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|October 30th, 2005, 01:24 PM||#1|
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Airport-Style Security at Railway Stations?
Britain to begin airport-style security checks at train stations: report
LONDON, Oct 30 (AFP) - Britain plans to introduce airport-style security checks using body scanners and X-ray machines at mainline railway stations in the wake of the London bombings, a newspaper reported on Sunday.
Passengers will have to pass through security scanners, while their baggage is put through by X-ray machines before boarding trains, The Sunday Telegraph said, citing a source familiar with the plan.
They may also be frisked by security staff, it added.
The four suicide bombers who blew themselves up on subway trains and a bus on July 7 killing 52 innocent people arrived at London's Kings Cross mainline station from Luton, north of the capital.
Transport Secretary Alistair Darling drew up the new security measures following the attack. They will also include increased security on the transport network, newspaper said.
Trials will be carried out at certain stations, starting with Paddington, west London, to see how the measures work at rush hour, it reported.
"The reason Paddington has been chosen is that there are diesel fumes and high-voltage power lines there," the person familiar with the plans told The Sunday Telegraph.
"Nobody knows whether the scanning equipment is going to work in that environment. We think it will, but it has never been tried. If it does work it will be rolled out across major rail and Tube stations."
Rail experts, however, doubt a method of screening passengers fast enough to prevent huge crowds building up will have any real security benefits.
A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies told the newspaper: "We have an open access rail network and it is simply not practical to put in airport-style security at every station -- and there is also the question of who will foot the bill.
"Security is a high priority but it has got to be practicable."
Darling is due to outline the measures when giving evidence to a transport committee in parliament on Wednesday.