Railroads Seek to Install Cameras to Watch Crews

August 23, 2013

At least two major U.S. freight railroads are seeking to install cameras in their locomotives to make sure crews are following rules and avoiding cellphone use.

Union Pacific filled a court action this week asking a federal judge to declare that it has the authority to install the cameras under the railroad’s labor agreements. Kansas City Southern railroad won a similar lawsuit last month over the objections of labor unions.

Installing the inward-facing cameras to monitor crews was recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board after the 2008 collision of a Metrolink commuter train and a Union Pacific train in southern California that killed 25 and injured more than 100.

Metrolink did install cameras after that crash, which was blamed on a distracted Metrolink engineer sending text messages.

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