Senate panel passes $1B rail security act

Posted on April 8, 2004

Prompted by the railway bombings in Madrid last month, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday unanimously approved spending $1.1 billion to protect railroads and mass transit systems from terrorist attacks. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, only modest resources have been dedicated to rail security, and the recent events in Europe suggest that our transit system, Amtrak, and the freight railroads could be vulnerable to attack, said a statement released by the Committee. The bill directs the Department of Homeland Security to complete vulnerability assessment of the rail transportation system and make recommendations for addressing security weaknesses within 180 days of enactment. It also calls for improving security at railroad stations and tunnels and for railcars that carry hazardous materials.

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