Equip Trains with Safety Cameras (Lawmakers)

If several area lawmakers have their way, trains nationwide would be fitted with surveillance cameras that would record what the train engineer does and the track ahead.  Sen. Charles Schumer of New York and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut joined in a news conference at Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal on December 8 to make the proposal, according to reporting by Verena Dobnik of the Associated Press (reported in the Star-Ledger, Dec. 9).  Grand Central Terminal was the destination of the ill-fated Metro-North Railroad commuter train that crashed on December 1, killing 4 passengers and injuring many more.  Engineer inattention has been cited as a likely cause.  Proposals for surveillance cameras were first recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board 5 years ago.  Sen. Schumer said that engineer fatigue was also suspected in 2 other collisions, in Iowa in 2011 and in Massachusetts in 2008.  It was not made clear as to how cameras would help solve the problem of train-operator fatigue.  Any such regulation would have to be issued by the Federal Railroad Administration.