A No Ride List Like The No Fly List

Seriously? I read this thread over on Progressive Railroading and it caught my attention. The write of the poll starts off with,

As I voted on the recent poll, should Amtrak start using a “no ride” list like the airlines “no fly” list, I was suprised to find that better than 10% of those who voted as of today voted no. No meaning they don’t think we need the same security and peace of mind on a train as we have on a plane. I find that very interesting.

Are you kidding me? I’m usually not aggressive about my retorts, but this guy has misplaced several KEY realities within the first three sentences of his query.

Let me explain something bout idiots first. Yes, I may sound like a completely mean, impolite person for saying it this way, but it needs written. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, no matter how smart is a complete tool and idiot if for one minute they think the “no fly” list or the TSA keep us safe and secure. You are a complete FOOL if you have some peace of mind about flying because of THESE reasons. See further explanation below of why you should feel safe flying.

To people that think we need a no fly list or a no ride list you’re blurring the line between a criminal and a citizen or any developed country having simple civil rights to be able to move between lands, cities, and places of interest. Should a private railroad be allowed to do this? Yes. Should Amtrak? No. It isn’t private. To pretend it is completely ignores the reality of its operation.

The reason above why I said you should feel safe flying is simple. The whole idea of terrorism has killed a negligible amount of people worldwide. Terrorists (whatever this ideal actually means is something held by the perpetrators of such ideas), have been amazingly inefficient at getting their points across or being effective in their murderous attempts at garnering attention. The statistics are in your favor, you ARE safe when you fly.

The other simple fact is that flying is the safest for of transportion on earth. I’d be hard pressed to say that walking is even safer, because it probably isn’t. Several thousand people per year die walking.

So when you fly, or think about curtailing the ability for certain people to fly based on an arbitrary and fuzy notion of “no ride” or “no fly” lists, think about the REAL reasons we’re safe. Not the stupid, inane nonsense that follows the hyperbole of the media and idiocy of our leaders. Fear sells, fear limits our lives, and fear is almost always completely unfounded.

Live life. See the world. Stop worrying about oppressing others.


  1. There are multiple reasons why an Amtrak no-ride list is completey stupid.

    The rationale for the no-fly list was to prevent terrorists from using planes as missiles into targets like the World Trade Center, and because if an airplane is damaged it’s relatively easy to kill scores of people.

    What’s a terrorist going to do on a train? He can’t direct into a building. If he wants to cause a crash, he’s better of tampering with tracks or switches than boarding a train. The biggest risks are those that he can cause in any crowded space – like poison gas or a bomb – but he can do that in an airport or train station or shopping mall or movie theater or stadium or Times Square.

    What problem does an Amtrak no-ride list solve?

    Further the vast majority of train stations have no access control. You can access platforms from multiple points and you don’t show your tickets until the conductor checks while the train is moving.

    This would be just another added cost or disincentive to take the train pushing more people to drive in cars, which kills 40,000/year in traffic accidents, far more than terrorists.


  2. Remember, we give massive numbers of people the freedom to drive cars, and as long as we do, there is a certain degree of danger being in their vicinity, whether driving, cycling or walking. And planes fly out of reach of cars.

    The rationale for the no fly list is that large jets have been used as ersatz cruise missiles by terrorists once. However, unless they can lay track at an incredible pace, the risk of the same thing being done with a train is zero.


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