New legislation designed to expand and improve anti-terrorist security programs for passenger and freight rail systems has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"Even before the Madrid attacks, we knew that our rail lines were terrorist targets," said Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads Jon Porter (R-NV). "Unlike other infrastructure, every inch of track and every signal is a vital part of the system and a critical vulnerability."
Provisions of the new legislation H.R. 4604 range from simple to high-tech, including expanding of the authority of the nation's existing railroad police force and developing new counter-terror technologies to protect all aspects of the rail network.
The legislation will provide in excess of $1 billion in new money, including more than $600 million to improve the safety of critical rail tunnels used by Amtrak and commuter railroads.