Amtrak adds more security, perks for Thanksgiving travel

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Nicole Killian and her family have made a Thanksgiving trip to Philadelphia a tradition for nearly the past decade.

“We go down, just the three of us, and we spend the holidays exploring the city,” Killian told ABC 27 News. “We see the parade and visit museums.”

The Lititz family prefers the train. They told ABC 27 News they noticed an increased police presence at the Lancaster station on Tuesday.

“This year we came in and we saw the (police) here and the dogs,” Killian said.

The increased security comes amid warnings to mass transit riders and Amtrak’s expectations that it will welcome a record number of passengers on the days surrounding Thanksgiving.

“This is all part of maintaining a strong security posture to keep our passengers, our employees, and our railroads safe,” Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert said.

Tolbert said Amtrak is working with local and federal authorities to keep everyone safe. He said they’re asking passengers to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.

“If you see something, say something,” Tolbert said. “Let policemen know, let your station agent know, your conductor know. Call police if you see something out the ordinary because we all have a part to play in keeping everybody safe.”

In order to combat record low gas prices, Amtrak is offering passengers perks like allowing small pets on trains.

“Twenty pounds or less and in a carrier for a dog or cat,” Tolbert said. “On some trains, you can bring your bike on, as well.”

For families traveling, like the Killians, the added perks and sense of security help keep their mind at ease.

“We still have to do the things we do as a family and keep going and hope for the best,” Killian said.

Amtrak is asking passengers to arrive at stations 45 minutes early.

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