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Rail security upgrades are on the way for Amtrak

(The following appeared on the Asbury Park Press website on May 10, 2011.)

NEW YORK — Amtrak passengers will not have to submit to airport-style security checks, said its president Joseph Boardman, but security upgrades are on the way for the intercity rail network.

“I don’t think you’ll see an airport-level of screening,” Boardman said after a Monday press conference in Penn Station. “Amtrak is improving its security all the time.”

U.S. Sen. Charles “Chuck” Schumer, D-N.Y., continued to push for having the names that Amtrak now collects in its reservation system compared against the national “no fly” list and said at a Monday press conference that he spoke to Amtrak officials and U.S. Transportation Secretary Raymond LaHood about a “no ride” list.

“Amtrak has a list they can check names against. It’s not difficult,” Schumer said.

Increased security was evident in Penn Station Monday, with officers from the Transportation Security Administration patrolling with Department of Homeland Security police, in addition to New York City and Amtrak police and National Guard troops.

Boardman said a “no ride” list is one of the things the agency has in its “tool box for security,” along with enlisting Amtrak employees and passengers to keep their eyes open for anything out of the ordinary in an extension of the “If you see something, say something” campaign run by numerous rail and transit agencies and police.

Full story: Asbury Park Press

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

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