TSA supports passenger rail systems security

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger were joined by Amtrak Chief of Police Polly Hanson at a press conference highlighting passenger rail systems security at Union Station in Washington D.C., Sept. 3.

With more than 12 million commuters riding passenger trains each day nationwide, TSA helps to ensure the security for mass transit and passenger rail systems in coordination with transportation and law enforcements agencies.

“Rail safety is a shared endeavor between federal, state and local authorities as well as the rail industry itself,” said Johnson.

“At rail stations across the country we are today participating in Operation RAILSAFE, a nationwide initiative that provides enhanced visible law enforcement and security presence at train stations and trains on selected high volume travel days.”

During Operation RAILSAFE, Amtrak police, TSA and local law enforcement agencies deploy counterterrorism assets including explosive detection sweeps, random bag inspections and patrols by TSA Visible Intermodal Protection and Response teams.

“The passenger rail environment is very open and dynamic and it requires a great deal of effort with federal, state, local and private sector partnerships, and we have one of the best partners in securing rail systems in Amtrak,” added Neffenger.

“They have been a leader in thinking differently in how to ensure the security and safety of our rail system.”

Since its inception in 2010, there have been 50 RAILSAFE events in 42 states, including events in Washington D.C. and Vancouver, Canada, and more than 260 law enforcement agencies and 1,200 officers have participated.

View the photo gallery images of Operation RAILSAFE.