Lacking Amtrak keys pose public security threat, watchdog stories

Amtrak staff have tried to promote “high-security keys” used to function rail switches and different “vital delicate infrastructure,” posing safety dangers to passengers and crews, in line with the government-owned passenger rail system’s Workplace of Inspector Normal and courtroom paperwork.

In a report launched Wednesday, the OIG faulted the railroad’s lack of centralized steering and safety methods for the keys, saying it has “restricted controls governing the distribution, administration, monitoring and retrieval of its high-security keys.”

“Senior officers within the Service Supply and Operations division and Company Safety acknowledge that they can’t account for the keys the corporate has issued, and that this broad public availability of high-security keys presents safety and security dangers, probably giving unhealthy actors alternatives to disrupt practice operations,” in line with the report signed by the Nationwide Railroad Passenger Corp.’s assistant inspector normal for audits, Jim Morrison. 

Amtrak first got here underneath investigation for its key-management protocol after a conductor in Sanford, Fla., and his spouse had been accused of attempting to promote stolen keys on Fb Market. Though particulars of the case are redacted within the OIG report, state courtroom paperwork match the report’s description of the incident, through which the conductor, Kenneth Jackson, is alleged to have stolen high-security keys, low-security railroad locks, an engine door key and a coach key in October 2021.

Investigators wrote within the preliminary report that the keys “may open rail switches that might trigger a derailment of a passenger or freight practice.”

See also  DOT to scrutinize Southwest after excessive charge of cancellations