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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Coming soon to Metrolink: Inward-facing locomotive cameras


Yesterday, Metrolink announced plans to soon install and activate inward- and outward-facing video cameras in all locomotives. Metrolink would become the nation’s first rail system to install inward-facing cameras, according to the commuter-rail agency.

To be installed by Railhead Vision System, the Locomotive Digital Video Recorder (LDVR) systems feature three cameras per locomotive: an outward-facing camera to record activity in front of a train and two inward-facing cameras to record control panels and human activities inside a locomotive cab. The LDVR also is designed to capture ambient audio transmissions.

By Oct. 12, Metrolink expects to activate all cameras and audio devices in 52 locomotives. LDVRs also will be installed in 57 new crash energy management-equipped cars Metrolink will place into service in the coming year.

"The installation of video cameras inside the control cabs of our trains will provide a significant deterrent to the type of dangerous and inappropriate activity, including text messaging and unauthorized persons in the cab, revealed during the National Transportation Safety Board's hearing on last fall’s collision," said Metrolink Chairman Keith Millhouse in a prepared statement.

The agency has adopted “stringent” procedures governing the authorized usage, retrieval, preservation and disclosure of LDVR recordings captured by video cameras and audio devices to ensure they’re used only for purposes permitted in policies and procedures, or as required by law, according to Metrolink, which is governed by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/6/2009