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Amtrak security screenings to move west from Northeast Corridor startup

(The following story by Susan Glaser appeared on the Plain Dealer website on February 24.)

CLEVELAND — Train passengers in Cleveland won't immediately notice the effects of Amtrak's new security measures unless they travel in the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak announced last week that it will randomly screen passengers' carry-on bags in an effort to improve security. The checks began last week on routes between Boston and Washington, D.C., which carry about half of Amtrak's 25 million passengers annually.

Amtrak's "mobile security teams" will gradually move west, according to spokesman Marc Magliari. But he said there is no timetable for when Cleveland travelers might see increased security at the city's downtown station.

According to Amtrak, the security teams will show up unannounced at stations and set up baggage screening areas in front of boarding gates. Officers will randomly pull people out of line and wipe their bags with a swab that detects explosives. In addition to the screening, officers and bomb-sniffing dogs will patrol platforms and walk through trains.

Two Amtrak routes serve Cleveland daily, one between New York City and Chicago and the other between Chicago and Washington. For more information, go to www.amtrak.com.

Monday, February 25, 2008

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