Amtrak is tapping into the rail fan community to help keep the nation's passenger railroad safe.
A program dubbed Partners for Amtrak Safety and Security is being launched today.
Amtrak will recruit people who are already watching and riding trains to keep an eye out for suspicious activity on trains and around stations and tracks.
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Amtrak's new initiative is based on Fort Worth-based Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway's Citizens for Rail Security program, which launched in 2006.
BNSF spokesman Steve Forsberg says the company's security team recognized the value of supplementing the vigilance of railroad's 38,000 employees with train enthusiasts -- known as "railfans."