Senator: Inward-facing cameras needed on all trains

Richard Thornton /

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said on Tuesday that he's pleased with the announcement that inward-facing cameras would be installed on Amtrak trains in the Northeast Corridor and said such cameras should be installed nationwide.

"This step is a significant milestone for safety – enabling riders to be more secure and railroads to run more reliably," Blumenthal said. "Today’s announcement is important for Amtrak passengers and safety along the Northeast Corridor, but I urge the (Federal Railroad Administration) to act immediately to ensure the installation of inward-facing cameras is mandated on railroads nationwide."

Amtrak's announcement follows the recent derailment outside Philadelphia that killed eight passengers and injured over 200. News reports have indicated that the events that took place in the cab of the train remain unclear, with only train data and engineer actions recorded in a black box and on outward-facing cameras. Engineer Brandon Bostian has said he is unable to recall exactly what happened leading up to the crash.

"It has become crystal clear that inward-facing cameras – with the right privacy protections for employees – are a critical way to make our railroads safer," Blumenthal said. "Cameras improve accident investigations, deter unsafe behavior and detect compliance with safety laws, which is why I have urged their installation as soon as possible."

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