Responding to news reports that highlighted potential terrorist interest in, and threats to, North American railroads outlined by documents and other media seized by U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan, the Association of American Railroads assured the public that measures have been taken, and will continue to be taken, to increase railroad security since Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorist attacks occurred in New York, Washington, D.C., and on board a jet plane that eventually crashed in Pennsylvania.
“Because enhanced security has become a long-term necessity, the Board of Directors of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) — made up of the CEOs of North America’s major freight railroads and Amtrak — has established the mandate to ensure that the railroads would be more secure each day,” AAR notes. “Using CIA and national intelligence community best practices, five critical action teams — with the active involvement of some 150 railroad industry, security and intelligence personnel — were established to scrutinize different aspects of the railroad system: hazardous materials; operations; infrastructure; information technology and communications; [and] military movements.”
AAR adds, “The railroad sector maintains communication links with the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and state and local law enforcement to enable immediate response.”
“The railroad security plan is a living document, because the risk assessment process is a continuous one. As conditions warrant, that plan is updated, revised and strengthened to ensure the security of the railroads and their continued service to the nation,” AAR says.