NHSL trains collide at 69th Street Station, 42 injured

All 42 people on board a SEPTA Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) train were injured when it crashed early Tuesday morning at the 69th Street Station. 

The train collided with an empty train already stopped at the platform a little bit past midnight. 

SEPTA spokeswoman Heather Redfern said the operator of the train was also injured in the crash.  She said four of the people were seriously hurt, but they are not considered life-threatening.

SEPTA expects only minor delays on the NHSL, with trains operating every 20 minutes. NHSL trains usually run every 12-15 minutes.  Express service has been canceled. 

While emergency vehicles were all around the scene after the crash which happened a little after midnight, by 3 a.m. the terminal in Upper Darby, Del. County looked normal for the overnight hours. Investigators on the scene declined to speak with a reporter. 

A passenger told CBS Philly that the train on its way to 69th St. had overshot a few stations and had to back up to pick up passengers.  

This is the second train collision at 69th Street Station in the last year. In February, a Market-Frankford Line train collided with another in the station’s rail yard. Only one person, the operator of one of the trains, reported injuries. Those trains operate on completely separate tracks.

Despite the pair of incidents this year, train crashes remain relatively rare, especially compared to automobile crashes. In Delaware County alone, there were 5001 car crashes reported in 2016, leading to 2428 injuries and 29 fatalities. 

SEPTA accident inspectors look over the NHSL train that crashed into another at 69th Street
SEPTA accident inspectors look over the NHSL train that crashed into the train in front of it at 69th Street. The damage appeared minimal. (Jim Saksa/WHYY)

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