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Anti-trespassing research to focus on Amtrak route in Maine

The Maine Department of Transportation, city of Brunswick and Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) will participate in field research to develop and test new trespass detection and deterrent technology, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced Monday.

The research involves the design, operation and evaluation of a large-scale trespass detection and deterrent system to mitigate trespassing at several high-risk areas along Pan Am Railways' line and Amtrak's Downeaster line in the Brunswick area, FRA and Maine officials said in a press release.

The project will use remote presence detection sensors and secure, wireless cameras at track locations commonly accessed by trespassers. When detecting a person on the tracks, the system will notify the Brunswick Police Department.

"Illegal trespassing is the No. 1 cause of rail-related fatalities in the United States," said Maine Gov. Paul LePage. "We welcome this opportunity to use the latest in technology as a means to reduce or prevent injuries or fatalities and to increase safety for Mainers."

Testing of the devices will help determine their feasibility and effectiveness for trespassing prevention. The three-year research effort is funded by a $200,000 interagency agreement between the FRA and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.

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More News from 9/18/2013