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Rail News Home Communication and Signal

8/10/2004



Rail News: Communication and Signal

BNSF to test locomotive cameras for two months



After studying forward-mounted locomotive cameras for most of the year, Burlington Northern Santa Fe officials are ready to enter the testing stage. By next week, the Class I plans to install the video equipment on six GE Transportation DASH 9 locomotives to determine whether cameras can aid investigations of grade-crossing and train/pedestrian accidents.

After the 60-day trial, BNSF officials will decide if the railroad should install the cameras on lead-qualified locomotives systemwide.

Mounted on a locomotive cab's windshield, the 3-inch diameter cameras are pointed down to record the track ahead. The cameras include a microphone to record exterior sounds, such as locomotive horns and bells.

Each camera is designed to record images and sound for about 18 days. BNSF officials can download and view the recordings to confirm the proper operation of warning devices and monitor motorists' behavior at crossings.

Norfolk Southern Railway has used similar cameras for several years and has installed the equipment on about 1,000 locomotives. Other Class Is and some short lines also are using or testing locomotive cameras.


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