As part of “Operation Rail Safe,” Johnson promised, travelers will see an “enhanced security presence” over the holiday -– including more canine explosive detection sweeps, random bag checks, and VIPR squad patrols.
The VIPRS -- a team of behavior detection offers, explosive experts, and air marshals -- were created partly in response to a series of high-profile foreign train attacks in the early 2000s.
TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger acknowledged that rail’s open atmosphere and multiple access points make it a “complex” security environment.
But Johnson reassured the public: “We're always adapting, we're always evolving, we're always learning from experiences” to “stay one step ahead of the next attempt or attack.”
In fact, Johnson, the descendant of a Pullman porter, said he planned to ride the Acela home to New Jersey following the event.
In the meantime, he reminded travelers, "the public can participate in homeland security -- that's what 'if you see something, say something' is all about."