Amtrak to Install Cameras for Locomotive Engineers

In the wake of a deadly derailment in Philadelphia, officials with Amtrak have announced plans to install cameras to view the actions of train engineers as they operate locomotives.

Cameras will be installed on 70 new trains currently on order and 48 existing locomotives that travel along the Northeast Corridor to and from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

The cameras are designed to reduce the possibility of operator error in train crashes and derailments.

It comes after a derailment in Philadelphia killed eight passengers earlier this month. The black boxes revealed that the train sped up to 106 miles per hour as it entered a 50 miles per hour zone. When interviewed, the train's operator said he didn't remember any details of the crash.

U.S. Sun. Richard Blumenthal applauded Amtrak's announcement Tuesday.

"It has become crystal clear that inward-facing cameras – with the right privacy protections for employees – are a critical way to make our railroads safer," Blumenthal said in a statement.

Jim Cameron with the Commuter Action Group said "it's about time" cameras be positioned in the cabin wear the operator is working.

"Airlines have had this technology for decades and I think it’s high time that Amtrak and Metro-North both do the same thing," Cameron said. "We need to see what’s happening inside the cockpit, if you will, of the train. We need to be able to watch the person on the train and we need to have an audio recording of what’s going on in there."

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