View Full Version : Marshals To Patrol Land, Sea Transport

12-14-2005, 10:19 AM
From today's Washington Post:

"Teams of undercover air marshals and uniformed law enforcement officers will fan out to bus and train stations, ferries, and mass transit facilities across the country this week in a new test program to conduct surveillance and "counter potential criminal terrorist activity in all modes of transportation," according to internal federal documents.

"According to internal Transportation Security Administration documents, the program calls for newly created "Visible Intermodal Protection and Response" teams -- called "Viper" teams -- to take positions in public areas along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and Los Angeles rail lines; ferries in Washington state; and mass transit systems in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Viper teams will also patrol the Washington Metro system."



12-16-2005, 02:30 PM
WASHINGTON POST December 15, 2005 - Brief Excerpt

New TSA Surveillance Tactic Curtailed - Officials Confused Over Test of Air Marshals at Transit Hubs; Metro Not in Program
By Sara Kehaulani Goo, Washington Post Staff Writer

Just two days into an experimental program that would place undercover air marshals in train, bus, ferry and other mass transit stations, the Transportation Security Administration yesterday said its test has been scaled back, owing to confusion over the rollout. TSA officials had planned to deploy teams of air marshals, local law enforcement officers and bomb-sniffing dogs at seven locations around the nation this week to test whether the agency could deter criminals in public transportation stations and conduct surveillance of suspicious activity. Yesterday, local officials at some of the locations -- including Washington s Metro system -- said they were not participating in the program, and at least one other appeared not to have been informed.
“We didn’t think we’d have enough time with this idea," said Sgt. Monica Hunter spokeswoman for the Washington State Patrol. Hunter added that the state police would like to work with TSA in the future, but "it's not something we d want to rush into.”

12-16-2005, 03:33 PM
I don't quite see why railfans, those that care to, are used like the Minute Men to keep an eye out while trackside. No, I am not campaigning for permission to enter railroad property or have special privileges. Many railfans are interested in national security and a protected railway system.

There are storm chasers that work with the local and national weather services. They get some training and a certificate but have no real official capacity.

12-16-2005, 10:24 PM
See the following links for emergency contact numbers. I once spotted a broken joint bar on a main track and called it in. Maintenance crew arrived wthin an hour to repair it.


Joe the Photog
12-27-2005, 06:01 PM
I don't quite see why railfans, those that care to, are used like the Minute Men to keep an eye out while trackside.

Don't we already do that?


12-27-2005, 07:01 PM
Originally Posted by busyEMT
I don't quite see why railfans, those that care to, are used like the Minute Men to keep an eye out while trackside.

Don't we already do that?
I guess they aren't welcome either! This is what I do, but have never had the opportunity to call regarding mischief or suspicious activity.

01-03-2006, 06:47 PM
Following was posted on Railpace's news site:


BNSF is committed to the safety of employees, the communities it serves, and the security of facilities and customers’ materials. In a post-Sept. 11, 2001, world, BNSF has fully cooperated with the Office of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of goods vital to this economy. As stated by the Resource Protection Solutions Team (RPST), "Safety is a shared responsibility." As such, BNSF has a detailed security plan and has worked with employees to heighten awareness of possible security risks. An outgrowth of BNSF’s security efforts is the ON GUARD program, which launched in 2003. The program encourages employees and others to report suspicious behavior, security violations, trespassers or crimes in progress on BNSF property. To date, more than 200 reports of suspicious activity or persons have been reported through BNSF ON GUARD. When contacting a suspicious person or trespasser, BNSF police officers will use the proper law enforcement procedures to gain information, including checking identification, asking questions, informing the person of potential safety dangers and, when necessary, appropriate follow-up with other local, state or federal agencies. Concerns will be elevated if the suspicious activity or trespasser is around a train or critical infrastructure. "Our employees are vital to the overall security of BNSF," says John Clark, assistant vice president, RPST. "They can make the difference in a timely police response by reporting suspicious activity directly to our Resource Operations Command Center (ROCC)." BNSF recognizes there are many railroad enthusiasts throughout the system who can be helpful in reporting security violations and suspicious activities. Next year, BNSF will launch a new program similar to the internal BNSF ON GUARD program to gain rail fan support as another layer in rail transportation security. More details of the program will be released in the future. In the meantime, anyone who notices anything suspicious should call the Resource Operations Call Center at 1-800-832-5452. However, do not take action on your own if you spot a possible problem – call 1-800-832-5452. For more information about the ON GUARD program, go to the Resource Protection intranet site and click Protection Solutions. BNSF - posted 12/28