International trains have become the latest security concern after last week’s terrorist attack on a high speed Thaly’s train travelling between Amsterdam and Paris. Last Friday a man armed with a machine gun opened fire before being immobilised by some of the train’s passengers.
Now that airports have been well secured, terrorists appear to be targeting less secure transport networks such as international trains. In addition, the visa free Shengen zone, which includes Switzerland, means there is less national border security to combat terrorist threats.
In response to Friday’s attack, Belgium has decided to increase security in trains and stations, and France has called for all countries that from part of the high speed European train network to increase security checks.
According to 24 Heures, the Federal Police Office (Fedpol) in Bern said that they very quickly contacted Belgian and French police after Friday’s attack to establish whether the author of the attack had any links with Switzerland. Fedpol’s spokesperson said that so far no link had been found and there would be no additional security measures for the moment.
No comprehensive securty plan for Europe
While France and Belgium have increased high speed train security, Switzerland and Germany have so far announced no new plans. Unlike air transport there is no common European system of security for the international train network.
A call for increased train security in Switzerland has been made by Eric Voruz of the Socialist Party (PS) who thinks the Federal Council should instruct Swiss Rail to to reinforce security on trains such as the TGV Lyria. Currently around 250 armed Swiss Rail police personnel patrol Swiss trains and stations around the clock.
Full 24 Heures article – in French