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

Mill Creek councilman no longer lives in city, panel finds

The Canvassing Board determined Sean Kelly is not eligible to vote there.

A Democrat and ex-Republican team up to end two-party politics

Brian Baird and Chris Vance unveil a new organization called Washington Independents.

The beavers weren’t happy, either, about Mill Creek flooding

A tree fell on their dam, sending a rush of water into a neighborhood near Jackson High School.

Two windsurfers rescued from Port Susan near Kayak Point

The men had failed to return to shore during Sunday’s windstorm.

Herald photos of the week

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

Stranger offered candy to student walking home from school

The Granite Falls School District is warning families about… Continue reading

Coming together as family

Special-needs students and teachers at the Transition Center cooked up a Thanksgiving feast.

Lynnwood’s property tax promise to homeowners sort of true

They were told consolidation of fire departments would save, but new rates likely will be more.

Woman who died in 5-car crash identified

A car driven by Susan E. Sill rear-ended another vehicle Wednesday on Smokey Point Boulevard.

Most Read