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Rail station security checks not due to terrorist threat, Amtrak says

(Gannett News Service circulated the following story by Raju Chebium on September 9, 2009.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amtrak says today's security checks at 150 train stations in the Northeast Corridor are not due to any specific terrorist threat or incident.
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Instead, the checks are part of an exercise by Amtrak Police, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and more than 100 local and transit law enforcement agencies, according to Amtrak.

Authorities are increasing patrols at stations, heightening the security presence on trains, searching for explosives using dogs and conducting random bag inspections at unannounced locations.

The effort got under way this morning in New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. It will continue during the evening rush hour.

Authorities say the effort will help them figure out how to better handle actual threats and acts of terrorism. Amtrak and TSA plan to conduct similar exercises in the future. About 750,000 passengers ride Amtrak and commuter rains along the Northeast Corridor every day.

Friday marks the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

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