Monday, October 05, 2009

L.A. Metrolink pioneers inward-facing locomotive cameras

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Metrolink Board Chairman Keith Millhouse said that the Southern California commuter rail agency will activate inward- and outward-facing video cameras in all of its locomotives this week. He said Metrolink will become the nation's first railroad system to install inward-facing cameras "to record the control panels and human activities inside the locomotive cab."

The new Locomotive Digital Video Recorder (LDVR) System includes two cameras facing inward and one facing outward. The system also captures ambient audio transmissions associated with the visual images.

 All cameras and audio devices in each of the system's 52 locomotives will be activated between October 7 and 12. LDVRs will also be included in the 57 new Crash Energy Management-equipped lead passenger cars that 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 Millhouse. "No other rail system in America uses inward-facing cameras to protect its passengers and employees. Use of this digital technology is another important step in our multi-faceted program to reduce the risk of accidents or incidents along our rail corridors and to provide an exceptional safety environment for our passengers and crews."

"Inward-facing cameras will help to prevent accidents and ensure that the highest level of safety is provided to the 43,000 commuters who depend on Metrolink every day," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "I applaud the Metrolink Board for their decisive action to implement this crucial safety equipment quickly and efficiently."