Random checks happen at stations across country
Passengers catching the 9:30 a.m. Amtrak train from Austin to Dallas were met with an unexpected surprise when they got to the station.
Transportation Security Administration agents, Austin police officers, and the Department of Homeland Security were all waiting for them.
“These facilities are not necessarily protected as well,” said George Robinson with TSA about bus stations and train stations that typically do not have the same security measures as airports.
“We do impromptu visits at locations throughout the country.”
The country has more than 140,000 miles of active railways and nearly 30 million trips a year are made using bus or train.
Random security checks are voluntary, but a way to keep criminal activity from taking place on-board.
“The security at airports has increased so the bad guys are now traveling on the trains and buses,” said Robinson.
About thirty minutes before the train departed, all passengers were asked to leave their bags on the boarding platform while two different detection dogs, one for narcotics and the other for explosives, sniff the luggage.
Once the train arrives, the dogs also sniff the cargo areas.
The random check takes about 10-15 minutes and happens hundreds of times a day at bus, train, and subway stations across the country.