How the Nations Rails Strengthened Security

In testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) conducted its own risk analysis and undertook measures to reduce vulnerability and put countermeasures in place. The industry “defines four security alert levels and details specific actions to be taken at each alert level,” he explained.

To insure timely receipt of intelligence, AAR has created a Railway Alert Network (RAN) with a terrorism threat reporting mechanism for the industry. Tied into the Surface Transportation Information Sharing and Analysis Center, RAN operates in a top-secret mode and is staffed 24 hours a day.

Special attention is given to hazardous materials shipments by the railroads, explains Hamberger who opposes any legislation that would give states or local government the ability to restrict its movement by rail.

“Because rail transportation is interstate in nature, it requires a uniform set of standards that apply nationwide,” said Hamberger. “This uniformity would be severely jeopardized if states or localities sought to force rerouting by prohibiting the transportation of hazardous materials within their jurisdictions.”

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