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Amtrak begins random ID checks on trains

(The Associated Press circulated the following story on November 17.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Amtrak conductors have begun random checks of passengers' IDs as a precaution against terrorist attacks. The onboard checks, which started at the beginning of November, are part of a broader program to improve security, Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black said.

"It is a ticket verification program, which is not intended to determine a person's identity, but to make sure the person who's traveling with the ticket is the person whose name is on the ticket," Black said.

The checks have not resulted in any arrests, he said.

Amtrak also is requiring passengers to show identification when buying a ticket at ticket counters and to tag all luggage with the owner's address.

The passenger railroad has started to ask people to be alert for suspicious activity on trains and at stations.

The security program is the result of a federal directive, issued in May, to protect rail passengers from terrorism. Amtrak has been randomly inspecting trains and baggage with canine teams since then, Black said.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

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