Amtrak passengers will soon have to submit to random screening of carry-on bags. They might also see officers with automatic weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling platforms and trains.
Amtrak made a formal announcement Tuesday. The railroad told The Associated Press that the new procedures are designed to increase security without causing delays.
The initiative is a significant change for Amtrak, which has been able to attract passengers eager to avoid airport hassles since 9/11.
Amtrak says it will roll out the new "mobile security teams" later this week, beginning with the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Boston.
The teams will show up unannounced at stations and officers will randomly pull people out of line to screen their bags.
Anybody who refuses to be screened won't be allowed to board, and their ticket will be refunded.
Virginia Amtrak stops include Staunton, Clifton Forge, Charlottesville, Danville, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Newport News, Richmond, Petersburg, Williamsburg and the Washington area.