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East Coast officials gather in NYC to review India train bombings

(Bloomberg circulated the following story on August 31.)

NEW YORK — Concerned by the possibility of an eventual terrorist attack on U.S. trains, officials from several states along the East Coast met to consider new security measures and review last month's rail bombings in India.

Officials from Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., on Wednesday attended a briefing organized by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Members of the group, known as the Northeast Corridor Coalition, asked questions about the July 11 bombings that killed 207 people on commuter trains in Mumbai, India.

Kelly said the group, which met for the fifth time Wednesday, was attempting to address gaps in security.

"There is no single agency that's totally responsible," he said. "There's Amtrak police. They are woefully understaffed. They have under 300 officers for the entire country."

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari declined to comment on Kelly's statement but said the railroad is working with the coalition.

"The participating agencies continue to discuss ways to share resources to provide a safe transportation environment for all passengers on the NEC (NorthEast Corridor)," the railroad said in a written release.

The coalition plans to ask for federal money to cover overtime for officers to board trains outside their jurisdictions.

"It has to be done and nobody else is doing it," Kelly said of the group's work. "No one else is stepping up to the plate."

Thursday, August 31, 2006

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