt, like when someone slams on the brakes. After a minute or two of investigation (and they did announce that it was a potential mechanical issue), they tried to go again, but they moved forward an inch and stopped again. I could hear over the conductor walkie-talkies that they thought there had been a derailment.
The conductor from the front of the train came out of his booth (I was sitting in the first car) and went towards the back to help. After sitting there for about 20 minutes, they announced that the train was now out of service and that we were going to be escorted to a rescue train. Basically, everyone had to walk to the back of the train where we walked out of the last car and directly onto another PATH train that went back to the Hoboken station. As we walked back, we could clearly see that the train had stopped at the Y in the tracks (where it splits between NYC and Pavonia), so we knew there was no way for any trains to get into or out of Hoboken.
When we got back to the station, there were no passengers waiting on the platform, so apparently everyone had been informed that service was stopped. A PATH police officer came on board the train and immediately asked if anyone was injured or needed medical assistance. He then asked for names, dates of birth and telephone numbers for the report. We gave our information although some people refused to do so. We were told by the conductor that we couldn’t get off the train (and the doors wouldn’t open) until everyone had given their information (or politely refused to give it). However, a second, third and fourth officers came on the train and asked for the same information even though we had already given it to the first guy. These officers were a little less friendly than the first officer, and gave us a hard time when we said that we had already given our information to the first officer. When he said it was a precaution to make sure the information was properly provided in case we wanted to file a lawsuit, well then that was when I decided to give my name one more time just in case…
The only other way to get into Manhattan was via the ferry at the Hoboken Terminal. The line was ridiculously long at the ferry as they have no automated machines and there was only one person in the booth. Some people easily waited 30 minutes to buy a ferry ticket (of course, no PATH personnel were ever available to provide comp tickets or even offer assistance – when we got off the PATH train, there wasn’t a PATH official in sight).
All told, the 15 minute PATH ride ended up taking us over an hour and a half, but at least no one was hurt…”