Metrolink to Install Cameras in Train Engines

Video cameras will be installed in Metrolink train engines to avoid a repeat of the deadly Chatsworth crash, under a contract approved today by the agency's board of directors.

The board voted unanimously to award a nearly $975,000 contract to Railhead Vision Systems, a division of Chicago-based Railhead Corp., to install forward- and inward-looking video cameras in Metrolink's locomotives.

The cameras are intended to act as a "second set of eyes" for the Metrolink system. The move is one of several safety upgrades planned for the system following the head-on train collision in September that claimed 25 lives.

"These cameras will prevent the kinds of tragedies visited upon Los Angeles last year," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "Metrolink's vote of approval today ensures the continued safety of Los Angeles rail commuters."

Metrolink officials first announced plans to install cameras amid an National Transportation Safety Board probe into the Chatsworth wreck.

Investigators determined the engineer was texting shortly before the crash, in violation of Metrolink rules.

Union officials opposed the move, citing privacy concerns.

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Installation of the cameras is set to begin in 30 days and is to be completed by early September.

The agency is also planning to install a more costly technology that would automatically stop trains in an emergency.

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