Terrorism on the rails.

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by kf4jqd, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    If you take pictures of the rails. You should be warned. Our intelligent agencies has found documents about terrorist using our railroads for terrorism. Here's the website I have found. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_487117.html

    I have contacted last Spring the Northfolk Southern and CSX railroads about taking pictures. They told me to stay off their property. If I do see something strange, I am to call the local law enforcement.

    I told both companies that I am a Ham Raadio Operator and I monitor their communications with my radios. I also told them I have their police departments programmed in my cell. They liked the idea. The CSX trains which goes right by me knows who I am by my car. They blow the horn when they see it!

    So here's my idea if you go railfanning. Go to the railroad's company's website. You should find their police departments phone number. I would call them and my local police if I see something strange. Who knows, you might stop a potential attack!

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The more transparent you are about your activities, the better, I think, Sure you might get turned away, but you may get some good contacts, and also a better understanding of the business. They aren't there just for our entertainment, incredible as it may seem... ;) :D sign1

  3. stripes

    stripes Member

    Here in Capreol, CN is very strict about going on their property. They have a security lady that is just full of herself! She even parks at crossings and will give you a ticket if you run it without stoping! Everyone in town calls her "The Bulldog With lips" jawdrop Fortunatly I get lots of pictures because most of the CN guys are cool and will take my camera and take pictures for me. As far as national security?? Who wants to attack a town of 3,000 folks in the frozen tundra!!!!!! LOL
  4. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

  5. CaNadiaN

    CaNadiaN New Member

    My (only) experience with CN was also less than pleasant; I was teaching at a private school at the time, and we were in Green Bay for a feild trip so thought we would stop at the CN yard to see about a tour (the year prior we visited the yard while it was under Wisconsin Central still). While the Wisconsin Central people were thrilled about the prospect of having us tour their yard and welcomed us with open arms, I think the CN yardmaster was about to have the bus ticketed and everyone onboard arrested for trespassing if we had stayed longer than the process of telling us flat-out "we have nothing of interest for you to see" (despite our pleadings and going into the story of the WC tour). Yet another reason for my feelings of disdainment towards CN... :curse:
  6. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

    If thier security people are anything like most local police dept's., and you try to report a violation, they'll probably arrest you!!!

    Texas Chief
  7. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Isn't this subject a little too political for the gauge ? There are very qualified people to protect the rails.

    Profiling and prejudice are often justified by propaganda. I tend to think that terrorism is made up. like come-on ONE attack in how many years and how many lives are not only put in jeperdy but often also ended or restricted by some fool that controls the button.
  8. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Whew! Well Ron you may have taken the thread to an even more controversial political discussion! I think the biggest issue regarding rail infrastructure safety is its incredible size in miles across the country. No agency or company can completely ensure that no harm (be it from vandalism, crime, or terrorism) might befall any particular section of track.
    That's why, I believe, the BNSF has invited citizens to help. Other companies feeling the pressure seem to become less tolerant of railfans and visitors.

    As for the issue of profiling and whether past incidents of terrorism are being played up to justify other actions, those really aren't the topic at hand and I'm thinking that yes debating such topics is beyond the scope of The Gauge forum. I'd encourage members to seek other outlets for such discussions. There must be many options online!

    I posted in another thread earlier today about how we come from varied backgrounds and have different opinions about virtually everything but have this appreciation of railroading in common. I'd like to see us maintain that focus and avoid more divisive arguments.

  9. CaNadiaN

    CaNadiaN New Member

    All politicalness aside, it'd theoretically be a lot easier (and more feasible) to secure the rail network than it is the airline system. First and foremost, trains are confined to running on rails; there's no risk of ramming into a building other than a derailment or a closed loading door. Compare that to an airplane, which can be directed into any other object, animate or inanimate.

    Back to the topic at hand, as has been brought up many times already, the railroads really need to take steps towards getting railfans even more active; after all, railfans (who spend all day in one area) are likely to know the area even better than the crews (who spend a few minutes in each area).
  10. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    I think that like the chemical attack scare right after 9/11 that the threat against most US rail operations are way overblown.

    The most effective target for terrorists are packed commuter trains. Headlines of 100s dead and injured are what they are after. People are afraid to take trains, it causes a surge in traffic in metro areas and parking problems.

    I can understand the roads using this as an excuse to reduce the possibility of a liability lawsuit should a railfan get injured and trying to keep people away.

  11. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    I don’t know but it appears very easy to hit the rail system if anyone wanted too. When I ride Amtrak there is no screening and you simply place your luggage in the rack above your head. I love traveling by train because of this no hassle approach to boarding and riding. But to tell the truth it is what I would call a very soft target.

    Chemical storage that I have noticed would indeed have the potential to result in many deaths or at least mass exodus of the population because of drift. It can even be a larger concern when passing into a larger city.

    We are country boys though we are long pass taking those free train rides. We still walk the tracks while hunting or line the many bridges and hills to photograph moving trains.

    They still build rolling stock in Johnstown, Pa. http://www.johnstownamerica.com/

    You can watch this from the safety of your home since the plants are in the valley up against the residential areas. Even the few steel mills offer an exciting view of trains in action all again from public places.

    All trains have to pass through the narrow mountain valley through Johnstown; there is no way to avoid the population. If anyone really wanted to just stop the flow of train east to west they would only have to venture a few miles north of Johnstown to the Gallitzin Tunnels. http://www.gallitzin.info/ That would stop all traffic going down through the Horseshoe Bend.

    I guess for a country boy I have more real life train action than most city boys to view. However because of our life style it would not be out of place to see people milling around any given train track, industrial site, overpass or just taking that walk up the tracks.

    [FONT=&quot]BTW if you are in the area here is a cool tunnel you can visit. http://shaw-weil.com/supplement/Staple%20Bend%20Trail.htm[/FONT]
  12. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

    I think that if the Moderators are going to tell us not to include non-raliway matters in our messages they should in all fairness stop people including non-railway matters in their signatures!!:curse:
  13. railohio

    railohio Active Member

  14. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    The rail system is more open to sabotage here in the US than to terrorism. Thats what I was pointing out that unless it is a crowded rail car or station that the terrorist generally leave it alone. Look at Europe, most terrorist acts are against commuter trains. There are a lot of possibilities for other attacks but the information, time and so forth would be hard. I think that the threat is overblown.

    There are a lot of factors involved in using a freight train as a bomb, timing, if the train is late or early they miss and so on....others I'm not going into it on an open forum....but there are other things involved, some learned living in Germany during a lot of terrorist activity and others learned in demo training in the Army. (Terrorist set off a car bomb at Rein Main Air Base in 85, 3 days before my wife and kids flew in there).

    I think it's another gov distraction to keep our minds of of what is going on in DC.

  15. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    I think its pretty clear that the moderating staff, myself included does not ask the member ship to avoid nonrailroad related content...if you reread my comments you'll see that I am specifically asking people to monitor their own comments about the potentially "hot" topics of profiling and other political issues related to terrorrism that may be less of a railroad nature.

    As for signatures everyone is welcome to express themselves within the bounds of good taste and consideration of others.

  16. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Since you opened the door to this question I must ask, what is the difference between the two?

  17. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    even though the two could be one in the same, I would think sabotage would be more along the lines of disabling the rail system and terrorism would be more using the system to commit acts of terror- like carrying people, bombs, etc that are involved.

    I could be way off base, but that would bemy take...
  18. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Some sabotage occurred during WWII against the US war effort, mostly things like derailments and setting fires on munition box cars. They didn't have much effect on the civilian population and in fact most Americans didn't even know about it because the government kept it quite so as not to scare the population. They occurred to hamper the war effort.

    Terrorism can be directed against targets like that but they are harder to detect as acts of terrorism and you don't get the big headline grabber, mass causalities. That is why almost all acts of terrorism directed against rails systems are carried out on commuter rail. A small bomb in a confined car can cause a lot of dead and injured. Acts of terrorism are carried out to cause fear among the people and outrage that the government isn't doing enough to protect the citizens.

  19. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    yeah, over at the Cincinnati Museum center, the intemodial backyard looks totaly exposed
  20. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Thats all i mean, is that actually nescassary ?

    In canada here we recently found a bomb factory. At first though i think what a few of em bought a farmhouse now ? Like that'd be subtle LOL. It was a 19 year old white kid planning a colombine. Maybe time would be better spent securing the insecure namely us, and our neighbours.

    I'm not making a stir just a thought

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