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Metrolink engineers sue over train cameras

October 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The union representing Metrolink engineers filed lawsuits in federal and superior courts in Los Angeles Tuesday to block the use of video cameras on the commuter rail authority's trains.The cameras were installed following a deadly collision in Chatsworth between a commuter train and a freight train in September 2008. That crash left 25 people dead. Investigators say the engineer at the helm was text-messaging seconds before the two trains collided.

But the engineers' union, The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, calls the cameras an invasion of privacy. It is calling for a cell phone jamming device instead.

Metrolink activated the cameras earlier this month.

"Metrolink is disappointed that the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen has taken this action instead of supporting our efforts to advance the safety of passenger train service," the rail authority said in a statement released to Eyewitness News Tuesday. "This program is a vital piece of Metrolink's safety program and was undertaken with the goal of enhancing the safety of our passengers and Metrolink and contractors employees."

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