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10/11/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

AAR lifts voluntary cargo restrictions, recommends continuing security measures


U.S. freight railroads Oct. 10 began accepting all shipments under heightened security — three days after Association of American Railroads asked rails to restrict the movement of certain sensitive cargo types following U.S. military action in Afghanistan.
AAR recommended the voluntary restrictions after consulting with U.S. Department of Transportation and intelligence agencies to determine ways to bolster national security.
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft recently asked the nation's law enforcement agencies, public utilities, airlines, railroads and other transportation-related businesses to maintain the highest possible degree of security while continuing operations. Therefore, AAR plans to continue monitoring surface transportation security developments and formulating recommendations as necessary.
For now, AAR is advising railroads to abide by the following security measures:
• ensure police forces employ appropriate heightened patrols, inspections and surveillance to secure shipments and facilities;
• operate certain trains commensurate with security requirements;
• continue restricting information-system access; and
• encourage employees to maintain a high degree of awareness.
AAR also will continue operating a 24-hour command center linked to national security personnel and railroads' 24-hour operations centers.


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