Lawmakers yesterday questioned whether the federal government overlooked terrorism risks to passenger and freight railroads as it responded to the
September 11 attacks.
"Our enemies seek a soft target," Rep. Jon Porter, Nevada Republican, said during a congressional hearing.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure railroads subcommittee is investigating ways to avert attacks such as the March 11 Madrid train
bombings that killed 191 persons.
If this government actually cares about keeping people safe, then they would actually make an attempt at it. This is because it would not be that
difficult for the government to pass legislation as to where the railroads would be required to put cabooses, or 'guard' vans, on the rear of the
trains. This way, you could have the train covered by someone from one end to the other. Of course, loopholes would be found by the insurance
companies to keep that from happening. Not only that, the railroads, like CSX and Union Pacific, would find ways to keep from hiring conductors to put
on the caboose. This could happen because of the greed that has taken over this country.
I can at least say that if the railroads will not willingly participate with what the government does, fine them for each day that the requirements
aren't met. The government can actually
force railroads to abide by the rulings that affect the railroads. For example, the military takeover
of American railroads in 1917 prior to our entrance into World War I. This was done to make the shipment of military goods and supplies going over to
Europe easier and more efficient. This in turn, made the war go much faster than what it would have went if the takeovers would not have happened.
I honestly believe that if someone wanted to attack any given railroad line over here, they would have already done such by now. It would be easy for
someone to slip a bomb onto a train or onto the tracks. However, I am not saying nor condoning an attack on any of the railroads. I am just stating my
opinion and the truth on this matter. This is because out of all the modes of transportation that support the infrastructure here, the railroads are
the least secure mode of transportation here in the United States and Canada.
One major drawback to keeping the railroads secure is due to the vast distances between populated locations on railroad systems. I can guarantee this,
you go through some parts here in West Virginia by rail, it could be miles before you see another town or a city. Some of the most remote parts of the
state can only be reached by rail, and if you're lucky, by roads. What I'm saying is that it would be nearly impossible to have a person for every
single mile of railroad track in this country. Not only do you have thousands of miles of mainline track that you would have to look over, but you
would also have thousands of miles of branches that come off of the mainlines to look over.
This government that we have now spent eleven billion dollars on aviation security after 9-11. While doing that, they basically said that the
railroads do not matter for the time being. Now, that these committees for improving security on the railroads, something may actually be done to
protect the rails. For example, the T.S.A. began a 30 day test to see if screening passengers boarding trains for bombs would be possible. I say that
this will not work because if you screen every single passenger, it will
cause the trains to be running hours behind schedule. If this happens,
it can screw up trains running over the whole system. Plus, if the trains run late, it will just be another sad nail in the coffin for Amtrak.
With the way this government is being run now, I will go as far as to say that is would be dam near impossible to secure every mile of track in both
the U.S. and Canada.
[edit on 11/19/2006 by gimmefootball400]