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Rail News: Communication and Signal

BNSF to install cameras on 350 locomotives by year end

During the past few months, BNSF Railway Co. has begun taking delivery of locomotives equipped with forward-facing video cameras from GE Transportation-Rail.

By year end, the railroad plans to take delivery of 100 new locomotives — as well as retrofit 250 existing units — with the cameras, which are designed to help investigations of grade crossing and train/pedestrian accidents, and improve safety.

Mounted inside the cab’s windshield and pointed down at the track ahead, the cameras record events from the locomotive engineer’s viewpoint. The cameras are synchronized with the locomotive event recorder and record about 70 hours. An external microphone records sounds, such as the locomotive whistle and bell.

BNSF managers can download audio and video recordings to analyze crossing warning devices’ operation and motorists’ behavior.

In August 2004, the Class I installed cameras on six GE Dash 9 locomotives to test the technology, and determine specifications and requirements for locomotive-mounted video cameras.

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More News from 5/16/2005