New cameras on the front and back of Caltrains won't prevent suicides, but could protect train engineers and provide valuable information for investigators after a death on the track, according to transit agencies that already use them.
"It's certainly going to give us more information about what the engineer sees and that includes the fatalities on the right of way," Dunn said. "Maybe if there's a place where we have an ongoing problem with this, [the cameras] will give us another way of tracking that down." Southern California's Metrolink installed cameras on its trains two years ago, after a collision between a Metrolink train and Union Pacific train killed 25 people. Investigators found the train engineer was texting at the time of the crash.
Metrolink paid Railhead Corp. to install cameras inside train control rooms to monitor engineers; it installed outward-facing cameras – like those Caltrain is now considering – at the same time.
"Any time something tragic happens, everyone wants to do everything they can to prevent it in the future," said Metrolink spokeswoman Sherita Coffelt. "These are steps we can take to reduce the chances of these incidents."