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Old October 20th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #1621
He Named Thor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranieri View Post
Back in the late 90's my mother and I rode Amtrak from Philadelphia to North Carolina to visit my brother. The cars were smelly and dirty, they were from the 70's. The train was outrun by the highway drivers next to us. And we had to wait for freight to go by before were allowed on the "main line". On top of that, we still had to drive another 90 minutes from the station to our destination. Nice.
Well, if it makes you feel any better, the cars went through major remodeling in the past few years. Amtrak certainly still needs its own right of way (though technically freight trains are supposed to stop and wait for the much shorter Amtrak trains to pass, but they rarely do), but with the slowdown in shipping due to the economy they don't have to stop often anymore.


I'm not sure what you are getting at with the having to drive thing.
1. You likely would have to drive from an airport to your destination too.
2. You knew before you left where the station was.


The problem is that some people (of a certain political agenda) see this and go "see, Amtrak needs to die", while we say "we know what the problems are and how to fix them, so why kill Amtrak?"
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 02:37 AM   #1622
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ranieri and posh represent the majority of Angelinos and those living in the Southland who believe that driving is the best option under every circumstance.

If you are only travelling in the suburban places around LA, then sure, driving is vastly superior. After all, who wants to bike around streets where doctors would pull in front of you and brake hard, in a bout of rage for you to crash? (true story, btw) The environment is inhospitable for alternative modes of transport. Buses are slow, bikes are unsafe, Metro Rail doesn't go where I want it to go, etc, etc.

This mentality is valid, if you are satisfied with the status quo. Some history follows.

Half a century ago a consortium of companies carved up what was arguably the most sophisticated electric transit system in the early 1900s and sold them to companies which frankly had no interest in preserving such things, and instead went on to sell these rail lines in order to purchase buses and fund road construction under the auspices of the burgeoning automobile industry. This is the story of Los Angeles.

It is now undeniable that automobile transportation is becoming unreliable and unsustainable. The freeway arteries that promised fast, efficient, family-oriented transport have become one-man, clogged, road-raging parking lots. And there is no exception that on an ordinary work day, you will see parking lots two times a day, minimum.

The MTA's light rail system is nowhere near as extensive as the Pacific Electric lines covered. However, the combined system of Metrolink (SCRRA) and the MTA covers a similar extent. However, there is the inconvenience of transferring. But this is a promising start, and one day people will be able to overcome the traffic nightmare that LA is in.

For commuting between San Diego and Los Angeles, I choose heavy rail half the time. Why do so, even when it takes twice as long as driving the I-5? Because it is stress-free travel. I can read, stretch, sleep, etc. The 90 mph speed limit is not so bad, but keep in mind that this represents old infrastructure. Many passes of rail line on the Surf Line are single-tracked, and not double-tracked. Don't ask me, but I wouldn't want a one-lane freeway. People have spent billions on building freeways, but they didn't give rail a chance. It is a much more efficient and promising form of transportation, with a 200-year history of engineering development and 26-fold lower fatality rate. It can carry more people at faster speeds than cars.

While I wait the 20+ years that it will take for HSR to be hammered out in reality, I prefer to see some funds go into upgrading the regular railroads for 110-mph operations, which is still pathetically slow compared to European/Japanese/Chinese standards.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 02:40 AM   #1623
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poshbakerloo View Post
the parking lot was free as it was for the shop i was in
If it goes to the places I want it will do
There are hardly any free parking lots in SaMo near the 3rd Ave. Promenade (if that's where you went). If so you really got to tell me where this magic spot is, because biking there seems more palatable. Closer to the ocean it is safe to bike due to the density of bicyclists around there.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 03:12 AM   #1624
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Amtrak needs a lot more funding. How about up the gas tax to 20% and see how people feel about taking a train.

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Old October 22nd, 2009, 03:22 AM   #1625
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Quote:
Originally Posted by He Named Thor View Post
Just an interesting review I came across. A British journalist's review of his trip on Amtrak:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/hu...he-strain.html
It must be noted that the review is in the travel section (i.e. leisure travel). Telling is the reporter's comment "...I rediscovered the pleasures of slow travel with a rail trip on Amtrak..." So Amtrak is good for those not in a hurry and looking for a "cruise train" experience. But if you're looking for a quick way to get from point A to point B, ON TIME, you had better look elsewhere, NEC service excepted.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 06:56 AM   #1626
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Facial View Post
There are hardly any free parking lots in SaMo near the 3rd Ave. Promenade (if that's where you went). If so you really got to tell me where this magic spot is, because biking there seems more palatable. Closer to the ocean it is safe to bike due to the density of bicyclists around there.
S Sepulveda blvd @ w pico there a doughnut store that i go and if u get hungry then park at norms. all free
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 08:54 AM   #1627
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How about we go with the plan Representative Peter DeFazio suggested and tax the oil speculators while the price of oil continues to climb again. We're now at $80 a barrel and it shows once economic recovery is in full swing, we're heading back up to $150 in no time. An addition to the gas tax would help to. It'd get transit systems back where they belong and help restore service.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 11:46 PM   #1628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poshbakerloo View Post
S Sepulveda blvd @ w pico there a doughnut store that i go and if u get hungry then park at norms. all free
Oh, okay, that is quite inland. I was talking about the beach area and the Promenade.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 06:20 AM   #1629
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I took the Keystone Service Last Thursday , It was Fast except for a Construction Zone and Comfortable , the Seats went back a bit , there were Outlets and it made me Happy , vs. a Car ride with my Mom to my Ant's Farm

Here are some pictures i shoot when i wasn't busy, doing something

Entering Philly 30 Street Station


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Paoli Station

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I took 3 Videos

http://www.youtube.com/user/Nexis4Jersey

~Corey
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Old November 27th, 2009, 01:40 AM   #1630
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Here are my 3 Videos form my keystone Trip

Northeast Corridor Construction Site in New Jersey near New Brunswick, forced the Train to go slowly




Entering 30th Street Station in Philly



After Philly



~Corey
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Old December 8th, 2009, 06:41 AM   #1631
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Hoboken Terminal

Today i went to Jersey City & Hoboken , i took a Pascack Valley Line form Westwood (where i live) to Hoboken Terminal, it was about 50 mins. Hoboken Terminal is the end of the line for 9 out 11 NJT lines. Also connections to NYC via NY Waterway & PATH Trains below the Station. It also has a Bus Terminal. The old Ferry slips are getting reconstructed to allow the ferries to use them in the near future. Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Terminates here also 2 lines. Here are my pictures , some are blurry.

Form the Hoboken Side

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Bus Terminal

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Form the Light Rail Terminal

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Some NJT Rail Cars

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Inside the Station

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Main waiting area, for some reason this came out Blurry

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Hoboken Yard

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Hoboken Terminal Artwork

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Views form Hoboken Terminal
Midtown Manhattan


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Lower Manhattan

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Newport Section of Jersey City

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Thats all i have form today, i will post some past photos i have taken later.
Hope you enjoyed
~Corey
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Old December 8th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #1632
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wow. I'm in my element!
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Old January 1st, 2010, 12:54 AM   #1633
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Amtrak Finally Laying Out Plans For Fleet Revitalization

Amtrakís equipment is aging; it is a major factor in delays. Some of Amtrakís vehicles are more than 50 years old. The average life of a passenger rail car, depending on its usage, is 25 to 30 years. The lifespan of a locomotive is 20 to 25 years.

Currently, Amtrak has 92 Heritage cars in service (which are 53 to 61 years old), 17 Metroliners (which are 42 years old), 412 Amfleet I cars (which are 32 to 35 years old), 122 Amfleet II cars (which are 28 to 29 years old), 249 Superliner I cars (which are 28 to 30 years old); 184 Superliner II cars (which are 13 to 15 years old), 97 Horizon cars (which are 19 to 20 years old), 50 Viewliners (which are 13 to 14 years old), 29 Talgo cars (which are 10 years old), 120 Acela cars (which are nine to 10 years old), and 41 Surfliners (which are seven to nine years old).

With respect to locomotives, Amtrak has 49 AEM-7 locomotives (which are 21 to 29 years old), 18 P32ís (which are 18 years old), 18 P32DMís (which are 11 to 14 years old), 21 F59PHIís (which are 11 years old), 15 HHP-8ís (which are eight to 10 years old), and 207 P42ís (which are eight to 13 years old).

Over the next five years and given adequate resources, Amtrak plans to purchase 396 new single-level vehicles for corridor service, which will replace about 95 percent of the Amfleet I vehicles; purchase 275 new single-level vehicles for long-haul service in an effort to remove all of the Heritage single-level cars and about 95 percent of the Amfleet II vehicles from service; purchase 160 new bi-level vehicles to replace 65 percent of the Superliner I cars; and purchase 100 new electric locomotives to replace the entire electric locomotive fleet.

Amtrak also plans to acquire 54 new diesel locomotives, replacing 20 percent of its diesel fleet; and purchase five additional Acela trainsets and 41 new switch engines to replace the entire switcher fleet. Amtrak estimates that the effort requires capital funding of approximately $4.57 billion.

http://transportation.house.gov/Medi...%20Summary.pdf

~Corey
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Old January 1st, 2010, 04:39 AM   #1634
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
Amtrak Finally Laying Out Plans For Fleet Revitalization

Amtrakís equipment is aging; it is a major factor in delays. Some of Amtrakís vehicles are more than 50 years old. The average life of a passenger rail car, depending on its usage, is 25 to 30 years. The lifespan of a locomotive is 20 to 25 years.

Currently, Amtrak has 92 Heritage cars in service (which are 53 to 61 years old), 17 Metroliners (which are 42 years old), 412 Amfleet I cars (which are 32 to 35 years old), 122 Amfleet II cars (which are 28 to 29 years old), 249 Superliner I cars (which are 28 to 30 years old); 184 Superliner II cars (which are 13 to 15 years old), 97 Horizon cars (which are 19 to 20 years old), 50 Viewliners (which are 13 to 14 years old), 29 Talgo cars (which are 10 years old), 120 Acela cars (which are nine to 10 years old), and 41 Surfliners (which are seven to nine years old).

With respect to locomotives, Amtrak has 49 AEM-7 locomotives (which are 21 to 29 years old), 18 P32ís (which are 18 years old), 18 P32DMís (which are 11 to 14 years old), 21 F59PHIís (which are 11 years old), 15 HHP-8ís (which are eight to 10 years old), and 207 P42ís (which are eight to 13 years old).

Over the next five years and given adequate resources, Amtrak plans to purchase 396 new single-level vehicles for corridor service, which will replace about 95 percent of the Amfleet I vehicles; purchase 275 new single-level vehicles for long-haul service in an effort to remove all of the Heritage single-level cars and about 95 percent of the Amfleet II vehicles from service; purchase 160 new bi-level vehicles to replace 65 percent of the Superliner I cars; and purchase 100 new electric locomotives to replace the entire electric locomotive fleet.

Amtrak also plans to acquire 54 new diesel locomotives, replacing 20 percent of its diesel fleet; and purchase five additional Acela trainsets and 41 new switch engines to replace the entire switcher fleet. Amtrak estimates that the effort requires capital funding of approximately $4.57 billion.

http://transportation.house.gov/Medi...%20Summary.pdf

~Corey

Hmm, I wonder how many of these will be Wisconsin built Talgo cars. This deal could work out quite well for us.

Any word on what the diesel locos will be?

Also, how about a new paint scheme. The current Amtrak livery (excluding California, Acela, and Cascades) is pretty bleh. They need something new to go with the changes.
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Old January 1st, 2010, 08:16 AM   #1635
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Quote:
How about up the gas tax to 20% and see how people feel about taking a train.
What an appaling proposure: tax gas like it were tobbaco so people would "give trains a chance". This is an indeed leftist grow-the-government argument. Nonetheless, I'd support a $0.20-0.30 inrease in the federal gas tax because we need more money to repair bridges, repave highways etc. But no gas tax money should be diverted to rail whatsoever... create a track (!) tax if you want to.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 04:53 PM   #1636
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I thought most trains in the US run on diesel....So it's fair if some of the fuel tax is used for the railways, unless trains get to use tax-free fuel.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 12:12 AM   #1637
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I thought most trains in the US run on diesel....So it's fair if some of the fuel tax is used for the railways, unless trains get to use tax-free fuel.
Actually that might change soon , when a few Freight lines go Electric & Amtrak plans to Electrify a few more Routes. The Northeast US has alot of Electric lines.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 04:19 AM   #1638
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I thought most trains in the US run on diesel....So it's fair if some of the fuel tax is used for the railways, unless trains get to use tax-free fuel.
Diesel fuel for off-road use in the USA (ie, for railroads, construction machinery, farm tractors, etc) is not subject to a road user tax and is mixed with a strong color dye to denote its untaxed status. You do *NOT* want to be a truck/lorry driver and get caught with 'dyed' fuel in your rig's tanks.

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Old January 3rd, 2010, 04:30 AM   #1639
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In Brazil, for instance, cars (gross weight < 2.500kg) are not allowed to run on diesel. Indeed, it is illegal to sell or import diesel-powered cars there.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 11:49 PM   #1640
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This thread hasn't been updated in a while. But some exciting news came around. Let's start with the first, scrolling the clock back to last month:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2010

AMTRAK READY WITH BIG PLANS FOR 2010
New Year brings major projects and new initiatives

WASHINGTON— Amtrak is ready for an exciting 2010 with major projects and new
initiatives that will benefit passengers, increase service, rebuild infrastructure, and put America’s railroad at the center of intercity and high-speed passenger rail development and expansion.

“Amtrak enters 2010 with a strong sense of optimism, enthusiasm and purpose,” said
President and CEO Joseph Boardman. “We have an aggressive game plan to modernize, renew, and grow America’s passenger railroad,” he said, noting increasing ridership from 21.6 million in FY 2002 to 27.2 million in FY 2009, with an all-time record of 28.7 million in FY 2008.

He explained that numerous projects and initiatives being undertaken in 2010 support
goals established in Amtrak’s new Strategic Guidance including becoming safer, greener and healthier and improving financial performance, customer service, and meeting national needs.

In particular, Amtrak is playing a major role in the development and expansion of
intercity and high-speed passenger rail. As America’s provider of intercity passenger rail service and its only high-speed rail operator—operating trains at speeds up to 150 mph every day—

Amtrak has unmatched knowledge, experience and expertise in the U.S. rail environment.
Boardman added that Amtrak is partnering with 25 states in support of more than 100
projects submitted for funding from the $8 billion made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for intercity and high-speed rail capital improvement grants. An announcement from the U.S. Department of Transportation on which projects have been selected is expected this winter.

During 2010, Amtrak also will undertake track and bridge construction projects, safety
and security enhancements, and will release a plan to replace and expand its locomotive and passenger railcar fleet, among many other projects and initiatives.

Following are highlights of major activities Amtrak will begin, continue or complete
during the coming year.

High-Speed Rail
In 2010, Amtrak will celebrate the 10th anniversary of America’s fastest train, the Acela
Express, which began operating along the Northeast Corridor in 2000 and reaches speeds up to
150 mph. In addition, Amtrak will increase train speeds to 105 mph over a section of track it
owns between Porter, Ind., and Kalamazoo, Mich., which will benefit Blue Water and
Wolverines service. Amtrak currently operates nearly half of its more than 300 daily trains at
speeds of 100 mph or higher on their routes.

Deploy WiFi and Upgrade Interiors on Acela Express
In March, Amtrak will deploy WiFi technology on Acela Express and make it available
to every passenger initially free of charge. In late 2010, Amtrak will complete a program to
upgrade the interior of all Acela Express trainsets to increase passenger comfort and amenities,
including leather seating, improved tray tables, and better outlets to power laptop computers,
DVD players and other electronic devices.

Major Infrastructure Improvement Projects Funded by ARRA
Many major Amtrak infrastructure improvement projects funded in full, or in part, by
$1.3 billion in ARRA funds will be under construction in 2010. Some of these projects include:
replacement of the 102-year old movable bridge over the Niantic River in Connecticut;
modernization of transformers and other electrical equipment used to power trains between
Washington, D.C. and New York; improvements to tracks and switches at Chicago Union
Station; and construction of new maintenance buildings for passenger railcar equipment in Los
Angeles, Calif., and Hialeah, Fla.

In addition, ARRA funding is supporting: renovation of the station in Wilmington, Del.;
expansion of the Auto Train station in Sanford, Fla.; restoration of locomotives and passenger
railcars in Beech Grove, Ind., and Bear, Del.; improved emergency exits and fire detection and
suppression systems in New York tunnels; and enhanced accessibility at more than 200 rail
stations across the country.

Major Infrastructure Improvement Projects Funded by Annual Engineering Program
Beyond the ARRA funded projects, Amtrak will spend $442 million as part of its annual
FY 2010 engineering program. Among these projects include: installation of more than 112,000
concrete crossties and more than 49,000 wood crossties on the Northeast Corridor; construction
of a new air ventilation shaft for the New York tunnels; and repair to several bridges in
Michigan, Maryland, New York and New Jersey.

In addition, Amtrak will: complete the multi-year modernization of the catenary wires on
the Hell Gate Line in N.Y.; begin construction of upgrades to the Seattle maintenance facility;
and improve accessibility at stations in Philadelphia, Pa., Baltimore, Md., Providence, R.I. and
elsewhere.

New Plan to Replace and Expand Fleet of Locomotives and Passenger Railcars
Amtrak will announce a comprehensive and detailed plan to replace and expand its fleet
of locomotives and passenger railcars to enhance current service and accommodate expected
future growth. It will include the purchase of several hundred single-level and bi-level longdistance
passenger railcars and more than a hundred locomotives. This major equipment
purchase will support American rail manufacturing industries and create jobs in the U.S.
Long-Distance Routes, Corridor Services and Commuter Contract

Amtrak will undertake an in-depth evaluation of the poorest performing long-distance
routes to identify and implement changes where possible to improve key measures such as
customer service, ridership, and financial performance. The five routes being analyzed are the
Sunset Limited, Cardinal, Texas Eagle, Capitol Limited, and California Zephyr.

Also, Amtrak will expand corridor services in collaboration with state partners. In
Virginia, a fifth Northeast Regional train will operate between Richmond and Washington, D.C.
In North Carolina, a second Piedmont roundtrip between Raleigh and Charlotte will be added. In
Washington, a second Amtrak Cascades train is now operating from Seattle to Vancouver,
British Columbia through the duration of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics Games.
In addition, Amtrak is finalizing a new operating contract with the Los Angeles-based
Metrolink commuter rail service to provide train and engine crews for all seven of its lines.

Installing Positive Train Control and Enhancing Safety
Amtrak is committed to an aggressive, self-imposed schedule to install Positive Train
Control (PTC) by the end of 2012—three years ahead of a Congressional deadline for the rail
industry— on sections of Amtrak-owned tracks not already equipped with the sophisticated
technology capable of controlling train movements to prevent collisions. A significant amount
of design, engineering, and some installation work will occur this year to advance the project.

Amtrak is also implementing two industry-leading risk-reduction safety initiatives to
complement traditional rules-based compliance programs. The Safe-2-Safer program
strengthens the emphasis on safety within the corporate culture by promoting a more
collaborative working environment and ensures a higher reliability of safe behaviors at all levels
of the railroad.

In addition, Amtrak intends to participate in a Federal Railroad Administration sponsored
Close Call Reporting project under which incidents that did not result in an accident or injury,
but could have, can be anonymously reported by employees so that safety improvements can be
made as appropriate.

Strengthening Security
Amtrak passengers will see a more interactive police and security presence in 2010 with
greater emphasis on random and unpredictable patrols, baggage screenings and other activities in
stations and on trains. Amtrak will continue to expand its K-9 explosive detection teams, harden
stations and strengthen cooperative inter-agency operations with local, state, and federal law
enforcement and counterterrorism partners.
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