Obama Train Challenges Secret Service

Journey to Washington poses 137 miles of potential threats
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2009 6:43 AM CST
Conductor Clarence Armstrong waits for passengers to board the train to Washington in Linthicum, Md.    (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama's train ride to the presidency is giving the Secret Service 137 miles of stress, reports CNN. The president-elect's route from Philadelphia to Washington is lined with countless buildings where attackers could hide and security experts fear terrorists could sabotage some of the dozens of bridges and tunnels along the way.

Environmental groups fearing a terrorist attack on chemical plants along the route have urged Obama to reconsider his travel plans, a move Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff has dismissed as a publicity ploy. "Remember, the Secret Service has taken the president to Iraq and to Afghanistan, to some very hostile places around the world," he said. "I'm comfortable that we have the skills … to protect the president-elect.”