Security of passengers...

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JoeG

Post by JoeG »

The security steps I've seen taken since September 11 seem designed to reassure people that something is being done, but seem to actually offer very little protection. Things that could be done, arent--such as paying for radiation detectors in harbors. (Right now, you don't need a missile to deliver a nuclear payload. You can send it to Port Newark in a container. Sen Schumer has asked for a network of radiation detectors, but the administration hasn't been willing to pay for them.) I recently took a roundtrip on an airline--my first since 9/11/01. I wear suspenders with metal clips. Before 9/11, these would flunk the metal detector and they would frisk me and use the wand. Now they also have me take my shoes off, and send them through the x-ray machine.

One problem is that people and agencies with other agendas are using our fear of terrorists to reduce our civil rights and civil liberties and to satisfy their petty bureaucratic wishes. The photography ban by, among others NJ transit and the NY MTA are in this category. These agencies, especially the NYMTA and the NY Transit Authority, have long had a bureacratic objection to photographers. (The NY subway banned them for years or made them get permits. Not so long ago they were forced by the courts to stop harassing photographers.) My guess is the bureaucrats are mainly worried about photos that would be embarrassing to them. Let's get real here--real spies, etc. have available high-quality miniature cameras, etc of all kinds. They are not going to set up a tripod on a station platform.

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Otto Vondrak
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Post by Otto Vondrak »

I think we've strayed away from the AMTRAK conversation?

-otto-
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RMadisonWI

Post by RMadisonWI »

Wow. For once, I actually agree wth crazy nip.

Irish Chieftain

Post by Irish Chieftain »

and I totally agree with the Reagan policies
Then you missed the point. The rhetoric on that page is what turned us into a target. And most of that rhetoric had nothing to do with what Reagan did in terms of foreign and domestic policy.

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Otto Vondrak
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Post by Otto Vondrak »

I'm moving this thread since we've seem to have lost sight of the Amtrakness of this conversation.

-otto-
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Robert Paniagua
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Post by Robert Paniagua »

Unfortunately folks, this will be the way we'll all have to live with increased security around us. Yes, it's sad that we have to come to grips like these but with 11SEP01 and Madrid 3-1-1 in mind, I will have to modify my railfanning life also.

We now have come into the world of "nowadays, you can't trust anyone these days".
~Robert Paniagua
Moderator: WMATA :: General Railroad Operations

NellieBly
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Security of Passengers

Post by NellieBly »

I think we should raise the color-coded terrorism alert level from taupe to chartreuse. That should fix the problem!

Seriously, railroads are uniquely vulnerable to sabotage. There's really not much we can do, other than an increased police presence and vigilence on the part of employees. Forbidding photography is not likely to accomplish much, either.

Just by the way, I spent last Saturday with a friend who has software and a "packet radio" that enable him to receive and decode ATCS Spec 200 radio signals railroads use to control switches and signals. By driving around and sitting next to relay cases at interlockings, it's easy to determine which code applies to which geographic location. His aim is to build himself a "virtual model board" on his computer so he can watch trains move across the railroad (occupancy indications are also transmitted). We, with two antennas and a laptop, drove along miles of railroad and were never questioned by anyone. Now, if we can do it....

Oh, and it would probably be a good idea to replace those hazmat placards with something less obvious.

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