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Amtrak security screening to increase in Chicago

(The following story by Jon Hilkevitch appeared on the Chicago Tribune website on May 26, 2010.)

CHICAGO — Some passengers boarding Amtrak trains at Union Station in Chicago will face random screening of their carry-on bags starting Thursday, officials said.

The new security measure, which will involve Amtrak police swabbing carry-on items to detect explosives, is not in response to any new threat, Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said.

It represents an expansion of precautions that have been implemented previously on Amtrak's Boston-New York-Washington corridor and in Washington state during the Vancouver Olympics, he said.

The screening will be conducted periodically, and passengers will be randomly selected,

Magliari said. Selected passengers will not be allowed to opt out of the screening and still ride the train, he said.

"If a passenger declines, they will be accompanied to the ticket office for a refund,'' he said.

Amtrak already conducts random screening of checked baggage.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

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