Inward Facing Cameras

Post date: Aug 11, 2015 4:38:47 PM


As all of you have probably heard by now, BNSF will start installing inward-facing cameras on locomotives in the coming months. The initial roll-out will be limited to a few locomotives for the purpose of testing the equipment. They intend to expand the number in 2016 with a goal of eventual installation on most of the locomotive fleet.

We have requested a meeting with BNSF to discuss this issue and I will update all when we have more information. While this installation comes as no surprise given FRA’s pending regulation requiring IFCs on all locomotives operated by freight railroads, we strongly believe this will do little or nothing to advance the cause of safety. These cameras will only be useful as a post-accident investigation tool and we fully expect those images to reveal what we have been warning the RRs about for decades; namely, that our crews are being placed in imminent danger due to fatigue caused by poor lineups, excessive layovers at hotels and BNSF’s failure to relieve crews in a timely manner.

We have placed BNSF on notice that the installation of inward-facing video cameras and creation of a video record each are violative of Article XVII, Section 3 of the May 19, 1986 Award of Arbitration Board No. 458, which mandates that, before any design and construction changes in locomotives are made which change safety or comfort features of the locomotive, the designated officer of each individual railroad will contact the General Chairman (Chairmen) providing him with the opportunity to furnish the carrier with his recommendations for full and thoughtful consideration by the carrier.

Therefore, we are advising all members who are required to operate a locomotive with an inward-facing video camera to file a claim for a basic day. This claim is founded on the fact that there is no basis whatsoever in the governing Collective Bargaining Agreement upon which the Carrier may rely as either a right or a justification for the installation of inward-facing video cameras or for the creation of a video record of a crew's in-cab activities. Further, the installation of such cameras and the creation of such record also cannot be justified on the basis of any express or implied retained managerial right or prerogative, or any established custom or practice. The language for the claim should read as follows:

Claim of Locomotive Engineer [Claimant's name] for one (1) day's pay at the applicable rate for being required to operate a locomotive that was equipped with an inward-facing camera installed and intended to make a video record of in-cab crew activity, and thereby being subjected to the creation of such a video record. The locomotive was [locomotive identification] and I was required to operate said locomotive on [date of claim], from [time started operating the locomotive] until [time stopped operating the locomotive].

Please share with your members.


Alan Holdcraft

General Chairman


817-426-9003 (Ext. 101) Office

877-546-3660 Fax