Home Transit News Passenger Rail NTSB Seeks Video to Document Mysterious Transit Rail Crashes

NTSB Seeks Video to Document Mysterious Transit Rail Crashes

By: Alan Levin

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Train personnel survey the NJ Transit train that crashed in to the platform at the Hoboken Terminal on Sept. 29, in Hoboken. Photographer: Pancho Bernasconi/Getty Images

U.S. safety investigators, frustrated by engineers who can’t recall their actions prior to several recent rail accidents, are seeking crash-proof video recorders on all trains used on transit systems.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday urged the Federal Transit Administration and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to install camera and sound-recording devices that capture images inside as well as outside.

The accident investigation agency has looked at recent rail crashes in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and elsewhere in which engineers either fell asleep, died or said afterward that they couldn’t remember what happened. They include the Sept. 29 crashof a New Jersey Transit Corp. train that slammed into a barrier in a station in Hoboken, killing one person.

The recommendation letter marks the latest attempt by the NTSB to expand the use of video recorders — often seen as controversial by unions and others — to assist their investigations. The issue is on the agency’s Most Wanted List of safety enhancements.

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