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New Features on The Transport Politic

I’ve been slowly adding new features to this site over the past few weeks, and I’m going to take this opportunity to give you a quick rundown in case you haven’t noticed:

1. A twitter feed: @ttpolitic. The most recent tweets are posted in the column on the right.

2. An email update: you’ll get any new posts in a daily email. Sign up at the bottom of the column on the right.

3. Updated Planned Transit and Under Construction sections; each page has a form you can fill out at the bottom if you think something is missing.

Please leave a comment here or email me if you’d like to see other features; otherwise, thanks for your continued readership.

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) is currently arguing on the Senate floor that Amtrak should allow people to carry firearms in their checked baggage. This afternoon, the Senate will be debating the annual transportation appropriations bill, and will vote on some crazy amendments to the bill tomorrow morning.

8 replies on “New Features on The Transport Politic”

Given that you can check firearms onto an aircraft, why would a train be any different? Not that I much care about the Senator’s specific concern, but the prospect of someone hijacking a train is a lot less dangerous to national security than a hijacked airplane.

If one is worried about passenger safety and the prospect of terrorists targeting HSR, it is worthwhile to remember that mass transit is probably far more at risk. Numerous terrorist attacks around the world have attacked subway systems in recent years, and consider the case of the Daegu subway fire, wherein a mentally ill person killed almost 200 people by setting a carton of flammable liquid ablaze.

(Interestingly enough, many of the safety measures in place exacerbated the incindent, when a second train entered the station on the next track, could not leave when the power supply was shut off, and was engulfed as well).

Yonah, I assume you want to limit the Planned Transit and Under Construction sections to North American projects, correct?

The only checked baggage on trains is mostly for long distance trains and that is not mandatory. The vast majority of passengers bring their luggage on the train with them and place them overhead or at the end of each car in the luggage rack.

So, bags on a train are easily accessible, while aircraft checked bags are not.

Kyle: Checking bags on an airplane isn’t “mandatory” either, unless your bags contain articles nor permitted in cabin luggage. Allowing weapons in baggage car checked baggage would pose no more security problems for Amtrak than it does for airlines, and would potentially provide a useful service for customers.

Not that there aren’t far more worthwhile ways our representatives could be trying to improve Amtrak.

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