Amtrak Installing In-Cab Cameras
Ten days after the Federal Railroad Administration ordered the company to take several actions to improve safety in the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak announced May 26 it will install inward-facing cameras in its Northeast Corridor locomotives.
Following the May 12 high-speed derailment of a train near Philadelphia, resulting in seven deaths, Amtrak announced May 26 it will install inward-facing video cameras in its locomotives along its busy Northeast Corridor routes. Ten days earlier, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) had ordered the company to take several actions to improve safety in the corridor, including activating automatic train control technology for northbound trains and analyzing the risks presented by all curves in the corridor and install technology to prevent over-speed derailments where the speed limits just prior to entering a curve are significantly higher than in the curve itself.
The video cameras will be in place in the fleet of ACS-64 locomotives serving the Northeast Corridor by the end of 2015, and all subsequently delivered locomotives will have the equipment installed before they enter service, the company announced.
"Inward-facing video cameras will help improve safety and serve as a valuable investigative tool,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. “We have tested these cameras and will begin installation as an additional measure to enhance safety."
Amtrak announced it also is developing a plan for installation of inward-facing cameras in the rest of its locomotive fleet, including Acela Express power cars and diesel locomotives. The passenger railroad already has outward-facing cameras on locomotives.
According to Amtrak, cameras will be installed first in 70 locomotives that move trains on the Washington-to-Boston corridor and between New York, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg, Pa.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, called the move a "safety milestone" but also urged FRA to mandate inward-facing cameras in the cabs of all locomotives on U.S. railroads nationwide.