Armed Guards riding Southwest Chief?

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crescent-zephyr

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On trainorders there is a post about armed guards stepping off onto the platform with train crews in La Plata. It appears the guards are riding the train - anyone know who they are and what they are doing? Is this unique to the Southwest Chief?

I’ve been subject and seen others subject to the “random” questioning and luggage searches on the Zephyr and Chief but I’ve never seen them actually riding the train.
 

Qapla

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Yes, last night one armed, uniformed person got off the train at La Plata with the Amtrak personnel and re-boarded the train when it left.

Can't really say if he was a "guard" or law enforcement, TSA, Border Patrol - he was not close enough to the camera to get a good look at the uniform
 

me_little_me

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Yes, last night one armed, uniformed person got off the train at La Plata with the Amtrak personnel and re-boarded the train when it left.

Can't really say if he was a "guard" or law enforcement, TSA, Border Patrol - he was not close enough to the camera to get a good look at the uniform
My wife mentioned earlier today that she read that federal officers were being sent to Albuquerque. Didn't find a mention of it this evening.
 

Bob Dylan

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My wife mentioned earlier today that she read that federal officers were being sent to Albuquerque. Didn't find a mention of it this evening.
They're going into Chicago, Kansas City and Albuqurque and the President and the Acting Sec of HLS are threatning to Send them to more " Democrat" Cities!
 

Exvalley

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It could have been an extradition or some other transport of a person in custody.
 
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PVD

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Without knowing the agency, it's anyone's guess. I think we've seen them all on a train at one time or another. I've seen uniforms of many agencies on trains that just happen to be going from point A to point B and the train made sense, but their presence was purely coincidental. I haven't seen the Border Patrol Circus anywhere other than near an actual border in quite a while, the stupidity of CBP on a train in Syracuse may have caught up with them. Buffalo I could live with, but SYR was just an exercise in justifying one's own existence.
 

Qapla

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When #3 arrived in La Plata last night the conductor got off and so did the armed man. He was NOT escorting anyone on or off the train. He went over to the fence and leaned his back against for less than a minute. When the conductor got back on the train so did the armed man. The stop was a quick one and only lasted 90 seconds at most.

Perhaps he was just getting some fresh air or looking around - then again, maybe that guy from a couple weeks ago is out of jail ... and this was a "just in case" thing.

Tonight #3 was only on the platform for 60 seconds - there was not an armed person who got off the train tonight.
 

PVD

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He could have been riding with a partner still aboard. Could be anything....
 

crescent-zephyr

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Without knowing the agency, it's anyone's guess. I think we've seen them all on a train at one time or another. I've seen uniforms of many agencies on trains that just happen to be going from point A to point B and the train made sense, but their presence was purely coincidental. I haven't seen the Border Patrol Circus anywhere other than near an actual border in quite a while, the stupidity of CBP on a train in Syracuse may have caught up with them. Buffalo I could live with, but SYR was just an exercise in justifying one's own existence.
10+ years ago I was on the Lake Shore Limited and was woken up by Border Patrol and asked "are you a US Citizen" I said yes. and they said thank you and left. Talk about strange.
 

NSC1109

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Yes, last night one armed, uniformed person got off the train at La Plata with the Amtrak personnel and re-boarded the train when it left.

Can't really say if he was a "guard" or law enforcement, TSA, Border Patrol - he was not close enough to the camera to get a good look at the uniform
TSA doesn’t have armed personnel. Frankly they barely qualify as law enforcement.

From the sound of it, it might be Amtrak Police. No reason to hire contractors and face a potential PR nightmare when you have your own police force. Alternatively, my top three federal guesses are DEA, ATF, or some division of DHS (CBP, ICE, or if you really want to stir something up, USSS;))
 

PVD

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Actually, they do. They have a branch called the Office of Law Enforcement, which also oversee the Federal Air Marshals. Much less visible than the Airport Security bunch that we see all the time. I think I've only seen TSA armed officers once.
 

railiner

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then again, maybe that guy from a couple weeks ago is out of jail ... and this was a "just in case" thing.
That's what I was thinking...maybe that guy, clearly an emotionally disturbed person, was making some threats?
 

20th Century Rider

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I've seen guards with sniffing dogs come aboard several times... asked the conductor who told me they are concerned about transit of illegal substances between state boarders.
 

FrensicPic

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Did they ever have a write up about that incident? like in the La Plata paper?
From an earlier AU thread about the La Plata incident ...
 

crescent-zephyr

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I had forgotten that incident occurred at that station... maybe the conductor made enough noise to get an armed guard to ride that section of the train?

Definitely could be connected.
 

Qapla

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No armed, uniformed person got off the SWC again tonight - just a lot of locals wearing black hats.

Maybe he was "just a passenger" - not there in an official capacity.
 

dogbert617

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I've seen guards with sniffing dogs come aboard several times... asked the conductor who told me they are concerned about transit of illegal substances between state boarders.
From riding the Empire Builder through Minot last summer (this was while riding #7 going west, didn't see this while riding #8 going east), I can confirm they do have a drug dog and cop who boards the train briefly to sniff for drugs during the (about) 25 minute smoke stop there. Seems like a waste of time to do that if you ask me, especially to bust people over whatever tiny amount of drugs one has on them. But that's just my opinion.
 

Qapla

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Tonight at La Plata ... no one off - no one on ... stop was less than a minute
 
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