After reading all of these reports over the last few years of what the United States Government has done or hasn't done, let's just say I'm
thinking right now. We all know that the most vulnerable targets that can inflict the mass amount of casualties in one incident are our freight
railroads and our chemical plants. It has just shocked me, if not dumbfounded me, as to why the government has not done more to protect our
infrastructure. Our infrastructure, non railroad, is in the toilet right now.
I saw a newspaper report a few years ago that stated that chemical plants were dropped from a bill that the House and Senate were both trying to get
passed to help the chemical plants pay for extra security measures. This was brought up due the ever present "threat" that Arab terrorists posed for
the chemical plants. Mysteriously, the mention of chemical plants and helping the chemical plants all together was dropped off the bill.
It would seem to me that somebody, if not some special interest group had stuffed the polticians pockets to keep the chemical facilities off of that
bill. I myself live within driving distance of at least three major chemical plants. We always live day to day like there could be a problem at any
one of the plants. To me, it would seem like you would do everything in you power to keep the chemical plants, the people that work in them, and the
communities around them as safe as can be.
It also worries me that we could have another 9-11 style attack happen only involving the power plants. With some of the chemicals that are produced,
some of which can kill a human in minutes. After all that happens, we could be looking at a National Disaster or a National Emergency where everything
would possibly be shut down.
Now it is on to something that most of you know that I follow with a fine toothed comb. As most of you know, I am a railfan. I am basically the first
line of defense when it comes down keeping the rails safe for everyone. The thing is that we know what to look for and who to call if a problem or
suspicious activity pops up. We, as in the millions of us here ins the states, are basically the eyes, the ears, and the informants for the railroad
when their own officers aren't available.
Another thing that the government has basically neglected is the freight and passenger railroads. For the past ten years it seems like, no one in the
federal government has paid one single bit of attention to the nation's railroads. It does seem to me that the railroads have been neglected,
security wise, when it comes down to anti-terrorism. I for one, hate to see a vital link for our economy to be neglected like it has been. I guarantee
this, if certain links in the rail network here in the United States, it could cripple our economy. However, I see it like this though. You may agree
or disagree with me on this. It should be up to the federal government to help the railroads in certain situations. For example, when it comes down to
hiring more railroad police.
I do know one of the many possible reasons that the government no longer cares about the railroads is that the Federal Government no longer oversees
the railroads. Ever since the de-regulation of the railroads in 1980-81 by the Reagan Adminstration, security on the railroads has plummeted to
dangerous levels. If it wasn't for the deregulation and the view that the government now has on the railroads, they wouldn't be in such horrid shape
when it comes down to securing the rail system here.
There is at least one thing that you have to think about when it comes down to the railroads. You got to remember, the railroads go through places
where even cars and trucks cannot get to. This includes some of the most mountainous terrain on planet Earth. Places where you really only have to
options to get there. One is by rail and the other is by your feet.
Speaking for railfans across the United States.
We are not terrorists, we are a group, a very large group that is, that I like to see what we love. That is the 4 million pounds of steel rolling
through a neighborhood or through the countryside of this great land of ours. Almost 800,000 miles of track in this country and Canada, and it would
be very hard to impossible to enforce such a law like that! Imagine the number of people both governments would have to hire just for that reason.
We railfans know what suspicious activities to look for in and around the tracks.
1. Suspicious packages or someting out of the ordinary next to the tracks.
2. People taking pictures of the tracks instead of an approaching train.
3. Unknown persons taking photographs of train stations and platforms
4. Persons taking pictures of railyards or depots using a special type of camera.
5. People placing any sort of object on the tracks or at a station platform
Those are just a few signs to look for.
Other signs could be of trespassers tampering or at least trying to tamper with railroad property. That, if caught, could land a person in a Federal
prison for fifteen plus years. It can also lead to accidents that could have dire consequences for some.
To this day, nothing has been done for the freight railroads to keep them from being attacked by some terrorist.
I bring this up because I have a proposal for each and every railfan here in the United States and on ATS. This proposal is for a nationwide Railfan
Identification Program. The cards would almost be the same as your driver's license only a little bit different. It would have the same information
as to what your license would have, with one exception. This card would be good nationwide.
First step to get this started is to go to this websiteCitizens For Rail Security.
Second step is to get a hold of you Congressman/Congresswoman and tell them that we need a National Railfan Identification Program.
Thank you for your time, patience, and have a great day!