Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by MIRAILFAN, Mar 25, 2014.
Me I personally doubt it, because too many unstaffed stations.
It would be extremely difficult and expensive to do so. Securing all areas of tracks would be next to impossible.
However, if some type of major attack occurred major changes would likely take place. Probably in the realm of heavily increased security and random screenings, in the station and onboard. Yet even those would still not change the fact that trains aren't all that difficult to attack, if you have a bomb and are willing to either die and/or get caught, as many terrorists are. Keep in mind, though, that there are many things that are easy to attack, and their sheer numbers means that traveling and living your life is still very safe in this country.
Yes, I think that the TSA should send all of their blueshirts to Sanderson.
I have seen TSA at Chicago a few times in the last three years. It looked random and non-invasive.
I've seen Dept of Homeland Security Police around the Ferry Building in San Francisco. They were actually dressed rather casually for federal officers. Just cargo pants (for all their stuff), a light tactical vest with DHS Police front/back, and stocking caps (it was a cold morning). They were monitoring the arrivals/departures of Golden Gate Ferry and San Francisco Bay Ferry mostly. I asked at the Amtrak office the next building over if they came by, and I was told occasionally they ask around. It wasn't a checkpoint though. It was more a show of force more than anything else.
Here's a picture of them patrolling around a planned BART protest:
I have seen them at the SVT station; it was odd, they had a table set up outside with their gear, but never saw them check anyone. That station gets 14 trains (north a and south bound Hiawatha's) a day and those trains only go between MKE and CHI. It is not a staffed location either.
Just saw DHS (in addition to L.A. County Sheriff) a few mornings ago at LA Union Station when I arrived on Metrolink. Several weeks ago, a VIPR (DHS & TSA) team was set up early AM at the Chatsworth (CA) Amtrak/Metrolink station.
I don't see it as feasible.
I've seen them at STL, and even once they walked a dog (drug dog? I don't know, they didn't stop and check in the sleeper, just walked through) through the train.
I suspect that if there were a major incident, maybe LD travel wouldn't "go away," but they might close all the "little" unstaffed stations....and only stop in major cities where they could have a big TSA presence.
I don't know. Having airport-like screening at the train station (and airport-like rules, like "No bottles of water you carry in with you") would probably make me stop taking the train....probably make me stop most of my traveling altogether.
FYI - There is no such thing as "DHS Police" The Dept. of Homeland Security is a collection of 22 seperate agencies. Many but not all who have a law enforcement component. While it is not uncommon for some gear to be blazoned DHS, if you inquire further the officers/agents will actually belong to ICE/CBP/USSS/FAMS/FPS or one of the 17 other agencies. In this case most likely FAMS (Air Marshals) backing up TSA. Yes, FAMS are sometimes used for other tasks other than flying.
I have see them at Seattle once, dogs sniffing luggage, they are at the ferry docks al the time.
The ones I saw were most likely FPS. All it says on their vests is "DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY POLICE". I believe this is their vehicle color scheme:
I've seen officers from all of those DHS agencies. They're usually identified with their full agency name except for FPS.
OK, the post is only to inform, not to threadjack. The Dog has already installed private security checkpoints at major terminals. Some of them require pat-down with metal detactors to pass through, others only require a ticket and ID check. Also, ID my be checked again by the driver at boarding. Or course this does not happen in small stations like Winnemucca.
So Amtrak might do this too, just saying.
At major stations there are TSA personel. They do random checks
I have seen TSA in Orlando and Kissimmee.
DHS has been creeping up on Amtrak little-by-little every year. I'm plenty safe without their lot, so I'd rather they not exist. That being said this is something a GOP congress would not object to if Amtrak requested it in their budget, they would love to hand over another few million in tax dollars to the security-industrial complex. It would have the added benefit of making Amtrak even more unattractive. If somebody on Capitol Hill wanted to kill Amtrak off slowly this would be one way to hasten the death.
If as the thread's topic states seeing TSA checkpoints at major stations (NYP, DC, Chicago, LA) then the answer is maybe though I think it would take some major type of event to get this to happen. However, it would be foolhardy and cost way too much to try to do it at all stations.based on logistics.
When I was living in Shanghai every subway station had a bag check station (x-ray) to clear before they let you through and onto the trains.
I doubt Amtrak will be hiring private security officers to do checkpoints; they'd just use the Amtrak Police to do that. That's also something Greyhound is doing entirely voluntarily, whereas I'd imagine Amtrak is being "forced" to have the TSA at certain stations/checkpoints (and any development for the TSA would be forced upon Amtrak.)
It's an apples vs. oranges comparison.
Every so often a team of TSA "Officers" come by the Amtrak Station from the Airport, drink their coffee, talk on thier phones and hang around until the Eagle Loads and Rolls out! I haven't seen them really do anything or board the Train so guess they're just " showing the flag" so to speak!
I don't understand the point in having people go through a TSA checkpoint in Chicago when it's easy enough for someone with nefarious intent to board down the line in Galesburg or some other, smaller station. Additionally, the rail lines are not secure, so someone can easily plant explosives along the rails, under a bridge, etc. Really, the entire thing would be fairly pointless.
Once in a while they will show up at Norman OK to watch the southbound boarding of the Heartland Flyer but they keep their distance and never bother anyone.
Security is a side issue. The goal of a bureaucracy is to grow its budget and power, and in that regard DHS is on a tear. The blue shirt donut eaters are roaming out of the airport terminals and spreading their brand far and wide. They are riding public transportation in several "test/training" projects and it's a safe bet that Amtrak will eventually be blessed with their presence.
That's pretty much what I said, with about 99% less tin-foil-hat-ness.
Lately, Amtrak Police (They Have Their Own Police!) come through the train on the Pacific Surfliner with the dogs and do a sweep.
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