Service Alert - Travel Security Information

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Service Alert - Travel Security Information

While there is no specific threat against Amtrak or other U.S. ground transportation, Amtrak has increased security measures in the wake of the recent arrests in Britain.

Additional police and K-9 teams have been deployed, and Amtrak is vigorously enforcing its existing policy of requiring all checked and carry-on baggage be tagged with the owner's name and address. Also, additional on-board identification verifications are being conducted.
 
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one of the joys of amtrak is having all unchecked luggage always available and no real inspection of what you bring aboard. in light of today's events does anyone think there is a need for this to change? i hope it doesn't change but on the other hand a train would seem to be an inviting target.
 

AmtrakFan

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No because it would be impossible and the Terrorist would prorably go for the NEC over a Long Distance Train. But there is no imminant threat, according to that report plus the Terrorist would get too impaitent for a Long Distance Train since there late.
 
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i don't know. i think we will see more rail security measures if only because there is a tremendous amount of money to be made in "security" and all that has to be done is to convince a few amtrak administrators, who tend to have a weak grip on reality as it is.
 
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AmtrakWPK

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And a train is a much more robust target than an airplane. Much less damage will produce much more deadly results in an airplane than in a train. And it would also produce a much higher profile disaster, MUCH more death and destruction, than with a train. And here once again airline travel is being clogged like it was mired in molasses, whereas the Bush nemesis, Amtrak, keeps running just fine, providing sensible, affordable, fuel-efficient transportation to hundreds of thousands every day.. You really wonder if the lightbulb will ever come on up there. Or maybe it has, but there's nobody home to see it.
 
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RailFanNebraska

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Lets face it folks, Osama and his goons probably dont think amtrak as much of a target.

And like we all know, there is no such thing as security on amtrak lol.
 

George Harris

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Remeber the terrorists want the maximum bang for their buck (pun intended) They will not get that by planting a bomb on the train. Look at the commuter train bombings in India. It took seven or eight bombs to get a death toll approaching one on an airplane, and this was in Bombay, India where a rush hour commuter train is the world's definition of crowded.

Most of the "security" we are going to get on the rails is going to be on the order of "We got to look like we are doing something," anyway. Not what we need. Watch the airline companies start talking about the need for greater security on the rails. After all, if you get similar aggravations riding the trains you might go back to flying. If we consider the cost of airline security on a per passenger basis, the subsidy for air travel is certain to be far ahead of that for rail, no matter how much you manipulate the numbers otherwise.

George
 
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Lets face it folks, Osama and his goons probably dont think amtrak as much of a target.
And like we all know, there is no such thing as security on amtrak lol.

You may think so, but you also never know who is on the train with you! That can be good and bad! However, I have had countless times when a RR policeman (on and off duty), FBI agent, regular police, etc approach me and tell me to let them know if I have any trouble! And also remember, the train is "on the ground" transportation! There are too many opportunities for law enforcment officials to intercept a train that simply don't exist with an airliner thirty thousand feet up in the sky! Now I will agree security could be a little better, but that is a totally different subject for discussion. OBS...
 
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frj1983

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Remeber the terrorists want the maximum bang for their buck (pun intended) They will not get that by planting a bomb on the train. Look at the commuter train bombings in India. It took seven or eight bombs to get a death toll approaching one on an airplane, and this was in Bombay, India where a rush hour commuter train is the world's definition of crowded.
Most of the "security" we are going to get on the rails is going to be on the order of "We got to look like we are doing something," anyway. Not what we need. Watch the airline companies start talking about the need for greater security on the rails. After all, if you get similar aggravations riding the trains you might go back to flying. If we consider the cost of airline security on a per passenger basis, the subsidy for air travel is certain to be far ahead of that for rail, no matter how much you manipulate the numbers otherwise.

George
I agree with George,

Blowing up a train is not as spectacular as blowing up an airplane. It also seems to me that the Police and Secret Service in Great Britain and the US are getting somewhat(notice I'm hedging my bets here) better in finding out about and disabling these plots. Do we live in a perfect world, no, but I'm certainly more comfortable aboard the train!
 
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Sheer Luck Holmes

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I should mention that several months ago I was told not to photograph the train I was on, while it was waiting at a station, so I guess we should feel safe in the knowlege that no one knows what an Amtrak train looks like...!

Sheer Luck.
 

MrFSS

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I should mention that several months ago I was told not to photograph the train I was on, while it was waiting at a station, so I guess we should feel safe in the knowlege that no one knows what an Amtrak train looks like...!Sheer Luck.
Who told you?

If you are in a public place where there are not any signs saying you can't take pictures, then they can't tell you not to do so.

Search the forum for other topics on Photographer's Rights. You'll find a bunch of threads and links to places that confirm the above.
 

Everydaymatters

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I don't understand why anyone would think it's "impossible" and why you think they wouldn't target a train and say it took 7 or 8 bombs in India. The FACT IS: They did bomb trains in India. They did bomb trains in Spain. Why would you possibly think that don't want to bomb trains when the fact is that they did bomb trains?????

The statement "we all know there is no security on Amtrak" is right on. I think it's time they changed things and gave me more security. Whatever you want to for yourself is fine with me, but for me, my family, and my friends, I would appreciate more security.
 

sentinal

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its not that its an impossible to bomb Amtrak. its just that its not really that inviting of a target. London, Spain and India were all packed rush hour commuter trains and that run on time, with a set predictable schedule. its kinda hard to case out , and set a timed coordinated attack on trains that run late. there is just a lot more higher profile juicy targets out there
 

AlanB

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its not that its an impossible to bomb Amtrak. its just that its not really that inviting of a target. London, Spain and India were all packed rush hour commuter trains and that run on time, with a set predictable schedule. its kinda hard to case out , and set a timed coordinated attack on trains that run late. there is just a lot more higher profile juicy targets out there
Agreed, as I mentioned in the other topic on the recent developements, Amtrak could well be a target. But I for one see subways and commuter trains as a much more inviting target. Like George basically said, the terrorists want maximum bang for their buck. Not to sound calous, but that means lots of dead people. The best way to achieve that after considering airplanes, is to hit either commuter trains or subway/light rail trains during rush hour. Amtrak while a potential target, is a far less inviting target in their minds.
 
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Rail Targets for terrorist are likely to be infrastructure such as tunnels, bridges, large terminals or freight yards where it will have more impact than bombing a train enroute. There was an unsolved bombing that hit the Sunset Limited years back. I believe the bomb was set on a bridge and the Sunset was the first train to pass. At least one person was killed and others may have been injured, but it wasn't a huge impact.

Keep in mind that the engineer operating the train is physically removed from the passengers so terrorist are not going to be able to climb in the cab and overtake like they were able to enter the cockpit of a plane. Yet some of our government officials and even the general public who have never traveled on a train think the mechanics of train travel is the same as air travel and think the same restrictions should apply. Railroads have always had police forces that moniter the lines and other infrastructure to prevent vandalism.

Even if a bomb were ignited in one car of a train, it might wipe out that car and the cars next to it and cause the train to derail, but the whole train wouldn't necessarily be destroyed.
 
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Sheer Luck Holmes

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The comment on not photographing trains was meant to show how silly some "security" rules are! That was one I chose to ignore.

It is also important to realise that issues affecting Bombay (there is a potential joke there....) trains might be based on Kashmir, or Tamil seperatist issues, and not raise any concerns for Amtrak security.

All of us are 99.9% more likley to be mugged on the way to the station than involved in terrorist attacks aboard Amtrak!

:ph34r:

Sheer Luck
 

Amtrak Watcher

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It would not be logical to extend the security precautions on Amtrak any significant amount simply because the Muslims tried to bomb aircraft over the Atlantic. The Muslim killers are, as we've seen, fascinated with aircraft. Constructing a modern jet aircraft is a triumph of the human spirit and of Western Civilization in particular. Islamic culture is repulsively primitive, and perhaps 400 years away from duplicating the feat on its own. As anyone who has spent time living in Islamic cultures can tell you, the people within it can scarcely construct a grocery cart or a bicycle without significant outside help. Unable to build such a thing as a Boeing 777, they prefer to blow them up. This kind of extremely polar reaction to another's accomplishments is typical of the psychosis of religious insanity. Nevertheless, the cynical and heart-breakingly stupid reactions of the TSA to the most recent outrage shows that we can't discount the possibility dramatic over-reactions on the rails.

The threat to the rails seems to be confined, for now, to municipal systems. We can expect more of such attacks within the context of the insanity that drives the killer to his act. Bombing an Amtrak train does not, I think, meet the criteria of the Muslim killers: it's not dramatic enough, and the effort would not yield a sufficiently wide river of blood.
 
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George Harris

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There was an unsolved bombing that hit the Sunset Limited years back. I believe the bomb was set on a bridge and the Sunset was the first train to pass. At least one person was killed and others may have been injured, but it wasn't a huge impact.
If this is the one I am thinking about, it was on the Pheonix line west of Pheonix, Arizona. This line at the time carried almost no trains except the Sunset, and is now out of service. No bomb was involved. A joint bar and a number of spikes were removed from the outside rail of a curve and the rail shifted owtward slightly. The point where this was done was in advance of the bridge, which was a two to three span steel deck girder bridge. The train derailed and went off the side of the embankment, resulting in the death of at least on person. I do not recall all the details of the accident now. There was a note claiming responsibility supposedly from a group calling themselves the "Sons of the *****" or some such nonsense. Never heard of before or since. The FBI spent a lot of time barking up wrong trees, including interviewing the author of an article in a railfan magazine about the derailment of the City of San Francisco by similar tactics some 30 years previously. There was a lot of talk about it having to be a person or persons with inside technical knowledge of railroad signalling and track. This was almost a useless analysis, as there are probably a couple of million people, maybe a lot more, in the US alone with sufficient knowhow and access to the tools needed to have done the deed, including me. I have an alibi. I was outside the country at the time and still happen to have my old passport that has the stamps in it prove it in case the FBI ever comes calling. This bit of analysis was almost as useful as the first analysis after the blowing up of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City: Something to the effect that the person or persons responsible had access to diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate fertilizer in quantity, probably liked guns and was unhappy about the actions of the government at Waco. This analysis basically included the majority of the population in rural America.

George
 
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Everydaymatters

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I have to say you all have very good reasons to believe they won't target Amtrak. As one respondant pointed out, however, major train stations could be good targets for their purposes.

I believe a lot of people were naive after 9/11 in thinking that the airlines were now safe because of all the increased security. It goes to show how wrong they were.

One of the England to U.S. passengers they interviewed on TV said something along the lines that England is better able to find terrorists because they aren't restricted by laws. On PrimeTime, a man they interviewed said we can't find the bombs, but we can find the bombers. Sorry, folks, but I'm all for profiling. If it was Irish/Welch/American woman who were known to bomb planes, then because I'm an Irish/Welch/American woman and I love my country, I'd have no objection to being profiled and scrutanized more closely than say black women who are not known to be a threat.

Let's just all never feel so safe that we let our guard down. Those days are over in the U.S.
 

Everydaymatters

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I think we have gotten so wrapped up in our rights that we've gotten to the point where we're saying the heck with security. By all means, let's not profile anyone who is a possible terrorist because that would violate his rights.

If you are not a terrorist , but you are whatever skin color, race, nationality, etc. that is known to be hostile to the U.S. and is known to have people who hate us enough to kill us, would you really object to them spending an extra 30 seconds to check you out? I wouldn't. They can spend however much time they want.

For some unknown reason, I was pulled aside by TSA recently and they spent probably 10 minutes checking me. The on the return trip, they did a search of my suitcase. I have absolutely no problem at all with this - except that they lost my prescription bi-focals. :blink:
 

Sheer Luck Holmes

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I am not sure what profiling is, but it sounds a bit like saying all southern white folk support the KKK?

In England, we are indeed restricted by laws..we have no facilites to hold prisoners in limbo outside the judicial process, unlike the democracy in the US.

But, hey, lets not get started! Lets remember that all we have are allegations, no airline tickets, no smoking guns (again). I had always thought Muslim know how on architecture, medicine, had been a benefit to the west when introduced through the Moors in spain? (Perhaps best to avoid their cycle shops though?)

The issues are not just "goodies and badies", and we need to stop assuming every stranger we meet is out to do us harm!

Sheer Luck Holmes :ph34r:
 

Amtrak Watcher

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Profiling has the distinct advantage of concentrating limited security resources on those people most likely to do us harm, but the practice has the disadvantage of not including the odd unexpected entity.

In the airports, the TSA doesn’t have a clue who is working at McDonalds in the sterile areas of the terminal, nor does it have any idea who washed the aircraft this morning, who might have changed the light bulbs in the cargo hold, and who is operating the concrete saw on the ramp repair project. But we watch silently and passively as the TSA confiscates my bottle of water purchased 20 feet from the gate and the sun tan lotion from the ten-year-old flying to Orlando with her parents.

Given the psychotic goals of the killers, to kill as many non-believers as possible so as to gain expedited access to the heavenly virgins, or whatever it is the sewage they believe promises, it seems unlikely someone outside various Islamic profiles represent much of a threat. Nevertheless, political correctness and misplaced relevance excludes profiling and will probably have us wasting more and more money and time on cynical and stunningly stupid exercises in all our travel options.

If you look at the Islamic fascist attacks on the West over the past 30 years or so you will see two consistent aspects: (1) a penchant for a huge number of deaths, and (2) a fascination with aircraft born of the repulsively primitive cultures within Islamic societies. But psychotic behavior sometimes lacks predictability, and we can always expect about three percent of any population to suffer from a psychosis perhaps increasing to eight percent through religious fanaticism. Save for the occasional Acela, the Amtrak system doesn’t meet the basic criteria for attention from the Islamic death cults; the Amtrak system is neither modern enough (by global standards) to serve as a symbolic representation for the “undeserved preeminence” of Western culture, nor are the passenger loads dense enough to yield a good body count. On the other hand, the killers are focused and determined; they are not going away and will likely increase for generations. The justifications for profiling will be harder and harder to ignore in coming years.
 

1702

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If you look at the Islamic fascist attacks on the West over the past 30 years or so you will see two consistent aspects: (1) a penchant for a huge number of deaths, and (2) a fascination with aircraft born of the repulsively primitive cultures within Islamic societies.
That's the second time you have used the "repulsively primitive cultures within Islamic societies" reference. One might well look at today's Western culture with its emphasis on materialism & the satisfaction of the individual above the good of the society & say we have a repulsively primitive culture. Try taking your wife & kids to almost any sporting event without having the experience spoiled by boorish, loutish behavior.

History makes us who we are. The Crusades rampaged thru the Middle East for 250 years with the horrific slaughter of vast numbers of innocent Muslims. The Crusaders didn't leave the Jews out of their "cleansing" efforts either. It might be said that the roots of modern anti-Semitism go back to that time in history. Compared to the Middle Eastern civilization then, it was the West that was "repulsively primitive".

Come forward in time to the end of World War II, when the British reneged on their promise to create a Jewish homeland. Among the methods used by the Jews to put pressure on the British was terrorism, with the accompanying slaughter of innocents.

So now when the so-called "Islamo-Fascists" (isn't it convenient to label anyone you don't agree with or understand with a name that's so derogatory?) try to achieve by violence what they cannot by peaceful means, then it's all because they're a bunch of "psychotics" from "repulsively primitive cultures". And you can lay the creation of the current situation right at the doorstep of the current war-mongering bunch in the White House. If we had kept up our pursuit (& inevitable capture) of bin-Laden instead of invading Iraq, we would have put one bunch of terrorists out of business, discouraged others, & kept an eye on Saddam Hussein, our former ally.

I condemn the use of violence to achieve any solution - political, religious, or otherwise. I condemn it when terrorists use it against us. I condemn it when our government uses it in the guise of "liberating" Iraq.

There is broad consensus that the invasion of Iraq has greatly worsened the turmoil in the Middle East.

So when we're at the airport dumping our shampoo bottle into the trash, let's spread the blame equally between the "Islamo-Fascists" & the "Bush-o-Fascists".

For any Muslim friends who may be reading these posts, I apologize for all the unfortunate characterizations made here.
 
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