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House approves rail, public transportation security legislation


Earlier this week, the House passed the Rail and Public Transportation Security Act (H.R. 1401), which would provide long-term freight- and passenger-rail security funding.

The bill would allocate $7.3 billion over four years to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to assess risks, train workers and secure rail and road tunnels, according to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET). The legislation also would require railroads and transit agencies to train employees on how to prevent, prepare for and respond to a terrorist attack — a stipulation that gets the union’s thumbs up, the BLET said in a prepared statement.

However, President Bush has threatened to veto the bill, objecting to language that would allow employees with grievances to reveal security-sensitive information, BLET said.

The legislation has entered the Senate, which currently is working on its own security funding bill. Earlier this month, the Senate approved Improving America’s Security by Implementing Unfinished Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (S. 4), which includes an amendment calling for $3.5 billion in transit security during a three-year period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/30/2007