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Freight roads on red alert in response to FBI warning


On Oct. 24, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a warning to state and local law enforcement officials about a possible terrorist attack against the nation's transportation system, particularly railroads.

FBI intelligence suggests that terrorists might soon try to destroy rail bridges, key track sections or locomotives to cause derailments and widespread damage.

In response to the threat, freight railroads heightened their state of alert, according to an Association of American Railroads statement released Oct. 24.

"The nation’s railroads will not be a soft target for terrorists," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger.

As part of post-Sept. 11 security enhancements, railroads and AAR operate a 24/7 center that provides a secure communications link between railroad control centers, and appropriate transportation and law enforcement agencies. Roads also are restricting access to facilities and equipment, heightening employee awareness and increasing infrastructure surveillance.

In light of the warning, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers International President Don Hahs issued an open letter Oct. 25 to the nation's labor organizations, railroads, Federal Railroad Administration and National Transportation Safety Board requesting an immediate anti-terror summit.

"I think it is imperative that all parties meet in order to discuss preventative measures to protect the freight and passenger rail system … [and] coordinate safety efforts," said Hahs.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/25/2002