The PJ Tatler

Schumer wants 'do not ride' list for Amtrak

Most Americans already do not ride Amtrak, whether we’re on a list or not. But listen to the liberal Senator from New York’s thinking here.

Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for better rail security now that the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound has turned up plans to attack trains in the U.S.

“Anyone, even a member of al-Qaida could purchase a train ticket and board an Amtrak train without so much as a question asked,” Schumer said. “So that’s why I’m calling for the creation of an Amtrak no ride list. That would take the secure flight program and apply it to Amtrak trains.”

It’s not news that al Qaeda wants to attack trains and it’s not news that they want to attack the US. Al Qaeda attacked trains in London and Madrid years ago, and trains everywhere make for a softer, albeit less glamorous, target than airplanes. That trains are a terrorist target is so not news that a few years back, the Washington DC Metro implemented various quiet detectors to sniff for radiation and chemical weapons.

These systems allow transit authorities to monitor multiple chemical warfare sensors, distribute command and control responsibilities among agencies, and integrate Metro’s hundreds of cameras into a manageable system. The upgrade will include expanded chemical detection libraries and radiological detection capabilities.

Those Metro measures are unobtrusive to the point of being all but invisible. It would be nice to bring them to the airports and get rid of the TSA and its nonsensical and personally invasive patdown regime. Schumer’s idea would seem to put us on a course to bring the TSA to US rail lines.