Amtrak boosts security effort in aftermath of derailment But Penn Station riders see little out of the ordinary

October 12, 1995|By JOHN RIVERA | JOHN RIVERA,SUN STAFF

Amtrak officials said they have put extra security measures in place after Monday's derailment in Arizona to prevent future acts of terrorism, moves intended to reassure riders.

According to a memo that riders found on their seats yesterday, Amtrak has increased scheduled and unscheduled security inspections. Security procedures have been intensified in all its facilities, along its rights of way and on its equipment, said the memo signed by George Warrington, the chief executive officer for Amtrak's Northeast corridor.

Amtrak said the measures are being taken to reassure passengers that "rail continues to be one of the safest ways to travel."

During yesterday's afternoon rush hour at Baltimore's Pennsylvania Station, little appeared out of the ordinary. A few dozen people sat on benches. Two uniformed security personnel casually patrolled. Passengers said that any additional security measures were hard to notice.

"It seemed like there were a few more conductors, a few more Amtrak personnel, but that's about it," said Dan Decker of Franklin Lakes, N.J., who had traveled to Baltimore for a business meeting yesterday morning and was waiting for his return train.

"I think they meant for it to be unobtrusive," said Stuart Drowos of Wilmington, Del. "I think they wanted us to know about it, but I don't think they wanted the bad guys to know about it."

Saundra Krieger, an employee of the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and Hygiene on her way to New York, said increased security is overdue.

"I guess I've been wondering about that ever since the [Oklahoma City] bombing. Why don't they put more security on these trains?" she said. "Maybe this will start waking them up, that they have to do something."

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