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9/5/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Cameras could lessen KCS' crossing litigation; more fluid terminals ramp up railroad's service


On Sept. 9 and 10, Kansas City Southern plans to install video cameras and Operation Lifesaver logos on two locomotives in Shreveport, La., as part of a pilot program to determine the cameras' effectiveness in recording grade-crossing incidents.


KCS officials believe employees acted responsibly, and crossings met or exceeded government regulations in a vast majority of past lawsuits involving train, and automobile and pedestrian collisions, according to a prepared statement.


The program is designed to reduce lawsuits stemming from crossing incidents by recording incidents as they happen — possibly deterring motorists and pedestrians from bypassing gates to cross tracks.


KCS plans in the fourth quarter to analyze pilot test results and decide if it'll install cameras on additional locomotives next year.


Meanwhile, the railroad also is trying to relieve congestion in the area caused by its recent cutover to the Management Control System computerized operating platform.


Between Aug. 30 and Sept. 3, KCS reduced its Shreveport terminal train backlog from 1,000 cars sitting for more than 48 hours to 550, and Meridian, Miss., terminal backlog from 800 cars to 450, by speeding yard inspections.


By easing terminal congestion, the railroad has been able to improve on-time originations and locomotive availability.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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