Summary: H.R.4250 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (10/03/1992)

Amtrak Authorization and Development Act - Amends the Rail Passenger Service Act (the Act) to require the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to develop by September 30, 1993, a plan for the elimination by December 31, 1997, of all highway at-grade crossings along the main line of the Northeast Corridor. Requires the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) to pay 20 percent of the cost eliminating each crossing.

Directs Amtrak to develop and report to specified congressional committees on a plan for the demonstration of new technologies in rail passenger equipment.

Amends the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 to require the Secretary to develop and submit to specified congressional committees a program master plan that will permit the establishment of regularly scheduled, safe, and dependable rail passenger service between Boston and New York City, including appropriate intermediate stops, in three hours or less.

Amends the Act to declares that no amendment of the articles of incorporation of Amtrak shall be required for the issuance of preferred stock.

Declares that Amtrak (including its railroad subsidiaries and any lessors and lessees of Amtrak or its railroad subsidiaries) shall not be required to pay any additional taxes as a consequence of their expenditure of funds to acquire or improve real property, equipment, facilities, or right-of-way materials or structures used in the provision of rail passenger service.

Authorizes appropriations for: (1) capital acquisition and Northeast Corridor development; (2) new corridor development, especially between densely populated cities and over long distances; (3) Amtrak operating expenses; and (4) certain mandatory payments.

Repeals: (1) the Secretary's authority to guarantee loans to finance upgrading of roadbeds and the purchase or lease of rolling stock, certain systems, equipment and facilities for the improvement of rail passenger service; and (2) the prohibition on the use of intercity rail passenger service funds for the operation of Amtrak Commuter service.

Directs Amtrak to: (1) assist, upon reasonable request, States, political subdivisions, regional partnerships, and private sector representatives in achieving high-speed rail service through equipment upgrades, grade-crossing safety improvements, and incremental infrastructure improvements on existing Amtrak railroad facilities, other than the Northeast Corridor; and (2) report on its efforts to specified congressional committees.

Authorizes Amtrak to consider discontinuance, modification, or adjustment of any commuter service which, between October 1, 1993, and September 30, 1995, has a short-term avoidable loss during the previous six-month period.

Directs AMTRAK to form a task force to consider recommendations for improving emergency training and performance (including first-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, passenger evacuation, and disaster response) of on-board service and operating crew members. Requires a report to specified congressional committees of task force findings and actions taken and recommended.

Amends the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 to limit the U.S. interest in any debt of the Columbus and Greenville Railway to an interest which attaches to such debt in the event of: (1) bankruptcy; or (2) substantial sale or liquidation of the assets of the railroad, the proceeds of which are not reinvested in the railroad's operations. Grants higher priority for new debt issued by such railroad subsequent to the issuance of the debt described above in the event of bankruptcy, liquidation, or abandonment of the railroads assets.

Amends the Act to direct Amtrak to develop, and report to specified congressional committees on, a plan for new or redeveloped station facilities in New York City, New York, to accommodate Amtrak intercity rail passenger service requirements, along with the needs of commuter rail services at New York Penn Station.

Directs the Secretary to review Department of Transportation's rules with respect to locomotive conspicuity (ditch lights, crossing lights, strobe lights, and oscillating lights) and to complete the Department's current locomotive conspicuity research no later than December 31, 1993. Requires the Secretary to issue regulations requiring enhanced locomotive conspicuity measures no later than June 30, 1995.