Train & Transit Terror Drills

Of all the transit terror drills documented, 9 of them have occurred in New York while 4 of them were conducted elsewhere. The documented drills do not represent all the transit terror drills conducted, but it is the most comprehensive list compiled to date. Bases on the list, New York City is the #1 transit terror target. Most of the transit terror drills focused on Mumbai style terror attacks which are exactly what Operation Urban Shield and Operation Mountain Guardian have been drilling. 

Station: Rensselaer Train Station
Date: October 1, 2005
Name:
 Unknown 
Agency: DHS
Location: Rensselaer (Albany), New York 
Notes: Drill simulated an explosion on an Amtrak train that wounded dozens and killed at least five.

Title:
 Terror Drill Staged At Rensselaer Train Station
Date: October 2, 2005
Source: Associated Press

Abstract: The Department of Homeland Security sponsored a terror drill in the Capital Region Saturday to ensure residents will be prepared in the case of a terrorist attack. The simulated drill at the Rensselaer train station assumed there had been an explosion on an Amtrak train that wounded dozens and killed at least five.

The test was graded by Homeland Security observers who watched every move local emergency teams made. Rensselaer Police said the Department of Homeland Security will have a full assessment of the drill by next week.

Officials will work out a procedure for action based on participants responses (Associated Press, 2005).


Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Johns Hopkins Hospital subway station
Date: November 12-13, 2005
Name:
 "Operation Rescue Below"
Agency: Baltimore City Fire Department
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Notes: Drill simulated a dirty bomb being detonated in a crowded subway station.

Title: Homeland Security Grant Pays For Staged Terrorist Attack On Baltimore Subway
Date:
 November 23, 2005
Source:
 
Baltimore City Paper

Abstract: It’s 1:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning and the Johns Hopkins Hospital subway station is filled with smoke. Screams reverberate through the underground as bloody bodies litter the platform. Meanwhile, people trapped in subway cars try not to laugh. That’s because the victims aren’t really survivors of a tragedy: They’re government employees helping local emergency workers practice their life-saving skills. Baltimore City, along with several other jurisdictions, took part in the Nov. 12-13 East Baltimore terrorism drill called Operation Rescue Below. It was designed to test emergency workers’ ability to rescue and decontaminate a large group of people after an attack. The Baltimore City Fire Department, which organized the event, was pleased with the outcome, but the staged attack did not seem to accurately depict the chaos and urgency of a real disaster.

Emergency personnel from the city, state, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard counties participated in the pretend terrorist attack, which simulated a dirty bomb being detonated in a crowded subway station. This was the third such simulated underground attack in Baltimore in three years.

By 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, officials had blocked off Broadway between Orleans and Monument streets in preparation for the attack. They set up triage and decontamination tents, and two buses filled with volunteer “victims,” whose faces were painted with fake gashes and bruises, arrived on the scene. The victims chatted and drank coffee as they waited to be led to their doom.

Most of the pretend victims worked for one of the agencies involved in the drill. “I wanted to see exactly would they be able to save my life, if [they] knew what they were doing,” a female volunteer who works for the Maryland Transit Administration said.

Everyone involved was paid for their trouble. Baltimore City Fire Department hazmat coordinator Kenneth Hyde, who planned and oversaw the drill, says paid government employees were used as victims “because it is so hard to get volunteers to be victims, especially at 1:30 in the morning, and we’re gonna wet ’em [for decontamination] on a November night.” All told, pay for the 590 emergency personnel and 373 victims made up the majority of the drill’s $180,000 budget, which was funded by a federal Homeland Security grant.

Terrorism drills came into vogue after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Put together by cities, states, and the federal government, they examine emergency responses to everything from suicide bombings to biological warfare. Some cities, like Washington, D.C., have chosen to do surprise drills to test their ability to get to the scene and react under pressure. Baltimore’s drill was a scripted and planned event, a tactic that may not prove as effective a training tool. A May 9, 2003, National Journal article argued that a 2003 federal drill in Seattle lacked realism because officials had too much information before the attack instead of dealing with the crisis as it unfolded. In the article, Homeland Security consultant Frank Hoffman says that to be useful terrorism drills “can’t just be all choreographed in advance. You don’t test anything.”

“Decision-making under pressure is a very different beast than decision-making with time on your hands,” Stephen Prior, research director for the National Security Health Policy Center at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, says in the article.

Baltimore’s drill was scripted right down to the number of victims who would be declared “dead” by the end of the drill; organizers set the toll at 20.

The drill lasted most of the night and involved hundreds of individuals. It began around 1 a.m. on Sunday, as victims took their places in the station. Some filled the subway cars, others lay crumpled on stairs, benches, and the floor of the platform. As they waited for the “attack” to begin, people slept, read, and joked around. Two young men hammed it up for the city and press cameras, and smoke machines churned out a dense, gray fog that made it difficult to see more than a few feet in any direction, and in some areas a few inches.

From outside the station a loud boom sounded. (The MTA wouldn’t let the Fire Department detonate an explosion in the station, so it occurred just outside.) A CD of people screaming in a continuous loop was played, and a few minutes later a police officer came down the steps to check out the situation, but she had trouble keeping a straight face. She was followed by a series of masked firefighters who made their way through the smoke, nudging the victims with their boots. “Can you get up?” they asked victims. If the victim replied “yes,” the firefighter would tell the person to head toward an exit; if the answer was “no,” the firefighter moved on, leaving them where they lay. By 2 a.m. some people changed their answers so they would be allowed to leave.

A hazmat team rushed in and yelled for everyone to get off the subway train. A few victims pretended to have injuries, and one man fell over. His friends laughed and called out “Man down!” before pulling him to his feet.

After all the ambulatory victims were evacuated, the remaining victims waited nearly an hour to be removed from the station. The reason for the delay? The emergency workers were waiting for someone to bring skeds, plastic slings that are used like stretchers. One gray-haired man lying on a staircase in the station asked if he could leave. An official evaluating the drill told the man to “sit tight, see if they can find you, that’s what I’m evaluating.” The man, who for the sake of the exercise was pretending to have a broken leg, called out for help, but a firefighter, who couldn’t see him in the thick smoke, walked right past him.

“Excuse me, I think I’m supposed to be rescued,” he told a firefighter, who responded, “Yeah, someday.” The man told the firefighter that he had to go to the bathroom, so the firefighter deemed his broken leg “healed” and excused him from the subway station.

By 2:30 a.m., the skeds finally arrived, but by then it was too late—the remaining “victims” waiting for help in the subway tunnel had been pronounced dead. The victims who made it out alive were “treated” in the triage tent while the “bodies” were brought up from underground on skeds.

Despite the seeming chaos of the drill, Baltimore City Fire Department spokesman Kevin Cartwright was pleased. “In my observation, I think it was quite professional,” he says.

Perhaps it was too professional. Few tragedies include nearly 400 calm, cooperative victims or advance warning to set up equipment.

Gerald Epstein, a senior fellow for science and security for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, says realism isn’t always the main objective of these drills.

“The important thing is to make sure that the reason you’re doing it for is what you’re getting out of it,” he says. “If the point is to see whether the system is prepared to go at a moment’s notice, then you might want to test that with a surprise drill. It doesn’t mean there is no value in a rehearsed drill.”

Jonathan Links, a radiation-terror expert and an environmental health sciences professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, helped prepare the Baltimore drill. He says the point of the drills is to ensure that a city’s emergency-preparedness plans “cover everything” and exercise people in carrying out their duties should an emergency arise.

This particular drill, he says, focused on how to handle a dirty-bomb attack on the subway. Dirty bombs, he says, do not contain radioactive material, so the main danger is the physical effects of the explosion.

When it is pointed out to Hyde that the firefighters weren’t able to rescue all of the victims and that many were left to languish with their wounds in the subway, he says that the purpose of this exercise was to test equipment.

“We made them a lesser priority,” he says. “We wanted to test the sked.” In addition, he notes, the department also tried out a pulley system connected to escalators, an alarm attached to the third rail of the subway system, and other new pieces of radiation testing and decontamination equipment.

“Overall it went very well,” Hyde says. “We learn every time, and every time we learn we do better.”

And one of the things Hyde says he learned from this particular drill is that he needs more realistic victims.

“I wish I had the victims act a little more,” he says. “I think that’s one of the mistakes I made. Do it again, and I’m going to try to get a college or a high school [theater group] to give us a little more drama” (Baltimore City Paper, 2005).

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Penn Station
Date: August 26, 2007
Name:
 Penn Station Full-Scale Exercise
Agency: OEM
Location: New York, New York 
Notes: Drill simulated an  imagined fire, explosion, and injuries.

Title:
 Penn Station [Terror] Drill 
Date: August 26, 2007
Source: 
Office of Emergency Management 

Abstract: The New York City Office of Emergency Management conducted the Penn Station Full-Scale Exercise to test the City’s response to an explosion in Pennsylvania Station. The exercise allowed the City to evaluate agency procedures as first responders coordinated actions, made critical decisions, and applied the City’s assets to save lives and protect the public following a possible terrorist incident.

The scenario: At 12:01 a.m. a strobe light, acting the part of a fire, pulsed through the dining car of a Washington D.C. bound train in the act of boarding. Amtrak security immediately notified first response agencies to the imagined fire, explosion, and injuries. Minutes later, sirens screamed through midtown as 400 emergency responders converged on Penn Station.

The exercise: The exercise tested three distinct phases of the City’s response. In phase one, firefighters wielding axes and halligans — multi-purpose tools designed to quickly force open locked doors — rushed into Penn Station to extinguish the fire. One group evacuated mock victims while another stretched a hose from one of Penn Station’s emergency standpipes.

In the second phase, police investigators entered the blackened dining car and discovered mannequins playing the part of injured victims. One mannequin, seated in the corner and covered in soot, stood out from the rest. His plaid shirt was ripped in the center revealing a wired, tactical vest underneath. He was also missing his arms and head. Responders identified him as the bomber and swept the rest of the car for threats. A second possible bomb discovered moments later forced all personnel to evacuate to a safe distance.

The final phase of the exercise tested the City’s fatality management and evidence collection procedures. First responders from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) established a command post and collected samples from each victim to create a database. In a real mass fatality incident, OCME could identify victims by cross-referencing these DNA samples with samples contributed by friends and family of missing people.

In spite of the stop and go nature of the exercise, players established an incident command post, implemented life safety operations, created a multi-agency safety/security zone, and conducted fatality management operations faster than controllers expected.

Penn Station’s size and busy environment added various complications to the exercise. In addition to managing substantial pedestrian traffic, players had to navigate unplanned obstacles like suspicious packages — any bags left unattended. Due to the overtones of terrorism, responders reacted to the packages as if they were in play and relocated the Incident Command Post to a safe distance outside of Penn Station (Office of Emergency Management, 2007).

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Penn Station/Grand Central Station?
Date: May 17, 2009
Name:
 Unknown 
Agency: Port Authority of New York 
Location: New York, New York 
Notes: Drill simulated a mock explosion in a commuter train tunnel linking New York City to New Jersey.

Title: Ground Zero Emergency Drill Staged In NYC
Date: May 17, 2009
Source: 
CBC News

Abstract: Hundreds of emergency employees took part in a disaster drill Sunday morning at the site in lower Manhattan where the two World Trade Center towers were struck by passenger jets and destroyed nearly eight years ago.

Officials simulated a mock explosion in a commuter train tunnel linking New York City to New Jersey.

Police and fire truck sirens sounded above ground, while emergency workers kept streets in the city's financial district closed to vehicle traffic and pedestrians. Officials also suspended PATH rail service during the drill.

About 150 volunteers pretended to be victims of the explosion.

The mock emergency involved over 800 police officers, firefighters and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials.

It was the largest disaster drill since the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the twin towers, which killed more than 2,700 people (CBC News, 2011)

Robert Rotz, 50, did a double take when he ran into two officers wearing body armor and shouldering rifles.

"This will make people think twice if they are trying to do something," said Rotz, a computer specialist who commutes from Shady Grove.

A delegation of senior Indian police officers observed Tuesday's drill. "They are very interested in the technology used in the United States to help prevent attacks," said Deputy Chief Erhart M. Olson of the Metro Transit Police.

Metro is planning exercises this month modeled after terrorist attacks in Madrid, London and Mumbai. About 200 to 300 police officers and other emergency responders from across the region will take part in tactical exercises Feb. 12, 13 and 24 that will include simulations of the bombing of a Metrobus, an explosion in the tunnel between the Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro stations, and shooters at the Friendship Heights Metro station.

Under the State Department anti-terrorism assistance program, Olson and Amtrak Police Chief John O'Connor traveled to India last summer to learn about rail system security there after the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Metro's new 20-member antiterrorism police unit is also working to increase the information that can be gleaned from surveillance cameras in the Metro system, said Lt. G.W. Burns III, who is in charge of the effort.

"We like to throw in a new tactic, so the bad guys don't know what to expect," Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato said (Washington Post, 2010).

Train & Transit Terror DrillsTrain & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Union Station
Date: February 12, 13, and 24, 2010
Name:
 Blue TIDE
Agency: Metro Transit Police
Location: New York, New York 
Notes: 
Drill simulated the bombing of a Metrobus, an explosion in the tunnel between the Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro stations, and shooters at the Friendship Heights Metro station.

Title: Metro Transit Police Stage Large Anti-Terrorism Drill
Date: February 3, 2010
Source: Washington Post 

AbstractMetro Transit Police staged their largest anti-terrorism sweep ever during Tuesday morning's rush hour, as about 50 officers -- some toting M-4 rifles and others guiding bomb-sniffing dogs -- took up position in Union Station in a new initiative aimed at discouraging attacks. In coming months, they plan to hold similar drills for the effort, dubbed Blue TIDE (Terrorism Identification and Deterrence Effort).

Robert Rotz, 50, did a double take when he ran into two officers wearing body armor and shouldering rifles.

"This will make people think twice if they are trying to do something," said Rotz, a computer specialist who commutes from Shady Grove.

A delegation of senior Indian police officers observed Tuesday's drill. "They are very interested in the technology used in the United States to help prevent attacks," said Deputy Chief Erhart M. Olson of the Metro Transit Police.

Metro is planning exercises this month modeled after terrorist attacks in Madrid, London and Mumbai. About 200 to 300 police officers and other emergency responders from across the region will take part in tactical exercises Feb. 12, 13 and 24 that will include simulations of the bombing of a Metrobus, an explosion in the tunnel between the Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro stations, and shooters at the Friendship Heights Metro station (Washington Post, 2010)

Station: Bart Train Station
Date: February 24, 2010
Name:
 Unknown 
Agency: BART Police, San Francisco Police & FBI
Location: San Francisco, California
Notes: Drill simulated an terror attacks on subway system including hostage, situations, bombs, active shooters and natural disasters.

Title: FBI & San Fran Cops Run Terror Drill At Bart Station
Date: February 24, 2010
Source:
YouTube

YouTube Video


Train & Transit Terror Drills

Station: Friendship Heights Station
Date: February 24, 2010
Name:
 Blue TIDE
Agency: Metro Transit Police
Location: New York, New York 
Notes: 
Drill simulated mock gunmen opening fire, killing or wounding several passengers.

Title: Friendship Heights Anti-Terror Drill 
Date: February 22, 2010
Source: Washington Post

AbstractMetro police and other emergency personnel will descend on the Friendship Heights Station starting at 11:30 Wednesday night for an anti-terrorist exercise in which mock gunmen open fire, killing or wounding several passengers.

The exercise is intended to test the ability of local governments to coordinate and respond to a major incident in the Metro system. The simulated incident, involving role players as gunmen and passengers, will begin at 12:30 a.m. Feb. 25, after the station closes. Agencies responding will include the Metro police special response team, as well as fire, police and emergency medical personnel from the District, Montgomery County and the FBI, according to a Metro statement.

"It's important to test and practice our response to this type of crisis that would impact Metro's ability to provide safe and essential transportation services," said Jeff Delinski, acting chief of Metro Transit Police, in the statement.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments fire chiefs obtained a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to fund the exercise (Washington Post, 2010).

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn station
Date:
March 27-28, 2010
Name:
Unknown
Agency: Police, fire and emergency medical services departments from Arlington County, Alexandria, the District, Fairfax County, Prince George's County, Montgomery County, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the American Red Cross.
Location:
Washington D.C.
Notes: 
Drill simulated simulated an explosion on a rail car

Title: Metro To Stage Anti-Terrorism Drills
Date:
March 22, 2010
Source:
Washington Post

Abstract:
Metro will stage simulated explosions on a train and bus this weekend as the transit system continues a series of emergency exercises that test its coordination with other regional agencies.

Metro most recently began conducting drills last month, even staging a display of force at Union Station during a morning rush hour.

The first drill this weekend will take place at 1 a.m. Sunday when the agency simulates an explosure explosion on a rail car in the tunnel between Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn stations. According to a press release, "emergency personnel will be responding to the incident to find a scene representative of hundreds of injured passengers and multiple fatalities."

Metro said the system will remain open during the exercise. After 11 p.m., Blue Line trains will share one track between Foggy Bottom and Arlington, and Orange Line trains will share one track between Foggy Bottom and Court House. Riders using the Rosslyn Station should expect to see "numerous police, fire and emergency response vehicles, first responders and volunteer 'victims,'" Metro said.

A second drill will take place at 10 a.m. March 29 in the parking lot at RFK Stadium. The exercise will simulate an explosion on a bus, "discovery of a second explosive on a bus in a garage," and reports of other explosives on other buses. Metro said activity will take place between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Participating agencies include: police, fire and emergency medical services departments from Arlington County, Alexandria, the District, Fairfax County, Prince George's County, Montgomery County, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the American Red Cross.

The exercises are being paid for through a $1.2 million Homeland Security grant (Washington Post, 2010).

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Penn Station, Grand Central, Herald Square
Date: April 1, 2010
Name:
 Unknown 
Agencies: NYPD, National Guard, MTA
Location: New York, New York 
Notes: 
The drill was preplanned, but a source said it was ordered up hours after the suicide bombings at two Moscow metro stations which killed at least 39 people

Title: NYPD Leading Massive Terror Drill
Date: April 1, 2010
Source: 
New York Post 

Abstract: Hundreds of cops flooded Penn Station, Grand Central and Herald Square this morning in a post-Moscow drill to see how prepared law enforcement is for a terrorist attack on the city's subways and commuter trains.

Officers from the NYPD transit bureau, National Guard and the police forces of the MTA, Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit all took part, officials said.

"During [today]'s morning rush hour, no matter what exit or entrance you use at those stations, you will run into a cop," a police source said.

Multi-Agency Super Surge drills to see how cops would coordinate if terrorists attacked have been held here for more than two years, usually with two weeks' notice.

Mayor Bloomberg told reporters today's drill was preplanned, but a source said it was ordered up Monday, hours after the suicide bombings at two Moscow metro stations killed at least 39 people (New York Post, 2010)

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: FDNY Fire Academy on Randall's Island
Date: April 22, 2010
Name:
 Unknown 
Agencies: NYFD, Marines' Chemical Biological Incident Response Force
Location: New York, New York 
Notes: 
Drill simulated an exploded bus, a subway chemical attack, a building collapse and two IED attacks.

Title:
 
Terrorism Training In New York
Date:
 April 23, 2010
Source:
 
DVIDS

Abstract: The New York City Fire Department and the Marines' Chemical Biological Incident Response Force responded to a simulated exploded bus, a subway chemical attack, a building collapse and two IED attacks, April 22.

The all-day exercise was the culmination of a weeklong training evolution at FDNY Fire Academy on Randall's Island pairing Marines and firefighters. The Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, based in Indian Head, Md., has a history with the FDNY going back to the unit's founding in 1996. Deputy Chief and Marine veteran Raymond Downey helped develop the original training for the unit. After he died in the World Trade Center rescue effort, their training facility was named after Downey.

CBIRF is never in command of an incident, instead they respond and augment at the request of local, state or federal agencies, said Col. John Pollock, CBIRF commanding officer. The Marines go to large-scale events, such as presidential visits and sporting events, so they can respond quickly in case of emergency.

The Marines can assist local emergency services when they may get overwhelmed in a large-scale disaster.

"These guys are cut from the same cloth that we are. We are both men and women of action. When most people see explosions, fire, or hear the sound of guns they head the other way, these are ones heading into the danger to make a difference and save lives," said Major Michael S. Johnson, CBIRF operations officer.

As soon as firefighters cleared away victims from a bus bombing, another set of victims came coughing and choking looking for help. The firefighters called up the Marines and sent them into the smoke filled, mock subway tunnel.

Sgt. Cody Mcgrew, CBIRF recon team leader, was one of the first Marines into the subway.

"All we knew was there was a subway attack," said the Muscatine, Iowa native.
They rushed into the subway covered in protective suits with handfuls of detection equipment searching for the type of chemical used in the attack.

Mcgrew's team can identify more than 500,000 chemicals, he said. Once they identify it, they can recommend what the rescue teams should wear.

If they don't wear enough they can become victims of the chemical attack, but if they overdress the cumbersome gear can make life saving more difficult, he said.

Staff Sgt. Kelly Vansickle, rescue team member, was sweat-soaked by the time he stepped out of his chemical protective suit at the end of the exercise. He had spent the afternoon carrying or dragging people on special sleds out of the subway chemical attack simulation.

Rescue team members train for these mass casualty events, preparing for possibly 100 or more injured, he said. He can only carry one at a time, and with the clock ticking on survivability, he has to quickly triage and move the right people.

"The first thing is get people to fresh air, that can help a lot," he said. "We need to clear the area as quick as possible."

"When you call the Marines, they're going to get the job done," said Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano standing in front of the Marines scrubbing and spraying victims as they came out of the smokey subway, and then passing them to fire department medical personnel.

"This is a true joint operation and the picture of interoperability," said Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano. "The city fire department is better trained to respond after today" (DVIDS, 2010).

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Roger Williams Park
Date: May 22, 2010
Name:
 Unknown 
Agencies: Providence Emergency Management Agency and the Greater Providence Metropolitan Medical Response System 
Location: Providence, Rhode Island 
Notes: 
Drill simulated moving, transporting and caring for mock train passengers.

Title: Disaster Drill In Providence
Date: May 22, 2010
Source: 
WPRI News 

Abstract: Dozens of emergency responders are doing a disaster drill in Providence this 
weekend. The drill is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday across from the entrance to Roger Williams Park. The exercise will involve removing, transporting and caring for mock train passengers. It's being sponsored by the Providence Emergency Management Agency and the Greater Providence Metropolitan Medical Response System (WPRI News, 2010)

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Red Line: Silver Spring to Glenmont, Bethesda to Shady Grove, Green Line: Greenbelt Station
Date: June 29, 2010
Name:
 Blue TIDE (Terrorism Identification and Deterrence Effort)
Agencies: Metro Transit Police
Location: New York, New York
Notes: 
"We are looking for people who want to harm mass transit," said David Johnson, special agent in charge at TSA and VIPR program manager.

Title:
 Anti-Terrorism Drills Staged At Metro Stations
Date: June 30, 2010
Source: 
Washington Post 

Abstract: "What's going on?" a startled Allan Valdez, 27, asked as he approached his usual spot on the platform at the Forest Glen Metro station and found it occupied by two Metro Transit Police officers carrying automatic rifles.

"It's a random security sweep," said Officer Ryan Scheucher, a member of the force's Special Response Team.

"This morning, your station is just the lucky winner!" Scheucher told another surprised commuter.

Metro Transit Police boarded trains and inspected stations for about four hours Tuesday morning as they staged an anti-terrorism drill from Silver Spring to Glenmont and from Bethesda to Shady Grove on the Red Line. The exercise included Greenbelt Station on the Green Line, where the Greenbelt Police Department participated.

About 150 officers from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies took part in the drill, part of the Blue TIDE (Terrorism Identification and Deterrence Effort) initiative launched in February to demonstrate Metro's vigilance against terrorism. In December, Metro created a 20-member anti-terrorism unit funded by a $9.6 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security. Metro Transit Police had about 60 officers involved in Tuesday's drills, including members of the anti-terrorism, special response and K-9 explosives detection teams.

Other East Coast cities, including New York, carried out similar anti-terrorism exercises Tuesday, part of a coordinated, regional effort along the Northeast Corridor called Rail Safe, Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato said. Terrorist groups have targeted large urban subway systems in LondonMoscow and Mumbai in recent years.

About 100 officers from the New York Police Department were at Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal and Herald Square beginning at 7 a.m., performing additional bag screenings and inspections of trains and subways.

In Washington, the heightened security presence provoked a flurry of questions from curious commuters who, on the whole, reacted positively to the drill.

Valdez, a Web specialist at the Department of Health and Human Services, called the drill "cool," and asked whether he could stand next to the police officers on the platform.

"A lot of people are coming up and saying 'thank you,' " said Metro Transit Police Sgt. Sean Flinn. Other groups participating in Blue TIDE included the Montgomery County and Rockville police, Maryland Transit Administration Police, Maryland Transportation Authority Police, the Federal Protective Service and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

At Forest Glen, about a dozen law enforcement officers patrolled the station, including members of the TSA's Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) team.

"We are looking for people who want to harm mass transit," said David Johnson, special agent in charge at TSA and VIPR program manager. "Most people appreciate it."

Several teams of federal air marshals took part in the Metro anti-terrorism drill, as well as some "behavioral detection officers who look for people exhibiting suspicious behaviors," Johnson said.

At Greenbelt Station, the heavy police presence attracted the attention of commuter Kerry Hotopp, who e-mailed The Washington Post that he saw a Prince George's County SWAT vehicle parked at the station entrance about 9:30 a.m. "No fewer than a dozen police officers with assault rifles were present throughout the station, along with a few people in TSA uniforms," he wrote.

This is the latest in a series of anti-terrorism activities and drills for Metro. In February, Metro Transit Police staged an anti-terrorism sweep in Union Station during the morning rush hour. In March, transit police simulated explosions on a train and a bus to test their coordination with other regional agencies (Washington Post, 2010).

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) subway system
Date: August 20-27, 2010
Name:
 Unknown 
Agencies: DHS &  MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority)
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Notes: 
Non-toxic and odourless gases was Boston's subway tunnels aimed at determining how chemical and biological agents would spread through the metro system in a terror attack. 

Title: Terror Drill In America's Oldest Subway To Test Odourless Gas
Date:
 August 20, 2010

Source:
 Times of India 

Abstract: Non-toxic and odourless gases will be released in Boston's subway tunnels beginning today in a move aimed at determining how chemical and biological agents would spread through the metro system in a terror attack. 

In order to collect data on the behaviour of airborne contaminants, scientists will releas inert, odourless gas and particle tracers into the city's MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) subway system, the oldest subway system in the US. 

Scientists will study the ways to minimise the impact of such an assault. Particle and gas concentrations will be sampled in more than 20 stations and in subway cars covering the entirety of the underground portion of the subway. 

"While the deliberate release of chemical or biological agents is of primary concern, the study will also help researchers understand airflow characteristics for smoke or unintentional chemical spills in developing evacuation, ventilation, and other incident response strategies," the MBTA said in a statement. 

The information will also help guide the design of next generation chemical and biological agent detection systems. The tests are part of the anti-terror strategies put in place since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. 

Authorities thwarted an al-Qaida-sponsored plot to attack New York City subways last September. 

The study would allow the researchers to test the effectiveness of proposed countermeasure and response strategies. 

"The purpose of the study is to gather data on the behaviour of airborne contaminants if they were to be released into the subway. 

This is part of the Department of Homeland Security's ongoing commitment to preparedness and the shared responsibility of protecting the nation's critical infrastructure," the MBTA added. 

Researchers with electronic monitoring devices and other scientific equipment will be conducting these tests through August 20-27, while the Department of Homeland Security continues a scientific study of airflow throughout the underground portion of the subway system 
(Times of India, 2010)

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Penn Station, Grand Central and Herald Square
Date: October 8, 2010
Name:
 Operation Rail Safe
Agencies: NYPD
Location: New York, New York
Notes: Drill involved uniformed officers which rode the rails with bomb-sniffing dogs and held bag checkpoints at various locations.

Title: Cops, Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Out In Full Force For Operation RailSafe
Date: October 8, 2010
Source: 
NBC 

Abstract: Notice a little machine gun-toting, bomb-sniffing dog-leading company on your commute this morning?

Don't worry, it was just a drill.

Bomb squads and police in bulletproof vests were out in force at major transit hubs throughout the city, including Penn Station, Grand Central and Herald Square, as part of Operation RailSafe, a national anti-terror exercise designed to practice preparation and response in the event of a terrorist threat on the mass transit facilities.

While authorities said no specific threat incited today's surge, Commissioner Raymond Kelly pointed out, "40 percent of the attacks in the last 20 years have been against transit facilities."

Uniformed officers also rode the rails with bomb-sniffing dogs and held bag checkpoints at various locations as part of the drill. Police stepped up patrol along highly trafficked Amtrak routes and put more cops in the stations (NBC, 2010)

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Union Station
Date: February 18, 2011
Name:
 Operation Rail Safe
Agencies: Meridian Police Department, East Mississippi Drug Task Force, Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, MDOT Enforcement Agency
Location: Meridian, Mississippi
Notes: The drills factored in lessons learned from terror attacks in London and Moscow in recent years.

Title:
 Security Tested In Terror Drill At Union Station
Date: February 19, 2011
Source: 
Meridian Star 

Abstract: AmTrak riders boarding trains in Meridian Friday morning were probably surprised to see a huge increase in the number of law enforcement officers at Union Station.

The cause of the increased security and searches was Operation Rail Safe, a railroad security program that AmTrak and federal terror agencies have begun over the past several years.

Operation Rail Safe is meant to test the nation's train security during busy commuting times. The drill gives various law enforcement agencies a chance to work together on security procedures on the rail system.

Law enforcement from the Meridian Police Department, East Mississippi Drug Task Force, the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department and from the MDOT Enforcement Agency participated.

The four hour drill was conducted all across the nation and at every AmTrak stop in Mississippi. Passengers boarding the train Friday had their suitcases searched by officers to ensure no illegal items were carried on board.

The program is conducted in conjunction with the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI.

The drills factored in lessons learned from terror attacks in London and Moscow in recent years (Meridian Star, 2011).

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: “T” Station
Date: March 6, 2011
Name:
 Unknown 
Agencies: MBTA
Location: Boston, Massachusetts 
Notes: Drill simulated two suspects with fake bombs strapped to them.

Title: Officials Conduct Terror Drill In Boston
Date:
 March 6, 2011
Source:
 
CBS 

Abstract: The state’s transportation department and the MBTA joined with Boston emergency responders in conducting a mock terror drill at a downtown “T” station on Sunday.

About 100 students pretending to be MBTA commuters ran out of Bowdoin Station, as they were evacuated in a mock terror attack involving two suspects with fake bombs strapped to them (CBS, 2011)

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Santa Clara Transportation Authority Light Rail Station & San Jose Diridon Caltrain Station
Date: May 7, 2011
Name:
 Unknown 
Agencies: Transportation Security Administration agents, federal air marshals & Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office
Location: Santa Clara (San Francisco), California 
Notes: Drill simulated deterrent for criminal and terrorist activity

Title: Sunday Caltrain Terror Drill Not Related To Bin Laden
Date: May 7, 2011
Source: 
SF Examiner

Abstract: Federal officials want to make clear that a security drill scheduled for Sunday at the Santa Clara Transportation Authority Light Rail Station was pre-planned, and has nothing to do with the killing of Osama bin Laden or any related threat.

From 3:30 until 5:30 p.m., Transportation Security Administration agents and federal air marshals will coordinate with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office to conduct the “visible intermodal prevention and response” operation, which is intended as a deterrent for criminal and terrorist activity.

A release from Caltrain on Friday said the exercise will include the San Jose Diridon Caltrain Station, but it does not directly involve Amtrak or Caltrain.

Police have stepped up patrols in San Francisco on both Muni and on BART following Sunday night's announcement by President Barack Obama that U.S. forces killed the terror leader in Pakistan (SF Examiner, 2011)

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Union Station 
Date: September 23, 2011
Name:
 Operation Mountain Guardian
Agencies: OEM, 100+
Location: Denver, Colorado 
Notes: Drill was modeled after the terror attacks on Mumbai, India, in 2008 which killed 164 people and wounded at least 308.

Title: Metro First Responders Simulate Coordinated Terror Attack
Date: September 23, 2011
Source: Fox 31 

Abstract: Are metro area emergency responders prepared for a possible terrorist attack?

That is the question authorities hoped to answer Friday with the region’s largest-ever terrorism drill, dubbed Operation Mountain Guardian.

More than 100 agencies participated in the exercise, which involved simulated terrorist incidents in four separate areas: Park Meadows Mall, Smedley Elementary School, Union Station and the Community College of Aurora.

Six other locations, including Denver International Airport and Sports Authority Field at Mile High serve as "secondary locations."

The drill was modeled after the very real coordinated attack on Mumbai, India in 2008 which killed 164 people and wounded at least 308.

"The purpose of the exercise is to test how we would not only respond to a large scale terrorist attack in Denver but how we would coordinate an attack that crosses county lines, is in multiple jurisdictions and multiple sites," said Scott Field, Director of Denver's Office of Emergency Management. 

The exercise involved mock hazardous materials, explosive devices, gunmen and casualties.

400 volunteers assisted in the drill with some of them portraying terrorist attack victims, and others, terrorists.

At Denver’s Smedley Elementary School, the drill involved a mock assault involving gunmen who wounded students and staff, planted several bombs, and took several people hostage.

“There was a need to rescue students and staff and try an isolate where the suspects are,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jacki Kelley at the outset of the exercise in which SWAT officers stormed the school.

The drill took place from 5:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday (Fox 31, 2011).

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station:
Bank Station, London Underground
Date:
September 7, 2012
Name: Unknown
Agencies:
London's emergency and health services
Location:
London, England  
Notes: Drill
simulated a hypothetical chemical or biological attack on the Tube, with mass evacuations and decontaminations.

Title: Terror Drill On Tube Next Month
Date:
August, 2012
Source:
Daily Mail

Abstract:
A major exercise simulating a terrorist strike on London Underground is to take place next month, the Government has announced.

The long-awaited drill was expected to test the emergency services on their reaction to a hypothetical chemical or biological attack on the Tube, with mass evacuations and decontaminations.

It will be staged at Bank station in the City of London on Sunday, September 7.

The area around the station is expected to be turned into a "ghost town" for the exercise, which was first announced by Home Secretary David Blunkett in March but was postponed due to the Iraq war.

"An exercise will be held at Bank Underground station on Sunday, September 7 to allow London's emergency and health services to practise their response to a terrorist attack on the Tube," said a Department of Transport spokeswoman.

"This is one of a number of regular exercises designed to test emergency procedures and equipment carried out in London and across the country.

"It is not a response to a specific threat.

"It will allow organisations to test systems thoroughly, to train frontline responders and to identify possible vulnerabilities.

"Some media access will be given to show the public that plans are in hand and are being thoroughly tested" (Daily Mail, 2012).

Train & Transit Terror Drills
Station: Pratap Nagar Metro Station
Date:
October 5, 2012
Name: Unknown
Agencies: Indian Police, fire and officials from other agencies
Location:
New Deli, India 
Notes: Drill
simulated a mock terror attack at the metro station while a mock bomb blast was carried out at the hospital.

Title: Security Drills In Metro Station, Private Hospital
Date:
October 5, 2012
Source:
Hindustan Times

Abstract:
Security drills were on Friday conducted in a Metro station and a prominent private hospital here to check the preparedness of authorities in case of a terror strike.

The first drill was conducted in Pratap Nagar Metro Station and the second one at Apollo Hospital, officials said.

A mock terror attack was conducted at the metro station while a mock bomb blast was carried out at the hospital.

Police and fire officials were part of the drill besides other agencies (Hindustan Times, 2012).