Authorities, responding to a suspicious note, stopped an Amtrak train in Newark, N.J., and searched with bomb-sniffing dogs before letting it resume.
The train, bound for Newark, N.J., was stopped July 11, after a suspicious note was found aboard the train. The Associated Press quoted an anonymous source as saying the note contained “pro-Muslin, anti-Jewish rhetoric.”
The train was stopped for about an hour and a half before it was allowed to resume, according to various published reports. Police searched the train with bomb-sniffing dogs and videoed passengers, The Associated Press reported. Amtrak spokesman Dan Stessel told Reuters there was “no threat to the train.”
With political conventions fast approaching, police and railroads are stepping up patrols. N.J. Transit, among other agencies, has already announced its intention of upping the security ante. With the help of state troopers, N.J. Transit police will be inspecting all New York-bound trains in rail yards. And, authorities will perform on-board inspections before trains enter a tunnel leading to New York’s Penn Station. The Republican National Convention is scheduled for Aug. 29 at Madison Square Garden.
“These are prudent steps that will reduce the security risks associated with serving customers on an open transit system,” N.J. Transit Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere said in a statement.
N.J. Transit Executive Director George D. Warrington urged passengers to travel light and to keep their personal belongings nearby at all times.
Penn Station is the nation’s busiest train station. More than 1,200 trains carrying N.J. Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak and NYC subway passengers pass through the station. N. J. Transit, for example, operates about 300 trains through the station complex, serving more than 50,000 passengers who make 100,000 trips into and out of New York daily.