Call For A Consultation (202) 644-8303
Our Blogs

Amtrak Officials Announce Installation of Cameras to Record Train Engineers

By: Allan M. Siegel

Following the tragic train accident in Philadelphia earlier this month, Amtrak officials have announced that they will install video cameras to record the actions of train engineers. The move comes as investigators continue their search for what caused May 12th’s deadly derailment, which resulted in 8 deaths and over 200 injuries. Amtrak Train Lawyer

Although Northeast Regional Train 188 was outfitted with a black box data recorder and a camera focused on the track ahead - both of which investigators are using to piece together what happened - neither forms of evidence shed light on what took place inside the cab. They also fail to provide information about the actions of train engineer Brendan Bostian. Bostian experienced a head injury in the crash and has stated he cannot remember what took place.

Here are some details about the cameras:

  • Amtrak plans to install the cameras in 70 new Amtrak trains that will run throughout the northeast region of the country, including trains traveling between Boston, New York, and Washington, DC. Officials have stated most of these new trains will be outfitted with the cameras before the end of the year.
  • Amtrak has yet to provide a timeline for outfitting its entire fleet with cameras (Amtrak has roughly 300 locomotives across the country). Officials said they will be creating a plan to install train cab cameras in remaining locomotives.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been in support of installing train cab cameras for some time. Following the 1996 Amtrak derailment in Silver Spring, Maryland, which was caused by the negligence of the crew - the NTSB made its first recommendation to require audio recording devices in cabs. Our firm is very familiar with this case, and successfully represented a client injured in the crash.

Although installing cameras is a step toward reducing risks and protecting passengers, it is unfortunate that preventative measures like cameras and Positive Train Control (PTC) are too often implemented after a tragedy - or even multiple tragedies - occur. Nonetheless, our firm is hopeful they will help eliminate preventable injuries and death.

As a firm with extensive experience handling train accidents, Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has been closely following the Philadelphia Amtrak derailment and all developments. We are also available to help victims and families who suffered harm in incident. Contact us today to speak with attorney.