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Railroads work closely with feds as terror threats develop

(The following appeared on the Omaha World-Herald website on May 7, 2011.)

OMAHA, Neb. — Representatives of the country's two largest railroads, Union Pacific Railway in Omaha and BNSF Railway Co., said they've worked closely with federal security officials since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and continue to adjust operations as they receive new information about potential threats.

Both companies declined Friday to provide details about any new steps taken this week, after the discovery of plans dated February 2010 showing that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida considered attacking U.S. railroads.

Because the threat revealed this week was “unspecified,” it's an industry-wide security issue coordinated through the Association of American Railroads, Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, rather than by individual railroads.

The numbered alert rating for railroads hasn't been upgraded from Level 2, which indicates “heightened security awareness,” to Level 3, which would indicate a “credible threat” of an attack on the United States or the railroad industry.

Full story: www.omaha.com

Monday, May 9, 2011

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