Since 2014, there have been growing concerns about Amtrak’s security especially identity theft reports. According to Trend Micro, an Amtrak employee had been selling passenger data to a Drug Enforcement Agency. The alleged employee had received over $854,460 in payment from the buyers in the two decades of identity theft.
To date, there have been countless concerns arising from Amtrak’s management, its security, passenger treatment among other issues. Needless to say, we took the liberty to draw out the reasons why you should not use Amtrak for your future travels.
Amtrak doesn’t honor the 9/11 Commission Act; that protects passengers
Until 2016, Amtrak was always training their staff on railroad security skills, for the betterment of their services to its passengers. However, according to the audit report that was released on 24 of April 2018, Amtrak workers no longer receive these training – Philly.com reports. This goes against the 9/11 security Act that was put in place to ensure passengers’ safety.
Amtrak doesn’t have the support of the Congress
Early this year (2018), Gary Stoller, a contributor for Forbes, wrote an article condemning the US’s Congress for turning their back on railroad safety. In his report, he argues that Congress has been focusing their attention on the safety of air flights. This is despite the claims put forward by Sen. Richard Blumenthal who has for a while urged the Congress to shift their safety priorities – but all in vain. However, we are concerned if Amtrak’s railroad safety will ever be improved. We say it may take a while!
Lack of automated train control technology; resulting in endless Amtrak crashes
Early reports going back to 2015 raise concerns about the lack of an automatic train control system to help reduce Amtrak’s derailments despite the promises made. A report published by Time confirmed that Railroad safety officials had made claims that an automatic speed control system would have stopped the derailment in Philadelphia.
Future Structure, also reported another incident of Amtrak’s fatal derailment at Seattle that was also as a result of a missing train control system in place. This was after Lawmakers had delayed the requirement to this year (2018) before they start the service. Nonetheless, Amtrak made the railroad operational without the computerized train control system, as per the requirements. A more recent Amtrak tragedy happened early this year, as reported by USA Today; this time raising concerns about the general railway safety.
Amtrak made negative challenges to its cancellation policies
Initially, Amtrak was more generous with its cancellation policies. They could refund their passenger in either a year-long voucher or on full payment. However, this recently changed when they decided to make negative changes to their cancellation policies. According to Travel with Grant, Amtrak made declarations that as from mid-March 2018, any ticket booked will be subjected to more fees upon cancellation. Following the new policies made, Amtrak has been mistreating its passengers with a back and forth game of delayed refunds.
Security concerns at various Amtrak stations
Amtrak released a security Audit early this year confirming they don’t have the right keys to control the 30th Street Station in the event of an emergency. Amtrak also agrees in their audit report that someone else (attackers) might have control of the company’s third-busiest station. That includes exterior doors lacking locks, security cameras that don’t work as well as an unchanged security code on the train yard.
According to NBC reports, security concerns on Amtrak stations, date back to 2009, when officials in Philadelphia had requested funds to repair the security issues, but were denied the request. Regardless of these reports and discoveries, Amtrak remains reluctant to take precautions against future attacks.