Howcome Videos In Cab Aren't Allowed?

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Turbolag

New Member
I looked back a couple pages and didn't see this topic.

I think I saw in the comments on youtube that cab ride videos are no longer allowed? And that train crew members can't video anymore?

How come this law was passed?

I would love to follow a train enginer Vlog on youtube.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
After it was discovered that an engineer was talking on a cell phone shortly before the train was in an accident, railroads have forbidden the train crews from doing anything that could distract them. Many railroads have installed videos in the cab which record what is happening.

Railroads are reluctant to grant cab rides to non-employees due to our present climate of litigation.
 

Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
Bill has the right answers, but a few more details. FRA rules prohibit crewmembers from using electronic devices of any kind, with exceptions for work related items. So you cannot use a cell phone, camera, etc. You can, of course, use the railroad radio. You can, with some restrictions, use your cell phone to contact the dispatcher on company business. This is done to prevent distractions. Several accidents have been blamed on that, but the one that caused the rule to be passed was a Metrolink collision. More details on that can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chatsworth_train_collision

A passenger would legally be allowed to shoot video if he is not acting as a crewmember. Since you have pretty much no reason to be in the cab of a locomotive, and there are lots of risks, from distracting the crew to, I guess, a terrorist taking over the train if you want to go to extremes. More practically, the railroad gets zero benefit from you being there and lots of risk. Cab rides have pretty much always technically been prohibited or at least restricted, but "back in the day", you could fairly easily talk your way up there. Now it's impossible for all practical purposes. Unless there are unusual circumstances, the employee(s) doing it are quite likely risking their jobs.

Things are different of course on shortlines and tourist railroads. Many tourist railroads allow cab rides, and you can shoot video from the cab.
 

redlynx

Member
Cab rides, at least on BNSF, have always been rare, and are now impossible. Besides the railroad itself for all the reasons Bob has mentioned, the scare mongers at TSA...
 

Turbolag

New Member
Thanks guys for sharing the info.

That's a bummer.

I like watching the cab ride videos on youtube.

A lot of times I see a cab ride video and it just shows the outside view.

How come a lot of videos never show the engineer at the controls? That's my favorite part. Haha.
 

Turbolag

New Member
Bill has the right answers, but a few more details. FRA rules prohibit crewmembers from using electronic devices of any kind, with exceptions for work related items. So you cannot use a cell phone, camera, etc. You can, of course, use the railroad radio. You can, with some restrictions, use your cell phone to contact the dispatcher on company business. This is done to prevent distractions. Several accidents have been blamed on that, but the one that caused the rule to be passed was a Metrolink collision. More details on that can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chatsworth_train_collision

A passenger would legally be allowed to shoot video if he is not acting as a crewmember. Since you have pretty much no reason to be in the cab of a locomotive, and there are lots of risks, from distracting the crew to, I guess, a terrorist taking over the train if you want to go to extremes. More practically, the railroad gets zero benefit from you being there and lots of risk. Cab rides have pretty much always technically been prohibited or at least restricted, but "back in the day", you could fairly easily talk your way up there. Now it's impossible for all practical purposes. Unless there are unusual circumstances, the employee(s) doing it are quite likely risking their jobs.

Things are different of course on shortlines and tourist railroads. Many tourist railroads allow cab rides, and you can shoot video from the cab.
Wow man, I think I remember hearing about that on the news.

I clicked the link and read up on it.

Thanks for sharing.
 

one_wire

UP Sparky
Wow man, I think I remember hearing about that on the news.

I clicked the link and read up on it.

Thanks for sharing.
The Metrolink/UP collision at Chatsworth was the final straw in congress mandating Positive Train Control.

It should be noted, at least according to UP policy, that no person, crew or deadhead, is allowed to use an electronic device while the train, locomotive, or consist of locomotives is moving. Again, exceptions are made in the event the crew cannot reach a dispatcher via the radio or other extenuating circumstances.


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one_wire

UP Sparky
How come a lot of videos never show the engineer at the controls? That's my favorite part. Haha.
Because nowadays only a fool who didn't care about public safety or his job would film himself at the controls. Unless you're in Russia or India. Those guys are nucking futs...


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Turbolag

New Member
Because nowadays only a fool who didn't care about public safety or his job would film himself at the controls. Unless you're in Russia or India. Those guys are nucking futs...


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I was just curious because I've been watching a lot of people filming cab rides, but they never show the engineer or the controls. They show out the window.
 

one_wire

UP Sparky
I was just curious because I've been watching a lot of people filming cab rides, but they never show the engineer or the controls. They show out the window.
A lot of those videos you're seeing might only be clips taken from the locomotive's Track Image Recorder. The FRA requires a front-facing, dash or ceiling mounted camera in all locomotives (at least class 1's). There will always be rebels who record with their phones, but like I said, only a fool would record anything that might give away who he is or who his partner is. There are rare occurrences where the carrier might allow filming, like maybe for a commercial or for a safety video. Keep in mind that the railroad company sets the policy for handheld recording, not the FRA (or so I've been told), so there may be a minute chance of a small class 3 or a tourist line that doesn't have a policy against the crew members recording.

Simply put, and for the most part, if the video is filmed perfectly still and only shows a view from the cab facing forward, it's the TIR. Other than that, the rest are pretty much illegal videos and the person filming (and whoever else might be in the cab) is at a great risk of losing their job.


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Turbolag

New Member
A lot of those videos you're seeing might only be clips taken from the locomotive's Track Image Recorder. The FRA requires a front-facing, dash or ceiling mounted camera in all locomotives (at least class 1's). There will always be rebels who record with their phones, but like I said, only a fool would record anything that might give away who he is or who his partner is. There are rare occurrences where the carrier might allow filming, like maybe for a commercial or for a safety video. Keep in mind that the railroad company sets the policy for handheld recording, not the FRA (or so I've been told), so there may be a minute chance of a small class 3 or a tourist line that doesn't have a policy against the crew members recording.

Simply put, and for the most part, if the video is filmed perfectly still and only shows a view from the cab facing forward, it's the TIR. Other than that, the rest are pretty much illegal videos and the person filming (and whoever else might be in the cab) is at a great risk of losing their job.


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Ooooooooh ok. Thanks man, I had no idea there was a camera. That explains why its so steady. Haha.

I didn't realize they had cracked down so hard on devices in the cab.
 

Turbolag

New Member
How does Pentrex and Rail Road Alaska get permission to film and show cab rides and the controls?

I think Extreme Trains came out around 2010? So that means they were filming afterwards.

I guess they get permission from the company ?
 

one_wire

UP Sparky
How does Pentrex and Rail Road Alaska get permission to film and show cab rides and the controls?

I think Extreme Trains came out around 2010? So that means they were filming afterwards.

I guess they get permission from the company ?
Exactly. Because there's not a federal law against recording in a locomotive, just company policy, it's not against the law to do it.

Also understand that it takes money to get permission...



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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
My son has a commercially produced DVD about the Santa Fe line over Raton Pass on the Colorado-New Mexico border. A portion of the DVD featured Amtrak's Southwest Chief going over the pass. It was shot over several days and included cab sequences of the engineer in action.

One quick shot showed the top of the control consul, which looked like a counter or desk top with several items scattered on it. Something in the clutter caught my eye so I backed up the DVD, paused it, and studied the screen with closer scrutiny. Sitting amid the clutter was a Penthouse or Hustler magazine. :eek:
 

one_wire

UP Sparky
Bill nothing surprises me anymore. I work doing the PTC installs at the Denver Burnham shop. The first thing we do is remove every panel, door, and hatch in order to route the wires needed for the upgrade. I've pulled out condom wrappers, porno mags, cartons of cigarettes, whiskey bottles, you name it.


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Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
Bill nothing surprises me anymore. I work doing the PTC installs at the Denver Burnham shop. The first thing we do is remove every panel, door, and hatch in order to route the wires needed for the upgrade. I've pulled out condom wrappers, porno mags, cartons of cigarettes, whiskey bottles, you name it.


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Boy, the Whiskey Bottle would sure get a guy fired fast. Not saying I don't believe you, I know better than that. I am saying that's a risky game.

As for the magazines, trains can spend a lot of time waiting. The crew needs something to do while they wait. Now the usual company policy is that only official railroad publications can be read. Timetables, rulebooks and the like. But it's possible that some of the more experienced guys have memorized the rulebook, so they break the rules and read unofficial publications. The choice of reading material varies from crewmember to crewmember. Hunting and fishing magazines are popular, as are car magazines and lots of other subjects. Some publications may not be suitable for family viewing. :)
 

Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
Exactly. Because there's not a federal law against recording in a locomotive, just company policy, it's not against the law to do it.

Also understand that it takes money to get permission...
Exactly. The FRA rule prohibits CREWMEMBERS from operating electronic devices while operating the train (with a few exceptions). Think of it as the no texting while driving rule for trains.

Got enough money to throw at the problem? If so, you can do this and be perfectly legal.

http://chris-pine.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/onset-unstoppable03.jpg
 

one_wire

UP Sparky
Haha..."Unstoppable." Worst depiction of railroading I've ever seen. It is, however, very loosely based on the CSX incident that happened near Toledo about 10 years ago.


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CGW101c

CGW Fan
I was getting ready to push for the channel button on the remote when the engineer tripped and then everybody laughed at him. The button was halfway down when the throttle "automatically jumped to full". That was all I could take. Then after a while I just thought I would see how they were doing. That is when the seal blew on the hopper car. I am not sure which part of covered can blow out and get a constant flow of grain. Who writes that tripe?
 




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