Train passengers subjected to infrared body scans

Jul 14, 2006 2:38 PM

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A new security system on the World Trade Center PATH train line just began its two-week testing period. Before getting on the train at the Exchange Place station in New Jersey, PATH train riders are passing through an infrared body scanner that can detect foreign objects under their clothes.
Officials say the scanners should only delay commuters one or two minutes, NY1 News reports. The security system is part of a $10 million federal program.
Under the plan, inspectors will also check passengers farther away from the platform entrances. Officials say during peak times, passengers will be chosen at random.
"I feel like I'm on the Starship Enterprise or something," said one commuter.
The machine relies on something called millimeter-wave technology. It emits a low-wave signal, then reads how those signals bounce off a person, creating a digital image.
Other passengers went through a different screening process, one that uses two cameras to pick up millimeter waves, one from the back and one from the front.
They are two of eight new technologies being field-tested by the Department of Homeland Security, part of a $10 million, two-year program to improve rail security.
The scanners will be in place until July 27th. Homeland Security officials will then analyze the data from this trial and others around the country, and issue a report to Congress in the fall.

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