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Rail News: Safety

BNSF to rely on rail fans' eyes and ears to help spot suspicious activity

BNSF Railway Co. is turning to a devoted group to boost security at facilities and along track: rail fans. The Class I is introducing Citizens United for Rail Security (CRS), a program that encourages rail fans to report suspicious activities and help prevent security breaches.

Rail fans can register for the program at the CRS Web site. Participants will receive an official identification card and gain access to news and information on the site.

“Every day across the country, rail fans photograph and watch trains as they pass through communities,” said William Heileman, BNSF general director of police and protection solutions, in a prepared statement. “It seems natural to harness their interest to help keep America’s rail system safe.”

CRS is an outgrowth of BNSF ON GUARD, a program that encourages employees to report suspicious activities or trespassers. Since the program began in 2003, more than 200 employees have issued reports on theft, vandalism, arson, attempted suicides, safety threats and other unusual events.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/8/2006