MARTA Contributes Officers for G8 Summit

ATLANTA — Joining a collection of police agencies from across the state, 20 officers from the MARTA Police Department have been redeployed to serve at the G8 Summit on Sea Island. “All of the local law enforcement agencies were asked to contribute if they could,” said MARTA Police Chief Gene Wilson. “However, the State Department of Homeland Security were particularly interested in team members who could fill special abilities such as our Special Operations Response Team.” The MARTA officers will join roughly 20,000 law enforcement officers and National Guard troops from all over the state of Georgia guarding the G8

TSA Begins Second Phase of Rail Security Experiment

WASHINGTON – Starting today (June 7, 2004), Amtrak passengers boarding long-distance trains at Washington, D.C.’s Union Station will have their checked luggage screened for explosives. The screening is the second stage of a pilot program exploring new measures for rail security, the Department of Homeland Security announced. The test phase of the screening will last until June 30. “The second phase of the TRIP project will build on the rail security passenger test and focus on screening of baggage and rail cargo,” said Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security at DHS. “This is another step in the

Empire Builder Reaches 75 Years: Amtrak & Others Celebrate Northernmost U.S. Transcontinental Train

WASHINGTON – The Amtrak Empire Builder, one of the great trains in American history and the northernmost U.S. transcontinental train, will celebrate its 75th anniversary of service on June 11, 2004. “The Empire Builder is an essential public transportation connection across the upper United States,” said Amtrak President and CEO David L. Gunn. “We are the steward of three-quarters of a century of reliable passenger train service to an otherwise isolated area of the nation.” Celebrations are scheduled at each of the three Empire Builder endpoints – Chicago, Seattle and Portland – and at the Milwaukee; St. Paul-Minneapolis; Edmonds, Wash.;

SEPTA to Receive Additional Security Funding

PHILADELPHIA – SEPTA has received about $1 million in federal homeland security funds to be used to increase security on the commuter rail system. “The safety and security of our customers and our employees is our top priority,” SEPTA General Manager Faye Moore said. “We appreciate Governor (Edward G.) Rendell’s support of our efforts to enhance security over our very large transportation infrastructure.” This latest investment of security funding will be devoted to systems and programs dedicated to providing the best security possible for SEPTA’s customers and infrastructure. SEPTA has previously received $6.4 million in federal security funding. Rendell has

Port Authority to Open Stage II Light Rail Transit Project

PITTSBURGH – The modernization of Port Authority’s T light rail transit system reached a major milestone Wednesday, June 2, 2004, when the first new light rail vehicles (LRVs) in 19 years begin revenue service over the new Overbrook Line. The 5.2-mile Overbrook Line, closed in June 1993 due to deteriorated track bed and bridges, and the purchase of 28 new LRVs are among the major elements of the $386 million Stage II Light Rail Transit Project. The project continues the modernization of Port Authority’s 25-mile T system. “We are very pleased to open our Stage II project and fulfill a

The New Face of Railroad Security

June 1, 2004 The Cross-Tie 0

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. — Puffs of air greeted passengers to the New Carrollton, Md., rail station May 4. It was the first day of the Transportation Security Administration’s test program for people and bags traveling on U.S. trains. Amtrak and Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) passengers boarding at the New Carrollton train station were screened for explosives as part of a pilot project to make rail travel safer, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said. The Transit and Rail Inspection Pilot (TRIP) will evaluate the use of emerging technologies to screen passengers and their carry-on items for explosives in the transit

The New Face of Railroad Security

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. — Puffs of air greeted passengers to the New Carrollton, Md., rail station May 4. It was the first day of the Transportation Security Administration’s test program for people and bags traveling on U.S. trains. Amtrak and Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) passengers boarding at the New Carrollton train station were screened for explosives as part of a pilot project to make rail travel safer, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said. The Transit and Rail Inspection Pilot (TRIP) will evaluate the use of emerging technologies to screen passengers and their carry-on items for explosives in the transit

Providence and Worcester Railroad Held Liable for Arrest

WORCESTER, Mass. – A jury has found the Providence and Worcester Railroad Company liable for more than $310,000, plus interest, in a civil rights violation lawsuit stemming from a February 1996 arrest. A subsequent motion for a new trial was denied May 25, 2004. A judge, however, reduced the award to $319,058.95, down from the $319,558.95 the jury awarded. The lawsuit stems from an incident in February 1996 when the plaintiff, George W. O’Leary, was arrested for trespassing on the Company’s right of way in East Providence, R.I., by a member of the Company’s police force, which was deactivated in

UP Announces Settlement to Class Action Suit

OMAHA, Neb. – A settlement has been reached in a class action suit filed against Union Pacific following a May 27, 2000, derailment near Eunice, La., the railroad announced Tuesday (May 25, 2004). Union Pacific, subject to court approval, has agreed to a payment of $65 million in exchange for a release of all claims for damages involved in this litigation. At the time of the settlement, over 10,000 formal claims had been filed. The railroad’s insurers will reimburse Union Pacific for this payment. The settlement will not impact the Company’s earnings, the company said in a news release. According

Suspicious Device Placed in SEPTA Yard by Employee

PHILADELPHIA – An “electronic motion detector” discovered May 5 in SEPTA’s Powelton Rail Yard was placed there by an employee for personal use, the railroad and the FBI said in a joint statement. The unidentified employee, who works full time for SEPTA and part-time for a security alarm company, told the FBI he put the device by the tracks to alert him of approaching foot traffic, “presumably his supervisors,” the statement indicates. “In light of the high degree of attention being devoted to public transportation security, we consider this to be a very serious matter,” SEPTA and the FBI said

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