Good idea or full of gas? Coast Guard officials – in a closed meeting recently -- tried to reassured Massachusetts lawmakers that they are prepared for a scheduled delivery of liquefied natural gas from Yemen late next month. But it is still up in the air whether to call for additional security measures for shipments of LNG originating in Yemen. The Massachusetts house speaker said his top worry is that a bomb could be smuggled on and detonated as the tanker passed by populated areas or under the Tobin Bridge. Then in California, there was more transportation security news when, in an apparently unprecedented move, a super freight train extending some 3-1/2 miles rolled through Southern California over the January 9 weekend, catching state regulators off guard and prompting concerns about potential safety risks and traffic delays. Union Pacific said the train was a test of equipment and ways to improve operating efficiency. There are no state or federal limits on the length of trains or requirements to notify agencies about unusually long train configurations.

Just days before and a continent away, the governor of Georgia announced the state entered into a rail security partnership with CSX Transportation that “represents a model for use by other states.” Entitled “SecureNOW,” the Georgia Emergency Management Agency-Office of Homeland Security will access CSXT’s network operations workstations, or NOW system, which enables state and local public safety and law enforcement officials to track the location of CSXT trains and rail-car contents in real-time.

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