TSA screening set for Super Bowl rail station

SECAUCUS, N.J. — Fans headed to the Super bowl will have to travel light even to get on a train headed to the game.

The Transportation Security Administration said fans will not be allowed on the rail line that serves MetLife Stadium on Sunday unless they show their ticket to the game and adhere to the NFL’s bag policy.

All fans boarding trains to the stadium from Secaucus Junction Station, the start of NJ Transit’s 6.8-mile line to the stadium in East Rutherford, must pass through a security checkpoint manned by TSA agents, officials said Friday.

Only people who show agents a valid Super Bowl ticket will be allowed to pass through the security checkpoint and board a train, said John Durkin, special agent in charge of the TSA Newark field office.

Fans will only be allowed to carry a small clutch bag or purse that’s no bigger than 6.5 by 4.5 inches and a clear plastic bag that’s about as big as a freezer storage bag, per the NFL’s bag policy. TSA will not have a place to store larger bags, and a person will not be allowed to clear security and get on the train with one.

The checkpoints started Friday and will be random until Sunday, when they turn mandatory for all people taking the train to MetLife Stadium. Friday agents were swabbing women’s’ bags to check for explosives.

Fans will also have to go through metal detectors and regular security at the stadium as well.

In addition to providing an added layer of safety for rail passengers, Durkin said the screening will ensure fans can make it through stadium security more quickly. Durkin would not say how many agents and law enforcement personnel will be working Sunday, but said security will be visible and invisible.

Officials estimate between 12,000 and 15,000 passengers will ride the train between the Secaucus station and the stadium. Ten double-decker trains capable of carrying up to 1,350 passengers each will run to the stadium.

“It is an attempt to streamline and also ensure the safety of passengers,” Durkin said at a news conference here at the train station. “You’re not getting on a train unless you have a game ticket.”

Durkin said agents will be looking “for anything that could negatively affect the safety of New Jersey Transit passengers.”

New Jersey Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo said riders would be able to bring water bottles on the train and there would be no pat-downs of passengers.

Trucillo said officials are expecting the heaviest flow of passengers to come from New York’s Penn Station.

Robert and Catherine Caballero and their two daughters were chosen for a security check Friday while switching trains between their home in Middletown, N.J., and New York City.

Catherine Caballero said her purse was swabbed, and her 16-year-old daughter Rachel’s purse was also searched.

“It feels secure,” Robert Caballero said of the train station. “It’s a great idea. In this day, unfortunately, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

More in Local News

Live in Edmonds? Hate speeders?

Edmonds has $35,000 to address local residents’ concerns about speeding in their… Continue reading

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Marysville quits fire-department merger talks

Mayor Jon Nehring notified Arlington of the decision in a letter dated Jan. 10.

Everett man accused of causing his baby’s brain damage

He told police he shook his son to get him to stop crying, and the boy slipped out of his hands.

Everett marchers: ‘There’s too much to protest’ for one sign

About 150 people joined the “March to Impeach” from the waterfront to a county courthouse rally.

Legislation to limit opioid prescriptions under debate

Inslee also has requested a bill that prioritizes medication-assisted treatment for addiction.

Sirens! Flashing lights! — Move over!

We are a confident bunch on what to do when we hear… Continue reading

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Residents are helping turn Casino Road in a new direction

An initiative backed by a $700,000 grant goes to the community for solutions to the area’s challenges.

Most Read