Summary: S.1550 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate without amendment (10/17/2001)

Rail Security Act of 2001 - Authorizes emergency appropriations to Amtrak for: (1) systemwide security upgrades, including reimbursement of extraordinary security-related costs incurred by it since September 11, 2001, such as the hiring and training of additional police officers, canine-assisted security units, and surveillance equipment; (2) completion of New York tunnel life safety projects and rehabilitation of tunnels in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland; and (3) increased accessibility of Penn Station, New York City, for safety and emergency response situations, renovations to the Thames and Niantic Bridges in Connecticut, and improved safety operations through an advanced civil speed enforcement system radio system in high-speed territory. Prohibits the Secretary of Transportation from making such amounts available to Amtrak until a plan has been submitted to the Secretary for approval. Directs the Secretary to ensure that up to 50 percent of the amounts appropriated under this Act are obligated for projects outside the Northeast Corridor.

Directs the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation (DOT) to report to specified congressional committees on: (1) any overlap between capital projects which are provided under funding documents, procedures, or arrangements and capital projects included in Amtrak's 20-year capital plan; and (2) any adjustments that need to be made in such plan to exclude projects for which funds are appropriated under this Act. Requires the Inspector General, as part of DOT's annual assessment of Amtrak's financial status and capital funding requirements, to review the obligation and expenditure of funds under each funding document, procedure, or arrangement to ensure that the expenditure and obligation of those funds are consistent with the purposes for which they are provided under this Act.

Directs the Secretary, as necessary, to prescribe regulations and issue orders for every area of railroad safety, including the security of railroad operations. Directs the Secretary to review existing DOT rail regulations to identify areas in which they need to be revised to improve rail safety and security.

Directs the Secretary to assess, and report to specified congressional committees on, the security risks associated with rail transportation and develop prioritized recommendations for: (1) improving the security of rail tunnels, rail bridges, rail switching areas, and other areas identified as posing significant rail-related risks to public safety and the movement of interstate commerce; and (2) dealing with the immediate and long-term economic impact of measures that may be required to address such risks.