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‘Police were on the train with a gun;’ Amtrak ups security with worldwide travel alert

Posted at 7:33 PM, Nov 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-24 19:33:43-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Nearly 47 million Americans are expected to travel this holiday season, amid a worldwide travel alert issued Monday by the State Department that will stay in effect until the end of February.

Bernetta Watson will travel from Newport News to North Carolina.

"I do realize the risk, the heightened security," Watson said from the Staples Mill Amtrak station in Henrico.

Watson said she realized something was different when police boarded her train earlier.

"The police were on the train with a gun and everything," Watson added.

Kimberly Woods, a spokeswoman with Amtrak, confirmed an increase in security.

"Due to the incidents occurring around the world we have increased our presence throughout our national network especially here in Richmond," Woods said.

Several area travel agencies say that so far most Richmonders are not cancelling their travel plans.

"Travelers have accepted this is the world we live in," said Martha Meade with AAA..

Meade said to squelch hesitation, some pieces of advice include registering with the State Department, having a communication plan, and purchasing cancellation insurance.

The travel alert stays in effect until the end of February.