Summary: S.1379 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1379. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (07/11/2005)

Rail Security Act of 2005 - Directs the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security to complete, and make prioritized recommendations regarding, a vulnerability assessment of freight and passenger rail transportation for identification of: (1) critical assets and infrastructures and the threats to them; (2) vulnerabilities specific to the transportation of hazardous materials via railroad; and (3) security weaknesses in passenger and cargo security, transportation infrastructure, protection systems, procedural policies, communications systems, employee training, emergency response planning, and any other area.

Directs the Secretary of Transportation to review existing Department of Transportation (DOT) rail regulations to identify areas for revision to improve rail security.

Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to specified congressional committees on the rail passenger transportation security programs in Japan, member nations of the European Union (EU), and other foreign countries in order to identify effective rail transportation security measures.

Directs the Under Secretary to: (1) analyze the cost and feasibility of requiring security screening for passengers, baggage, and cargo on passenger trains; and (2) conduct a pilot program of random security screening of passengers and baggage at a specified number of passenger rail stations served by Amtrak.

Authorizes appropriations for certain fire and life-safety improvements and infrastructure upgrades to Amtrak tunnels on the Northeast Corridor.

Amends federal transportation law to direct Amtrak to submit to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Secretary of Transportation a plan to address the needs of families of passengers involved in rail passenger accidents.

Authorizes the Under Secretary to make grants for certain system-wide Amtrak security upgrades and freight and hazardous materials transportation and passenger rail security upgrades.

Establishes a research and development (R&D) program to improve freight and intercity passenger rail security.

Directs the Federal Railroad Administration to prescribe standards for welded rail and tank car safety improvements.

Requires the Under Secretary to report to specified congressional committees: (1) an assessment of the current system for preclearance and screening of rail and airline passengers and baggage, as well as freight railroad traffic, between the United States and Canada; and (2) information on progress toward finalizing a protocol with Canada on preclearance of rail passengers between the two countries.

Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to study and report to Congress on the impact of blocked highway-railroad grade crossings on the ability of first responders to perform their duties in the event of a terrorist attack.

Sets forth certain whistleblower protections for rail employees or other persons providing information about perceived security threats.