Amtrak to install long-sought cameras in locomotives

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Amtrak Derailment: Was the Train Engineer Texting?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Amtrak said Tuesday it will install video cameras inside locomotive cabs to record the actions of train engineers, a move that follows a deadly derailment earlier this month in which investigators are searching for clues to the train engineer's actions before the crash.

The Amtrak engineer, Brendan Bostian, suffered a head injury in the accident and has told investigators he can't remember what happened. Northeast Regional train 188 accelerated to a speed of 106 miles per hour in the last minute before entering a curve where it derailed. The speed limit for the curve is 50 mph. The crash left eight people dead and about 200 injured.

The train was equipped with a "black box" data recorder and an outward-facing camera focused on the track ahead, but neither of those devices reveals what was happening inside the cab.

17 PHOTOS
Amtrak reopening northeast corridor, low attendance
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Amtrak to install long-sought cameras in locomotives
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 18: Travelers approach a gate to board an Acela Express Train at Union Station May 18, 2015 in Washington, DC. Amtrak has restored its normal service on the Northeast Corridor this morning, five days after the tragic derailment of Northeast Regional Train 188 in Philadelphia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: A passenger sleeps as she rides the first Amtrak northbound service from 30th Street Station, on a 5:53am departing train, after last week's derailment, on May 18, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eight people were killed and more than 200 others were injured in the train crash, carrying more than 200 passengers from Washington, DC to New York, on May 12, 2015 in north Philadelphia. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: Fred and Sue Willison, traveling through the United States, from Perth, Australia, await their northbound Amtrak train which resumed service from 30th Street Station with a 5:53am departing train, after last week's derailment, on May 18, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eight people were killed and more than 200 others were injured in the train crash, carrying more than 200 passengers from Washington, DC to New York, on May 12, 2015 in north Philadelphia. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: A man gazes out the window as he rides the first Amtrak northbound service from 30th Street Station on a 5:53am departing train, after last week's derailment, on May 18, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eight people were killed and more than 200 others were injured in the train crash, carrying more than 200 passengers from Washington, DC to New York, on May 12, 2015 in north Philadelphia. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: A police officer and dog stand beside a notice board at 30th Street Station listing the 5:53am first train as Amtrak resumes northbound service, after last week's derailment, on May 18, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eight people were killed and more than 200 others were injured in the train crash, carrying more than 200 passengers from Washington, DC to New York, on May 12, 2015 in north Philadelphia. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: A conductor signals to a fellow conductor before departure as Amtrak resumes northbound service from 30th Street Station with a 5:53am departing train, after last week's derailment, on May 18, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eight people were killed and more than 200 others were injured in the train crash, carrying more than 200 passengers from Washington, DC to New York, on May 12, 2015 in north Philadelphia. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: A woman waits in line to purchase a ticket for the 5:53am train journey towards New York City, the first northbound service since the Amtrak derailment, on May 18, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eight people were killed and more than 200 others were injured in the train crash, carrying more than 200 passengers from Washington, DC to New York, on May 12, 2015 in north Philadelphia. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 18: Amtrak Train 111, which was the first Northeast Regional train out of New York City at 5:30 am this morning, arrives at Union Station May 18, 2015 in Washington, DC. Amtrak has restored its normal service on the Northeast Corridor this morning, five days after the tragic derailment of Northeast Regional Train 188 in Philadelphia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
11 am #Acella. Decidedly empty. But I'm riding the rails! http://t.co/9tNbM5hGW9
#almost #empty #train #Frankf-AMS #sunny #weather!
Have the train to myself this morning heading toward Philly http://t.co/VahJmeUP2w
Not surprisingly, Amtrak to DC is empty this morning. http://t.co/4CoraRnLtq
Shockingly empty #Amtrak car on a Monday morning. I guess most not ready to ride up front just yet. http://t.co/21LLCLPUk0
Empty platform, empty train this morning in PHL as @amtrak resumes southbound service on NE corridor. #Amtrak188 http://t.co/fMskN9PcfQ
Never seen Penn this empty, esp on Mon morn. #Amtrak northeast corridor service resumes, but few seem willing to ride http://t.co/P2gCojEL6m
Empty @Amtrak train car on the 530am from Penn. http://t.co/UFy4Zl9AES
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The National Transportation Safety Board has been recommending that the Federal Railroad Administration require passenger and freight train cabs to have audio recorders since the late 1990s. They revised that recommendation five years ago to include inward-facing sound and video recorders.

Railroad administration officials say they support use of the cameras. In the past year, the agency has told the NTSB that it intends to propose regulations requiring the cameras. However, no regulations have been proposed and it typically takes federal agencies many months, if not years, to move from proposals to final regulations.

Joseph Boardman, the railroad's president and CEO, said Amtrak has supported efforts by a railroad administration safety advisory committee made up of industry and labor representatives to come up with standards for the cameras. The committee has yet to issue recommendations.

"We've been supporting it all the way along," he told reporters in a telephone briefing. "It's just a matter of working out some of those details. ... There may be some adjustments we have to make later down the road, but I think it's time to do it and I'm doing it."

Besides accident investigations, Amtrak will review the recordings to monitor engineers' actions, Boardman said.

Unions representing engineers at Amtrak and other passenger and freight railroads have generally opposed use of the cameras. As recently as 2012, railroad administration officials had also opposed requiring the cameras, telling NTSB they were concerned the cameras might lower employee morale and the images might be used punitively by railroads.

Officials for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cameras will first be installed in 70 new Amtrak locomotives that will power all Northeast Regional and long-distance trains between Washington, New York and Boston, as well as Keystone Service between New York, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Most of those locomotives will be equipped with the cameras before the end of the year, and the rest by sometime this spring, Boardman told reporters in a telephone briefing.

Amtrak is developing a plan for installation of cameras in the rest of its locomotive fleet, including Acela Express locomotives, but no time table has been set for those installations. The railroad has about 300 locomotives nationwide.

It's not unusual for engineers to be killed in train crashes, or to be seriously injured and not remember details clearly. The NTSB first recommended requiring audio recordings of sound in locomotive cabs following a 1996 collision between commuter train and an Amtrak train in Silver Spring, Maryland. None of the commuter train's operating crew members survived, and the board was unable to determine their actions leading up to the crash.

The recommendation was revised to include video cameras with sound in 2010 as the board wrapped up its investigation into one of the worst train collisions in memory - a Metrolink commuter train that failed to obey signals and collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train near Chatsworth, California. Twenty-five people were killed, including the Metrolink engineer, and over 100 injured in the 2008 crash.

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Follow Joan Lowy on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AP-Joan-Lowy

67 PHOTOS
Amtrak train crash, derailment, Philadelphia
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Amtrak to install long-sought cameras in locomotives
Amtrak assistant conductor Brandon Bostian stands by on Aug. 21, 2007 as Sandra Palmer of University City says goodbye to her boyfriend, Clyde Simpson, as he leaves for work in Chicago at the Amtrak station in St. Louis. Bostian was the engineer of the Amtrak train that derailed in Philadelphia. (Huy Richard Mach/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 13: Investigators and first responders work near the wreckage of an Amtrak passenger train carrying more than 200 passengers from Washington, DC to New York that derailed late last night May 13, 2015 in north Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At least five people were killed and more than 50 others were injured in the crash. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 14: Members of the National Transportation Safety Board gather near the site of the Amtrak train derailment May 14, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Service has been interrupted after an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night killing at least seven people and injured more than 200. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 13: Repair crews inspect damages at the site of a train derailment accident May 13, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Service has been interrupted after an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia last night, killing at least seven people and injured more than 200. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, center right, hugs Lori Dee Patterson, a nearby resident, after she handed him a cup of coffee after he spoke at a news conference near the scene of a deadly train derailment, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, killing at least six people and injuring dozens more. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
In this aerial photo, emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train wreck, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Philadelphia. Federal investigators arrived Wednesday to determine why an Amtrak train jumped the tracks in a wreck that killed at least six people, and injured dozens. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 13: Investigators and first responders work near the wreckage of Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188, from Washington to New York, that derailed yesterday May 13, 2015 in north Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At least six people were killed and more than 200 others were injured in the crash. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 13: In this handout image supplied by NTSB, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt works on the scene of the Amtrak Train #188 derailment on May 13, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Service has been interrupted after Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia last night, killing at least seven people and injured more than 200. (Photo by NTSBgov via Getty Images)
National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt speaks at a news conference near the scene of a deadly Amtrak train wreck, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Philadelphia. Sumwalt said Wednesday that the train was traveling at 106 mph when the engineer hit the brakes Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
National Transportation Safety Board lead investigator Robert Sumwalt speaks during a press conference regarding the wreckage of the derailed Amtrak Northeast Regional Train in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 13, 2015. The engineer of a US passenger train traveling at more than twice the approved limit slammed on the emergency brakes just before it derailed in Philadelphia, leaving at least seven people dead, investigators said. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 13: Investigators and first responders work near the wreckage of Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188, from Washington to New York, that derailed yesterday May 13, 2015 in north Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At least six people were killed and more than 200 others were injured in the crash. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 13: Investigators and first responders work near the wreckage of an Amtrak passenger train carrying more than 200 passengers from Washington, DC to New York that derailed late last night May 13, 2015 in north Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At least five people were killed and more than 50 others were injured in the crash. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Rescuers work around derailed carriages of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 13, 2015. Rescuers on May 13 combed through the mangled wreckage of a derailed train in Philadelphia after an accident that left at least six dead, as the difficult search for possible survivors continued. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Emergency personnel walk near the scene of a deadly train wreck, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train derailment, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Philadelphia. The Amtrak train, headed to New York City, derailed and crashed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, killing at least six people and injuring dozens of others. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Rescuers stand near a derailed carriage of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 13, 2015. Rescuers on May 13 combed through the mangled wreckage of a derailed train in Philadelphia after an accident that left at least six dead, as the difficult search for possible survivors continued. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers work around derailed carriages of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 13, 2015. Rescuers on May 13 combed through the mangled wreckage of a derailed train in Philadelphia after an accident that left at least six dead, as the difficult search for possible survivors continued. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers queue infront of ticketing counters at Union Station on May 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. Rescuers on Wednesday combed through the mangled wreckage of a derailed train in Philadelphia after an accident that left at least six dead, as the difficult search for possible survivors continued. Witnesses said the front of Amtrak Train 188, heading from Washington DC to New York, shook as it went into a turn and crashed at about 9:30 pm on Tuesday (0130 GMT Wednesday). AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Information screen showing cancelled train services at the Union Station on May 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. Service has been interrupted after Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia last night, killing at least six people and injured more than 140. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Injured Amtrak passengers that were bused from to New York from Philadelphia wait at Penn Station May 13, 2015 in New York. Rescuers on Wednesday combed through the mangled wreckage of a derailed train in Philadelphia after an accident that left at least six dead, as the difficult search for possible survivors continued. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers injured in an Amtrak train derailment who were bused from to New York from Philadelphia, walk through Penn Station May 13, 2015 in New York. Rescuers on Wednesday combed through the mangled wreckage of a derailed train in Philadelphia after an accident that left at least six dead, as the difficult search for possible survivors continued. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Carolan Berkeley (L), who had an Amtrak ticket to go from New York to Washington D.C., waits for a bus from New York to Washington D.C. on May 13, 2015 in New York City. An Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia last night has forced train service to be suspended between New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C., causing commuters to use NJ Transit, flights and bus services. The crash killed at least six people and injured dozens more. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Emergency personnel work the scene of a deadly train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and tipped in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
A crime scene investigator looks inside a train car after a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
An Amtrak train crashed Tuesday, May 12, 2015, near Philadelphia. Train 188 was traveling from Washington to New York City. (AP Photo/Paul Cheung)
Emergency personnel work the scene of a deadly train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
Emergency personnel help a passenger at the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
Emergency personnel help a passenger at the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and tipped over in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
Emergency personnel work the scene of a deadly train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
Emergency personnel work the scene of a deadly train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and tipped over in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
Emergency personnel help a passenger at the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
Emergency personnel help passengers at the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)
Emergency personnel work the scene of a deadly train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and tipped over in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
A passenger from an Amtrak train that crashed is helped Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. Train 188 was traveling from Washington to New York City. (AP Photo/Paul Cheung)
Passengers of an Amtrak train that crashed gather Tuesday, May 12, 2015, near Philadelphia. Train 188 was traveling from Washington to New York City. (AP Photo/Paul Cheung)
This photo provided by WCAU NBC10 shows an Amtrak train that crashed Tuesday, May 12, 2015, near Philadelphia. Train 188 was traveling from Washington to New York City. (WCAU NBC10 via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
A passenger is carried following an Amtrak train crash Tuesday, May 12, 2015, near Philadelphia. Train 188 was traveling from Washington to New York City. (AP Photo/Paul Cheung)
My train crashed
Emergency personnel transport a person at the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
This photo provided by WCAU NBC10 shows an Amtrak train that crashed Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. Train 188 was traveling from Washington to New York City. (WCAU NBC10 via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Officers gather at the scene of a train crash Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Paul Cheung)
Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Emergency personal transport a victim at the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Officers gather at the scene of a train crash Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Paul Cheung)
Emergency personnel transport a person at the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
http://t.co/GvooK8lq58
Im on @Amtrak train that just crashed. Im ok. Helping others. Pray for those injured.
@Amtrak @msnbc @NBCNews pray for these passengers. http://t.co/mksZNy7eqo
Amtrak Northeast Regional crashes, was en route to NYC http://t.co/Faz7G48nbf http://t.co/XoLgkdBnHY
#BREAKING - At least 50 hurt in Amtrak derailment in Philly. Live video here: http://t.co/btWPTtn6HM
Multiple injuries reported after Amtrak train #188 from DC to NYC derails in #Philadelphia. Several cars overturned. http://t.co/mHFbLOv3to
Lot's of injuries at the #amtrak derailment. #Pray http://t.co/DADBYAqojg
#Amtrak crash: 50+ people injured http://t.co/IpNb3bkIzp
Amtrak train derailment. http://t.co/fAwU7MFrZC
Live picture of the triage center at 2400 Wheatsheaf for the Amtrak derailment. http://t.co/JL2XuYZfob
EMT helping survivors taking them to the hospital #amtrak #philly http://t.co/SfyFJJjNqO
FBI: nothing indicates that #Amtrak derailment linked to terrorist attack http://t.co/P2as9zyu2S
Video I took moments after crash. People trying to open the door and get off the train. http://t.co/fJ2bxXfmhG
Photos from tonight's Amtrak derailment in Port Richmond http://t.co/DIv1xCk5YU http://t.co/ZzJqcOYPGU
As Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, left, and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, right, listen Amtrak CEO, Joseph Boardman expresses his sorrow near the site of a deadly train derailment Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night killing eight people and and sending more than 200 passengers and crew to area hospitals. Investigators have said the Amtrak passenger train was going more than twice the allowed speed when it shot off a sharp curve. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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