Amtrak Boosts Security

February 23, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — New security measures similar to those at airports are headed this way for Amtrak passengers. Amtrak began rolling out the initiative a few months ago in the Northeast region of the country, and the measures eventually will be implemented at Amtrak’s Grand Rapids station.

According to Amtrak, its new Mobile Security Team will begin randomly searching passengers’ bags and will deploy armed Amtrak police, armed counter-terrorism special agents and bomb-sniffing dogs on trains and platforms. Passengers will have the right to refuse inspections, but those who do will not be able to board the train and will be offered a ticket refund.

Amtrak officials said the measures will vary in terms of times and stations but will not affect train schedules.

Although terrorists have targeted commuter trains in London, Madrid and Tokyo in the past, Amtrak indicated the new security measures were not implemented in response to a specific terrorism threat.

Amtrak’s rail network serves an average of 67,000 people per day.

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