Summary: S.1893 — 93rd Congress (1973-1974)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1893. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (05/29/1973)

Northeast Railroad Restructuring Act - Title I: Short Title and So Forth - Sets forth the congressional findings and declaration of purpose.

Title II: Creation of the Northeast Railroad Corporation - Authorizes the creation of a Northeast Railroad Corporation which would be established under the laws of a State, and not be an agency or establishment of the United States Government.

Directs the President to appoint three incorporators by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, one of whom the President shall designate to serve as chairman.

Directs the President to appoint a board of advisors consisting of 17 persons.

Provides that the board of advisors would formulate and submit from time to time to the incorporators recommendations respecting the preparation of the service plan under this Act and the conduct of other functions of the incorporators. Provides that the board would cease to exist on the date the incorporators are succeeded by a board of directors elected under this Act.

Authorizes not to exceed $40,000,000 to be appropriated to the Secretary for payment to the Corporation for the purpose of meeting the necessary expenses of the board of incorporators and the board of advisors and other expenses necessarily incurred in organizing the Corporation.

Provides that the Corporation and any corporation it may create shall have the powers vested in the Corporation under this Act and the powers conferred upon them under the laws of the State in which they are incorporated and the usual powers of a railroad under the laws of any State in which they operate.

Authorizes the Corporation to carry out various actions and to exercise powers as necessary to carry out the service plan and agreements approved under title III of this Act.

Title III: Restructuring of the Northeast Rail System - Requires the Secretary of Transportation to prepare a preliminary report containing his recommendations for the identification of geographic zones in the eastern district within and between which rail freight service shall be provided and the minimum number of railroads that shall provide the service.

Requires the Secretary, within 30 days after the date of enactment of the Act, to make the preliminary report available for comment by the Interstate Commerce Commission, States, shippers, and others. Affords such parties 30 days to submit written comments before the Secretary is required within 90 days after the date of enactment of the Act to issue his final report on Core rail service.

Requires each railroad in the eastern district to compile and submit to the Secretary and the Corporation within 180 days after the date of enactment of the Act data respecting the physical and operating characteristics of its railroad lines.

Requires the Corporation to prepare a plan for the operation of rail services provided by bankrupt railroads in the eastern district and other railroads with which it negotiates agreements under this Act.

Requires the Corporation in a manner consistent with the service plan to enter into specified agreements with respect to the operation of any railroad required under this Act.

Requires the Corporation to submit to the Secretary within 300 days after the date of enactment of the Act the service plan and the agreements entered into under this Act.

Requires the Secretary to make the findings required by this Act 30 days after he receives the service plan and to approve the service plan and the agreements if he finds they meet the requirements of this Act. Requires the trustees of bankrupt railroads to submit for approval to the appropriate reorganization courts: (1) the agreements negotiated under this Act under which the Corporation is to acquire the assets of the bankrup railroads; and (2) the agreements between bankrupt railroads and representatives of their employees providing for fair and equitable arrangements for employees of those railroads who are not to be hired by the Corporation by the time it implements rail service under the Act.

Establishes a procedure for the transfer to a single district court of all proceedings respecting the review of all agreements submitted to the reorganization courts for approval under this Act.

States that in the case of agreements negotiated under which the Corporation is to acquire the assets of bankrupt railroads, the sole issues before the court shall be whether the agreements are in the best interests of the debtor's estate and whether, in approving the service plan, the Secretary considered its overall environmental consequences in compliance with the policies of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

Provides that, except with respect to the judicial review provided this Act, there shall not be any judicial review of any aspect of the Secretary's actions or failure to act under this Act.

Title IV: Regulation of Service - States that, except as otherwise provided in Title IV, on and after the date the Corporation begins rail service, it shall be deemed a common carrier by railroad within the meaning of the Interstate Commerce Act and shall be subject to that Act.

Authorizes bankrupt railroads in the eastern district to abandon the operation of any rail service within any zone for which no rail service is designated in the final report issued by the Secretary under this Act. Requires the bankrupt railroad to provide 60 days notice of the discontinuance to State governors and publish notice in accordance with the Interstate Commerce Act. Authorizes any bankrupt or any other railroad which agrees to transfer rail assets to the Corporation under this Act and thereafter transfers any assets to the Corporation to abandon the operation of any rail service not included in the service plan approved by the Secretary under Title III of the Act.

Authorizes any bankrupt or other railroad which does not agree to transfer rail assets to the Corporation under this Act but thereafter transfers a portion of its rail assets to the Corporation to abandon the operation of any rail service provided over those assets on the date that the Corporation, by contract or otherwise, begins rail service thereon.

Permits the Corporation during the first two years of providing service to abandon any rail service following changed market or other conditions or a natural disaster, after providing 60 days' notice as indicated above and after the Secretary finds that there is no reasonable prospect that the service can become self-sustaining under efficient and economical management.

States that if a rail line used for service discontinued is no longer required by the entity which provided the service, the line may be abandoned if the entity holds open for not less than 120 days after the discontinuance of service an offer to sell the rail line intact for railroad purposes or to contract with any person including a State or local government for the continuation of rail service thereon on terms and conditions that insure the entity does not incur any losses as a result of the provision of the service.

Title V: Federal Income Tax - Sets forth special provisions under the Internal Revenue Code applicable to the transfer of assets under this Act.

Title VI: Miscellaneous - Requires the Corporation to keep such records as the Secretary may prescribe which disclose the amount and disposition by the Corporation of payments received by the Corporation. Authorizes access by the Secretary and the Comptroller General for the purpose of audit and examination to any books and papers of the Corporation that are pertinent to such payments.

States that nothing in the Act shall preclude a State or local jurisdiction from imposing on the Corporation in accordance with laws of such State or local jurisdiction any valid nondiscriminatory tax.