TSA, Transport Canada partner to protect rail lines

Thursday, March 12, 2020
Team Meeting Picture

TSA is teaming up with our neighbors to the north to protect the passenger and freight rail systems.

Several TSA and DHS representatives hosted a delegation from Transport Canada who traveled to the U.S. capital region. The meetings, which focused on rail security issues, left a huge imprint on the participating agencies.

Transport Canada is responsible for protecting the road, rail, marine and air transportation system by developing Canada’s regulations, policies and programs. This is similar to TSA’s role in our country.

Team Picture 2

“TSA and Transport Canada use similar models to protect passengers against terrorist attacks in passenger and freight railroads,” said TSA Mass Transit Industry Engagement Manager Chris McKay. “Regulatory actions, in combination with other deterrent and detection programs, are designed to prevent and protect against attacks.”

It’s a very important partnership!

McKay said the visit was an opportunity for TSA and Transport Canada to update each other on current regulatory activities. The teams received a classified briefing on physical and cyber security issues, participated in a half-day discussion on TSA cyber security strategic priorities,

US-Canada Team Picture
and visited Washington, D.C.’s Union Station where they saw a canine demonstration.

McKay felt the meetings provided both groups with a great learning opportunity.

“It is critically important to learn from each other and share security best practices and ideas,” McKay said. “I learned that Transport Canada has a robust regulatory agenda going forward for both passenger and freight rail.”

In the U.S., approximately 6,800 local transit providers serve over 28 million riders on average each day, while about 575 freight railroads operate a network of nearly 140,000 miles across the 50 states and the District of Columbia.