Security of U.S. rail system attracts senator's attention

In response to information gathered from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he wants the Homeland Security Department to extend its No Fly List to apply to Amtrak passengers, according to Security Magazine.

Through its Secure Flight program, DHS maintains a list of suspected terrorists who cannot board airplanes that arrive or depart in the United States, according to the Transportation Security Administration. Schumer said he would push to provide funding that would allow DHS to better secure the U.S. rail system, according to Security Magazine. That effort could include a no-ride list for suspected terrorists.

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1996, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

  • Shutterstock image.

    Merged IT modernization bill punts on funding

    A House panel approved a new IT modernization bill that appears poised to pass, but key funding questions are left for appropriators.

  • General Frost

    Army wants cyber capability everywhere

    The Army's cyber director said cyber, electronic warfare and information operations must be integrated into warfighters' doctrine and training.

  • Rising Star 2013

    Meet the 2016 Rising Stars

    FCW honors 30 early-career leaders in federal IT.

Reader comments

Wed, May 11, 2011 Dave K

Even with Osama dead, he still pulls Schumer's marionette strings... pathetic. Terrorists win when we act out of fear, and Schumer has always been about fear.

Tue, May 10, 2011

Just look at all the graffiti on the trains and you can tell how secure the train system is. Unfortunately, the system is not designed for security but cheapness and will be impossible to lock down over a country the size of the US. And with the funky laws that give more rights to wrong-doers than to law-abiding citizens who accidently break a law, it will be interesting to see the enforcement of the amount of security to prevent a train related incident.

And when you add in the overall picture of passengers and freight and trucked trailers, canisters, and other types of stuff, you would need to make TSA double the number of current government employees. The no-ride list mentioned is just a fraction of the problem, and the least of it. For people movement, what about busses, cars, taxis, rentals, etc.? Arabs paying to ride on a train to cause an incident is possible, but not as likely as aircraft to cause the same level of issue. It is easier to catch the train at a slow point and swing on board and then cause trouble. But then, our top elected officials have to do things like this idiot to look like they are doing something to get re-elected, no matter how impossible it is or how small a fraction of the problem it is.

I would not take the train as a passenger to cause a problem, there are a LOT more ways to cause hate and discontent on the train system without having to become a paid passenger or even getting on a train and risking your tender hide. Ask anyone who has had even a touch of Special Forces style training in the military.

Tue, May 10, 2011 DC Fed Washington

Schumer's insane. Has he ever been to Union Station at rush hour? TSA adds 2 hours to flights that hold a couple of hundred passengers. What do you think will happen in a commuter rail station like Union or Penn Station when trains with 500-2000 passengers try to board every 15 minutes for a period of 2.5 hours? It's crazy enough when Joe Biden decides to ride his beloved Amtrack back to Delaware and they practically close the station so his motorcade can drop him off. Before Schumer runs his mouth he ought to take a few field trips on the rails and speak to passengers and station security about the logistics involved with his cockamamie ideas. By the way, the threat was to the rail itself. how does screening passengers keep a terroist from attacking the rails and bridges? Dumb, just plain dumb.

Tue, May 10, 2011

This sounds like a good idea to me. More people are taking the train now that gas prices and other issues have risen.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group