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Congressman Wants ‘No Ride’ List For Amtrak Trains

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Amtrak Train (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Amtrak Train (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – A “no fly” list can bar you from the nation’s airlines. Now, one Capitol Hill politician wants to create a “no ride” list for Amtrak, as well.

All Amtrak seats are reserved, and Amtrak requires riders to produce a photo ID, sometimes both when buying the ticket and when handing it to the conductor. So, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says, a no-ride list is doable, and probably a wise idea now that documents recovered from Osama bin Laden’s hideout outline plans to target trains in several U.S. metropolitan areas — including Chicago.

“What we support is what has always been our priority, which is safety on all modes of transportation — trains, planes, automobiles, motor coaches, school buses,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

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LaHood said he is willing to work with Schumer and any other member of Congress who has ideas that can enhance safety and security on the nation’s rails.

Amtrak, commuter rail agencies and even the CTA now use specially-trained dogs routinely. Since the bin Laden raid, police officers have been more in evidence at Chicago-area rail stations, including officers in black uniforms from the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Metal detectors are notably absent from railroad stations, and industry officials say they would be difficult to use because, unlike airplanes, trains stop in many places and generally have multiple entrances and exits.

In interviews in the past week with WBBM, LaHood and Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo said neither had heard of any imminent threat to the nation’s railroads or mass transit systems.

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