Amtrak Safety

By: Koula Gianulias
By: Koula Gianulias

In response to the tragedy in London, Amtrak offiicals released a statement pledging to increase security by adding officers and K-9 units. But some passengers say its still not enough.
"I've thought about it a lot," says Amtrak passenger Janace Hubbard. "Why don't they have security? Why don't they have a metal detector? Its so easy to bring something on."
"A train station would be a good place to hit," says Jesse Fausette. "Because a lot of people use the train station."
Reno Amtrak passengers we talked to say they were shaken by the news of London's terrorist attacks. But, the tragedy didn't keep them from boarding their train today. They say life must go on, even though they worry that America's rail system is the next target. Some transportation experts agree.
"I believe we're extremely vulnerable," says Kevin Lynch, a railroad security consultant. "I believe that it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. "
Experts say the federal government must devote more time, money and resources to securing the trains and busses that millions of americans depend on each day. To back up their argument, they point to the airline industry, which has received $18 billion to beef up security. That's compared to $250 million spent on public transportation. But government officials say major strides have already been taken.
"We operate from a baseline of preparedness that is much, much stronger than it was prior to 9/11; and, frankly, stronger than it was prior to Madrid," says Michael Chertoff, secretary of the Homeland Security Department.
"Ever since nine eleven, that's been our standing order out here," says Amtrak conductor Lenny Walker. "To be careful, to look out for things. To be more vigilant."


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