Amtrak Installing Inward-Facing Cameras on ACS-64 Locomotives

NTSB Recorder Specialist Cassandra Johnson works with officials on the scene of the Amtrak Train 188 Derailment in Philadelphia. (NTSB photo)
NTSB Recorder Specialist Cassandra Johnson works with officials on the scene of the Amtrak Train 188 Derailment in Philadelphia. (NTSB photo)

Amtrak said it would install inward-facing cameras on its fleet of ACS-64 locomotives in use on the Northeast Corridor.

The announcement last week that the railroad it is installing cameras by the end of 2015 comes just weeks after New York-bound Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 crashed in Philadelphia, killing eight passengers and injuring dozens.

Amtrak said it will install the cameras first on its fleet of 70 ACS-64 locomotives that pull trains on the Northeast Corridor and Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg, Pa. Amtrak is exploring the installation of cameras in the rest of its locomotive fleet, including Acela Express power cars and diesel locomotives.

“Inward-facing video cameras will help improve safety and serve as a valuable investigative tool,” Amtrak President & CEO Joe Boardman said in a news release. “We have tested these cameras and will begin installation as an additional measure to enhance safety.”

Amtrak has outward-facing cameras on locomotives in addition to what it called “advanced systems that monitor locomotive and engineer actions.” The railroad is also working to install Positive Train Control (PTC), which some believe would have prevented the crash, on this section of the Northeast Corridor by the end of the year, according to media reports.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing June 2 the May 12 wreck. Investigators believe the train was traveling at more than 100 mph at the time of the wreck; the speed limit on the curve where the train derailed was 50 mph.

Investigators also explored whether someone shot at the train before the crash, but did not find evidence of a shooting.

Todd DeFeo
About Todd DeFeo 236 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.