Rail to be discussed in Washington and Boston

America's railways will be the topic of discussion on both ends of the Northeast Corridor as a House committee holds a hearing in Washington on the security of trains from terrorist threats and transportation advocates gather for the American Public Transportation Association's rail conference in Boston.

The Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, chaired by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), will look into increasing rail security in the wake of evidence terrorist Osama bin Laden was planning to target American railways before he was killed.

Announcing the meeting last week, Lautenberg said that although bin Laden has been dead for about month, it was important to protect against his final plots.

Meanwhile, Washington, D.C.-based transportation advocacy group APTA opened its 2011 rail conference Sunday in Boston. It will run through June 15. Today, the group will hold a conference call for reporters featuring Federal Transit Administration chief Peter Rogoff and Federal Railroad Administration head Peter Szabo. 

The House will take a look at the issue of charter bus safety, following another deadly crash in northern Virginia recently that killed four people. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, chaired by Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), will hold a hearing on the issue today. Similar hearings were held in the Senate after crashes in the Northeast in March resulted in 17 people being killed.