Amtrak will start randomly screening passengers’ carry-on bags this week in a new security push that includes officers with automatic weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling platforms and trains.
The initiative, to be announced by the railroad on Tuesday, is a significant shift for Amtrak and aimed to confront the public perception that the passenger rail system is an easy target for terrorism, officials said Monday.
Amtrak officials insist their new procedures won’t hold up the flow of passengers.
The effort will begin on Amtrak’s busiest route, the Northeast corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston and later expand to the rest of the nation, officials said. They were unable to say when the security measures will reach Amtrak’s Midwest hub at Chicago Union Station.
The major thrust of the effort will be to make security highly visible, said Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell. She said details will be released Tuesday.