No Ride list for Amtrak, seriously?

A friend told me that congress is now considering a “no ride” list for Amtrak, based upon intelligence gathered during the OBL raid. Apparently Al Quaeda considered a train bombing at some point over the past 10 years.

Last time I rode Amtrak, ID’s weren’t checked, in fact there wasn’t any semblence of security. If congress wants to kill a mode of transportation, add all of the additional TSA security that is currently required for air travel, to train travel, and it will dry up worse than it already is.

That would be moronic. Particularly as one can blow the rails on a train rather more easily blow a couple cars. American security theatre.

So you two prefer the “thumb up the ass, head in the sand” approach to a credible security threat?

And it’s too bad all that additional TSA security killed the airline industry. Oh wait, it didn’t.

For what it does there is no alternative to airline travel. There is an alternative to train travel, on the other hand-Greyhound.

OR even your car. Most of the commuters on Amtrak, use it as a means to get to work. You add an hour of security checkpoints prior to departure and most people will just drive themselves in to work everyday.

The TSA has cost the airlines billions of dollars, and it’s not really that much more secure.

That’s exactly the issue. So many on this board figure any security is bad, if it doesn’t completely remove all threats permanently and forever from the country.

A reasonable person gets it, they understand that those procedures eliminate a specific kind of threat of attack. The foolish will call it theater, but it generally works (for that kind of threat).

And for all the derision in the snarkosphere, how many successful terrorist attacks have been launched since 2001 (not counting inside jobs I guess, like the Ft Hood whackjob)? And on Sept 12, how many would people have guessed would have happened, over the next 10 years?

Security procedures for airlines, existed prior to 9/11. Passengers already had to submit their carry-on baggage for x-ray and present a boarding pass to gain access to the gate areas in most airports around the world. 9/11 increased this to all airports, and the presentment of ID’s that matched the boarding passes at the security checkpoints. Actually a minor addition when you think about it.

There are no security procedures to get on trains. Not in most places around the world. And on most trains, you don’t have reserved seating, or even a specific ticket for a specific train, only a ticket for a particular route, that is good anytime you want to use it. You show and get on before the train leaves and you’re good. You don’t even have a name on your ticket. Most train tickets are not advanced purchased, they are bought at the station, usually at a machine and require no ID to obtain.

To institute a “No Ride” list effectively, would create a significant overhaul of train ticketing operations and procedures. Good luck.

Is requiring a boarding pass to get to the gate area even a security measure, or is it just a crowd control measure? (Or is it both?) I thought that they instituted it because they were worried that new security procedures would mean a longer line, so they cut down on the number of people able to clog up the works.

I don’t remember when they instituted the boarding pass requirement for gate access, but it was before 9/11, sometime in the 90’s. It was definitely a security measure. Reducing the number of people that have access to the plane’s boarding area is a component of security.

No I favour sane rationale, non-Chicken-Little approaches, as has existed in most of Europe for the past 40 years.

Actually, given the stagnation of tourism flights into the USA - I certainly actively avoid - I would say that it has in fact damaged air travel.

Of course how Anal Probing by low paid idiots would prevent a well-placed bomb on the unsecured tracks 100km down the line utterly escapes. But perhaps a certain class of people like the pointless groping and porno-scanner

I’m assuming that this “no-ride” process and its associated overhead would also be in effect for, say, New York City subway trains - after all, they haul just as many (if not more) passengers per hour than Amtrak does.

…and while I’m thinking of it, of course any bridge crossing into/out of New York City should require similar passenger investigation / prior approval…

Let’s see the worst possible customer service I ever had was on Amtrak. Let’s make it HARDER to ride the trains. Let’s just end it all now and put Amtrak out of its misery

Do you realize that terrorists can just get in cars and trucks and drive right out on public streets?

[QUOTE=Markxxx;13781480 Let’s make it HARDER to ride the trains. Let’s just end it all now and put Amtrak out of its misery[/QUOTE]

Hmmm, a quasi-government operation. No competition in that modality. The most subsidized, least-efficient form of mass transit, by passenger mile.

Shocking, I know

That depends on where you start. When I take Amtrak from NYC to Albany, I must show ID before going down the stairs to the platform , but I don’t have to from Albany to NYC. It may be that there’s extra security on trains leaving NYC- or I might coincidentally always get a ticket on the line tht goes into Canada.

It’s not as if you actually have to be on the train to cause serious damage to it. See (arguably): Recalling a Train Wreck


Whether it even exists or not.


No, that’s what we have now. What we’d prefer is something rational and effective.

That’s a pretty interesting list.

I am definitely not taking Amtrak to Pakistan anymore.

What do you think would be effective? I’m not a fan of irrational or ineffective, but it’s not an easy problem to solve.