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On the Rails

NCJ Number
Intersec Volume: 4 Issue: 11/12 Dated: (November-December 1994) Pages: 424-426
J Wyatt
Date Published
3 pages
This article discusses the myriad security problems facing British Rail, particularly in the face of continuing terrorism associated with the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Over the past three years, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) has perpetrated over 20 terrorist attacks against rail targets, almost always against rail lines that have a direct link to London. Disruptions to rail service garner extensive media coverage, and compared to the air transport system, the rail system has miles of vulnerable line and many stations to protect. Freight trains, particularly those carrying livestock or other politically sensitive cargoes (i.e., certain hardwoods, such as mahogany), could be targeted by animal rights or environmental groups. The British Transport Police (BTP) has responded to the terrorist threat by installing closed circuit television at railroad stations, inspecting left luggage, and training personnel to raise overall security awareness.