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U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) Terrorism Threat Levels & Railfanning...
What it means for you and me while railfanning...
By Nathan Chidester, Webmaster |
Printed: 14-MAR-2007

Since the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in September 2001, the department has created a notification system that the U.S. Government can use to communicate the current terrorism threat level to all other government agencies and civilians by means of a quick and simple color-coded system.

The main purpose for this page is to make you aware of what you, the railfan, should consider during the following terrorism threat levels. We will look at the suggested precautions and also information on railfanning situations.

Please note that a lot of this information is from the DHS website ( though some of the information—including suggestions about railfanning—have not been "approved" nor suggested by the Dept. of Homeland Security. Just use simple commonsence, while out railfanning.

Homeland Security Threat Advisories contain actionable information about an incident involving, or a threat targeting, critical national networks or infrastructures or key assets. They could, for example, relay newly developed procedures that, when implemented, would significantly improve security or protection. They could also suggest a change in readiness posture, protective actions, or response. This category includes products formerly named alerts, advisories, and sector notifications. Advisories are targeted to Federal, state, and local governments, private sector organizations, and international partners.
   —U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) |

The following is a combination of information with the United States Department of Homeland Security and other railfanning communities.

None of this info is sponsored or endorsed by the DHS and is made strictly for a guide for railfans.

Though we may never see a day at this level, we can hope that soon the terrorism level could reach and stay at this level. You can go railfanning without major problems with law enforcement, except in major areas of concern (ex. yards, terminals, stations, etc.).

Be aware of your surroundings, for example for trespassers, idiot railfans (who do things that they should not do), etc.




At this level, we would strongly suggest not to go railfanning. At this critical time, all law enforcement agencies will take no chances. Just do what you must do and that's it; expect traffic delays and restrictions to where and when you could go.

sources: U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security


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Last Updated: 01-Jan-2010