WASHINGTON – Amtrak testified before a Senate committee that “the security of our system is our top priority” and its efforts are focused on defeating or deterring the most dangerous and likely terror tactics, including use of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on board a train or at a station and the emerging threat of an active shooter.
SEATTLE – With two daily Amtrak Cascades trains operating to Vancouver, B.C., Amtrak is stepping up its overall security measures in the Pacific Northwest as part of its preparation for the 2010 Winter Games. “Amtrak is working closely with our partners to provide passengers a safe and secure journey during the Games,” said Amtrak Police Chief John O’Connor, noting increased passenger ridership and activities are expected. Amtrak Police is supporting local, state and federal counterterrorism efforts including participating in U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Visible Intermodal Prevention & Response (VIPR) teams that bring to bear specialized capabilities in monitoring for
WASHINGTON — The Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) now has a dedicated unit devoted to deterring a terrorist attack in the Metro system. The new anti-terrorism team will increase surveillance of the Metro system, conduct more frequent security sweeps of Metro facilities and tunnels, and provide greater visibility of uniformed officers. Using a $9.56 million Transit Security Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), MTPD formed the 20-member, anti-terror team in December. The team, whose mission is to deter terrorists from selecting Metro as a target, will use tactics such as increased surveillance and random, unpredictable patrols of
NEW YORK — Federal authorities sent warnings to transit systems, hotels and stadiums nationwide that Islamic terrorists might target them. Law enforcement continued to search for suspects in “a possible al-Qaida plot to set off hydrogen-peroxide bombs hidden in backpacks,” The Associated Press reported. The DHS and the FBI “have no information regarding the timing, location or target of any planned attack, we believe it is prudent to raise the security awareness of our local law enforcement partners regarding the targets and tactics of previous terrorist activity,” the groups said in a statement, according to The Associated Press. “The MTA
WASHINGTON — Amtrak Police, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel and law enforcement officers from more than 100 federal, state, local, rail and transit police agencies were deployed at approximately 150 passenger rail stations throughout the Northeast Corridor region in an exercise of expanded counterterrorism and incident response capabilities. The deployment happened Sept. 9. The multi-force security surge across 13 states and Washington, DC, is NOT in response to any particular threat or incident. Rather, today’s deployment is part of Operation ALERTS (Allied Law Enforcement for Rail and Transit Security), a coordinated effort involving activities such as heightened station patrols, increased
WASHINGTON — Amtrak has released a list of capital projects to be funded by $1.3 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration, the highlights of the list include railcar and locomotive restoration to augment the current fleet, projects to bring stations into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), facility improvements, track, bridge and signal replacements and upgrades. “These Amtrak projects fulfill all of the objectives of the ARRA, and more. They are ‘shovel-ready;’ they will improve the efficiency and accessibility of Amtrak trains and facilities; and we estimate they will
Members of the Amtrak Police Department (APD), Amtrak Office of Security Strategy and Special Operations (OSSSO) and British Transport Police (BTP) this week will jointly patrol several train stations along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor as part of the first major U.S. & U.K. exchange of railroad security and counterterrorism practices.
NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Richard L. Cañas joined N.J. Transit Police officials and representatives from Newark-area emergency response agencies to announce the completion of a communication system upgrade recently installed on Newark Light Rail that enables dozens of responding agencies to communicate via a common radio channel. “Enhancing interoperable communications among and between first responders in this part of New Jersey because of its heavy reliance on the mass transportation network, like the Newark Light Rail, is a key component of our state’s homeland security strategy,” said Cañas. “We will continue to
WASHINGTON – Amtrak has expanded capacity by adding trains and cars to maximize available space for service to and from Washington, D.C., during the inauguration of the nation’s 44th president on Jan. 20. The extra trains and cars will be added to Northeast Corridor Amtrak trains on January 20, with a majority of the extra capacity available southbound toward Washington in the morning and northbound from Washington in the afternoon and evening. All Amtrak trains in the Northeast require reservations and ticket purchases prior to boarding. Supplementing Amtrak service in the Washington, D.C. area will be commuter rail service in Maryland
NEW YORK — Federal officials are warning of a possible al-Qaida terror plot against New York City’s transit system. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said officials have received a “plausible but unsubstantiated” report indicating a threat during the upcoming holiday season. According to investigators, al-Qaida members may have discussed targeting New York and any such plot could include using suicide bombers or explosives placed on subway and passenger rail systems.. The conversations took place in late September. Despite the warning, officials said they have no specific details to confirm the plot has developed beyond