New Jersey

Dozens of NJ Transit Engineers Were Diagnosed With Sleep Apnea, Agency Says

What to Know

  • Last year, a commuter train slammed into Hoboken Station at double the 10 mph speed limit, killing a woman and injuring dozens of others
  • The engineer in that crash suffered from undiagnosed sleep apnea, according to officials
  • NJ Transit made changes to its sleep apnea screening process; hundreds of its engineers were screened

More than 40 New Jersey Transit train engineers were sidelined after testing imposed in the wake of a deadly rail crash found that they suffered from sleep apnea, the agency said Wednesday following mandates instituted after the deadly crash in Hoboken last year. 

NJ Transit made changes to its sleep apnea screening process, in place since 2005, after the September 2016 crash at Hoboken Terminal.

The agency screened 373 engineers for sleep disorders over the past year — 57 of those engineers were referred to for a sleep study. Of the 57 engineers, 44 were diagnosed with sleep apnea and were taken out of service until they could be cleared by a doctor or treated, the agency said. (The 13 other engineers were found to not have sleep disorders.)

As of Wednesday, only two of the engineers remained sidelined, according to NJ Transit. 

In September 2016, a train slammed into Hoboken Station, killing a woman and injuring more than 100 people. The National Transportation Safety Board found the engineer of that train suffered from sleep apnea.

MTA, which governs Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road and New York City Transit is in the process of testing 20,000 of its employees. In late September, the MTA said half of those employees had been screened and 20 percent were flagged for being at risk. 

Earlier this year, the federal government pulled back from mandating sleep apnea testing for railroad workers and truck drivers, but new legislation has been introduced to mandate that once again. 

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