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107th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     107-157
_______________________________________________________________________
                                                                       



                       NATIONAL DEFENSE RAIL ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 1991



                                     

                  May 29, 2002.--Ordered to be printed
   Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of May 22, 2002

                               __________

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
99-010                     WASHINGTON : 2002
______________________________________________________________________
             For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, 
                   U.S. Government Printing Office
    Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; 
             DC area (202) 512-1800 Fax: (202) 512-2250 
             Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-0001


       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                      one hundred seventh congress

                             second session

              ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina, Chairman

DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii             JOHN MCCAIN, Arizona
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West         TED STEVENS, Alaska
Virginia                             CONRAD BURNS, Montana
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts         TRENT LOTT, Mississippi
JOHN B. BREAUX, Louisiana            KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota        OLYMPIA SNOWE, Maine
RON WYDEN, Oregon                    SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas
MAX CLELAND, Georgia                 GORDON SMITH, Oregon
BARBARA BOXER, California            PETER G. FITZGERALD, Illinois
JOHN EDWARDS, North Carolina         JOHN ENSIGN, Nevada
JEAN CARNAHAN, Missouri              GEORGE ALLEN, Virginia
BILL NELSON, Florida

                     Kevin D. Kayes, Staff Director

                       Moses Boyd, Chief Counsel

                      Gregg Elias, General Counsel

      Jeanne Bumpus, Republican Staff Director and General Counsel

             Ann Begeman, Republican Deputy Staff Director


107th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     107-157

======================================================================



 
                       NATIONAL DEFENSE RAIL ACT

                                _______
                                

                  May 29, 2002.--Ordered to be printed

   Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of May 22, 2002

                                _______
                                

      Mr. Hollings, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                         [To accompany S. 1991]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1991) ``A Bill to establish a 
national rail passenger transportation system, reauthorize 
Amtrak, improve security and service on Amtrak, and for other 
purposes'', having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment in the nature of a substitute and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

  The purposes of this bill are to authorize funds for 
development of rail passenger infrastructure; authorize funds 
for rail passenger security; authorize capital and operating 
funds for intercity rail passenger service expenses; mandate 
reforms to accounting, reporting, and business decision-making 
practices of the National Passenger Railroad Corporation 
(NPRC); repeal the requirement that Amtrak achieve operational 
self-sufficiency; expand the Railroad Rehabilitation and 
Improvement Financing (RRIF) program.

                          Background and Needs

  Transportation needs in the United States have changed 
significantly in the 172 years since the first scheduled 
passenger train, the ``Best Friend of Charleston'', carried 141 
people six miles on its initial run in 1830. Since the advent 
of rail passenger service, demand for rail passenger service 
has ebbed and flowed, as our nation has experienced industrial 
growth, economic depression, and war. During the past 30 years, 
problems with congestion, urban sprawl, and environmental 
issues have required focused attention on a balanced system of 
transportation in the United States, with priorities on 
security, mobility, safety, economic, and transportation 
effects. Considering these issues with respect to our future 
needs, high-speed rail passenger service is increasingly 
identified as an effective transportation solution in some of 
our Nation's most well- traveled intercity corridors. A 
September 1997 Report to Congress titled ``High-Speed Ground 
Transportation for America'' by the Federal Railroad 
Administration explains in detail this potential.
  The Federal government has historically taken a leadership 
role in developing and implementing sound policies which 
respond to the changing transportation demands of the country. 
The Federal role in developing our national highway system 
began in 1938 with the Roosevelt Federal Aid Highway Act, which 
mandated the first studies for the construction of a limited 
access national highway network. In 1956, the Federal Aid 
Highway Act (``1956 Act'') created the blueprint for the 
Interstate Highway System as we know it today. This landmark 
legislation built upon existing paved roads to establish a 
44,000-mile interconnected highway network, and provided $25 
billion for construction for fiscal years 1957 to 1969. The 
Federal share of project costs was set at 90 percent. The 1956 
Act permitted the use of Federal funds to advance acquisition 
of rights-of-way and prohibited apportionment of funds to 
States that permitted excessively large vehicles. This 
legislation also applied provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act to 
Interstate construction projects, which had been enacted in the 
1930's to require that Federal construction projects pay no 
less than prevailing wage rates. Title II of the 1956 Act 
contained the 1956 Highway Revenue Act, which increased the 
Federal tax on gasoline from 2 to 3 cents per gallon and 
imposed a series of other highway user tax charges to help fund 
construction of the Interstate Highway System. User fee 
receipts were placed in a new Highway Trust Fund to be credited 
to the highway program. In FY 2000, the Federal government 
spent $29.687 billion on highways from this Fund.
  Similarly, the Federal government took a lead role in 
developing our commercial aviation system through a variety of 
actions, from subsidizing air carriers through postal rates, 
building, maintaining, and operating our air traffic control 
system, and funding airport development. From the early stages 
of the commercial aviation industry, the Federal government 
provided funding for airport infrastructure. Beginning in 1946, 
the Federal Airport Act established the Federal-aid airport 
program, the first peacetime program aimed exclusively at 
promoting development of United States civil airports. 
Subsequent airport grant programs, such as the Airport 
Development Aid Program and the Airport Improvement Program, 
significantly increased the level of funding provided for 
infrastructure via a dedicated source of funding, the Airport 
and Airway Trust Fund. This trust fund receives revenues from 
aviation user taxes on such items as airline fares, air 
freight, and aviation fuel. Funds are provided not only for 
airport planning, runway, and taxiway construction, but also 
for aircraft rescue and fire fighting equipment and security 
equipment required by regulation.
  The present network of airports throughout the country would 
not have been possible without Federal aid. In fiscal year (FY) 
2001, outlays totaling almost $10 billion were made from the 
Airport and Airway Trust Fund for programs benefiting 
commercial aviation. Not only do airports such as Los Angeles 
International, Atlanta-Hartsfield and Chicago-O'Hare receive 
funds to continue improvements, but many small general aviation 
airports owe their existence to these grant programs. Without 
Federal funds, many airports could not afford today's high cost 
of construction and equipment. In addition, the Federal 
government is responsible for providing all air traffic control 
services--including equipment and personnel. The Federal 
Aviation Administration's (FAA's) Air Traffic Services 
organization provides a key safety and efficiency role in 
managing our air traffic control system 24 hours a day. The 
President's Budget proposal for FY 2003 requests over $6 
billion to provide this vital service. Authorizations for air 
traffic control are included in the Wendell H. Ford Aviation 
Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (Public Law 106-
181), which authorized $40 billion for aviation programs over 
FYs 2001-2003. Finally, in the aftermath of the September 11th 
attacks, the United States took over primary responsibility for 
security in the nation's airports. On November 19, 2001, the 
Aviation Security Act (Public Law 107-71) was signed into law 
creating a new security administration within the United States 
Department of Transportation (DOT) with an estimated 70,000 new 
Federal employees at a cost of $6.8 billion in FY 2002 alone, 
including 50,000 airport security personnel.
  The Federal government has also provided significant 
subsidies to support public transit, including local bus, 
commuter rail, light rail, and trolley bus transportation. 
Since 1970, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has 
received $106 billion in Federal funding. Transit ridership has 
risen dramatically in recent years, rising to 9.5 billion 
commuter trips in calendar year 2001. A recent report by the 
United States General Accounting Office (GAO) stated that 
``Although the level of New Starts funding is higher than it 
has ever been, the demand for these resources is also extremely 
high. TEA-21 identified over 190 projects nationwide as 
eligible to compete for New Starts funding.'' (Report #GAO-02-
0603)
  In effect, Federal transportation policies have promoted the 
development of highways, aviation, and transit systems, while 
significantly less attention has been paid to the development 
of our rail passenger system. Since 1971, the Federal 
government has spent over $400 billion of taxpayer funds on the 
highway system, over $170 billion on our aviation system, $106 
billion on transit, yet, in spite of its critical importance to 
our nation's transportation, only $25 billion on rail passenger 
service. Notably, however, congestion, security, and 
environmental quality issues and the current imbalance in our 
national transportation system have given rise to a 
reevaluation of Federal transportation spending policies. 
Congestion-related economic losses continue to cause loss of 
productivity. The costs of highway congestion include delay, 
increased travel time, increased fuel consumption, increased 
vehicle emissions and reduced air quality, increased cost of 
goods transported resulting in increased costs to the consumer, 
and increased aggravation to drivers. The Federal Highway 
Administration reported on May 21, 2002, that increased traffic 
congestion is a growing threat to the nation's economy and to 
the quality of life of all Americans: ``Congestion and 
bottlenecks damage air quality, slow commerce, increase energy 
consumption and threaten our quality of life. They waste 
significant time and money, and they reduce productivity.'' 
States like the Commonwealth of Virginia have congestion 
problems ``growing by the hour, particularly in the major 
corridors within and between our urban centers,'' as was noted 
by Whittington W. Clement, Secretary of Transportation, 
Commonwealth of Virginia, in written testimony submitted for 
the Record for the United States Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation hearing on S. 1991, the National 
Defense Rail Act, held on March 14, 2002 (Clement). A report by 
the Texas Transportation Institute states that in 1991, the 
total cost of congestion for 50 urban areas studied was 
approximately $42.3 billion, with delay accounting for 
approximately 89 percent of this amount, and excess fuel 
consumption for the remainder. The President's FY 2003 budget 
proposal points out that the nationwide cost of wasted time and 
extra fuel consumption in 1999 was estimated to be $78 billion.
  While strong Federal leadership and funding were essential to 
the development of the interstate highway system, our nation's 
aviation system, and public transit, intercity rail passenger 
service has lacked this same level of Federal initiative. By 
1971, the railroad industry had lost billions of dollars 
providing passenger service as part of their common carrier 
obligation. To relieve the private rail system of the financial 
burdens of providing passenger service, Congress created the 
National Railroad Passenger Corporation (NRPC), or Amtrak, in 
1971. The fact is, however, the investment of $25 billion since 
1971 has not been sufficient to build an effective national 
rail passenger system; in fact, with the exception of high-
speed service in the Northeast and a small number of corridor 
services developed in conjunction with the States, the system 
today is virtually the same as it was 30 years ago. Since the 
inception of Amtrak, the Federal government has not taken an 
active approach to growing our national rail passenger system. 
In the end, in order to obtain the potential benefits 
associated with rail passenger service, substantial Federal 
involvement in the development of rail passenger infrastructure 
is imperative, similar to Federal investment policy in the 
other modes of transportation.

                            SECURITY FUNDING

  The events of September 11, 2001, require a fundamental 
reevaluation of the vulnerabilities inherent in our 
transportation system, consistent with the heightened sense of 
risk. On October 11, 2001, the Senate approved S. 1447, the 
Aviation Security Act (Public Law 107-71) which addressed 
airline and airport security. On December 20, 2001, the Senate 
unanimously approved S. 1214, which addressed seaport security. 
The legislation is currently awaiting House action. On October 
17, 2001, the Commerce Committee reported, without amendment, 
S. 1550, the Rail Security Act of 2001. The legislation was the 
result of bipartisan negotiations with input from Amtrak and 
the Administration addressing the immediate safety and security 
needs of Amtrak. Title I of S. 1991 substantially incorporates 
the text of S. 1550 with additional provisions to specifically 
authorize funding for security expenditures, on a line item 
basis. It also includes additional provisions, including a 
pilot program requiring random screening of passengers and 
baggage at some of Amtrak's largest stations, an assessment by 
the Secretary of Transportation of the safety and security of 
stations served by Amtrak, a DOT study of the safety and 
security of blocked grade crossings, and a GAO study of rail 
passenger security measures in other countries.

                   HIGH-SPEED PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE

  High-speed rail passenger service has proven effective in 
other developed countries, including Japan, France, and 
Germany. Historically, these countries developed their highly-
efficient rail passenger systems as national systems. High-
speed train service in each of these countries supplements 
conventional rail passenger service, and for the most part, 
connects major cities in corridor-style service. Maximum train 
speeds range from 155 miles per hour (mph) on Germany's 
Intercity Express (ICE) train to 186 mph for the Shinkansen 
line in Japan and the trains a grande vitesse (TGV) in France.
  In the United States, the Northeast Corridor (NEC) is the 
only developed high-speed rail corridor; high-speed trains 
provide service at speeds of up to 150 mph between Washington, 
DC, and Boston, MA, carrying 36,400 passengers daily. The NEC 
is unique for several reasons. First, most of the approximately 
440 route miles are owned by Amtrak, allowing it to operate a 
vertically-integrated railroad along this corridor. Second, the 
corridor connects seven major eastern United States cities with 
a combined population of 23.9 million along a mostly linear 
route. Third, this corridor was developed through strong 
federal leadership, and showcases the types of benefits which 
can be realized through development of high-speed rail. 
Currently, more travelers take the train on the NEC segment 
between New York City, NY, and Washington, DC, than those who 
travel by air.
  Other corridors throughout the country seek to attain the 
benefits of high-speed rail passenger service, including areas 
such as the Midwest, California, and Florida, but many of these 
corridors lack the funding to see these infrastructure projects 
to completion. These high-speed corridor projects are now being 
planned and developed by the States, both individually and in 
partnership with one another. The Intermodal Surface 
Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) directed FRA to 
designate 5 rail corridors where train speeds will reach at 
least 90 miles per hour for the purposes of eliminating grade 
crossings along the routes. In 1997, the Transportation Equity 
Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) directed FRA to designate 3 
additional corridors and also statutorily designated a Gulf 
Coast route, a Keystone route, and an Empire State route.
  At the State level, highways and airports have enjoyed 
decades of public support, which proponents of high-speed rail 
are now pursuing. Although still atypical, State investment in 
rail passenger service is increasing as State and regional 
transportation officials look for solutions to regional 
transportation problems. In fact, over the past 5 years, States 
have spent over $1.2 billion on improving intercity passenger 
rail. Many of these improvements are incremental in nature and 
may lead to eventual high-speed service. In addition, many 
States, including California, Oregon, Washington, North 
Carolina, New York, Michigan, Illinois, and Virginia, are now 
working with Amtrak to provide operating support for increased 
levels of service on corridors that primarily benefit travelers 
within their respective States. Amtrak's Cascades service in 
the Pacific Northwest, which is operated under contract by 
Amtrak for the States of Washington and Oregon, has been so 
successful that the States are planning to add six additional 
train sets to increase the frequency of service. California 
spent an estimated $63 million in FY 2001 on increased service 
on three trains operated through contracts with Amtrak: the 
Capitol Corridor, the Pacific Surfliner and the San Joaquins. 
According to the FRA, the State of California has spent $866.8 
million over the last five years, excluding matching funds from 
Amtrak, the Federal government and freight railroads, for 
capital improvements for improved rail passenger service.
  The California High-Speed Rail Authority recently completed a 
screening report for implementation of a statewide high-speed 
train system which will determine the scope of a formal 
environmental impact statement. On January 10, 2002, California 
Governor Gray Davis proposed $8.46 million for the 2002-3 FY 
for the Authority, which, if approved by the legislature, would 
make it possible for the Authority to prepare a draft program 
environmental impact statement by June 30, 2003.
  The Midwest Regional Rail Initiative proposes high-speed rail 
passenger service linking major and medium-sized cities in the 
States of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, 
Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin, using Chicago, IL, as 
a central hub. According to studies performed for the Midwest 
Regional Rail Initiative, this service would be financially 
viable, affordable, convenient, comfortable, and more 
environmentally friendly than car or plane travel. It proposes 
using new passenger equipment on upgraded existing track at 
speeds of up to 110 mph to effectively cut train travel times 
between the major Midwestern cities to make travel between 
downtown business centers both time- and cost-competitive with 
air travel on a door-to-door basis. Furthermore, estimated 
travel time on high-speed rail in the Midwest professes to be 
competitive with all current modes of available transportation.
  On November 7, 2000, the Florida voters approved a new 
amendment to the Florida Constitution directing the State 
Legislature, Governor and Cabinet to proceed with the 
development of a high-speed ground transportation system in 
Florida. This system is required to use effective and efficient 
technologies capable of operating at speeds in excess of 120 
miles per hour and must consist of dedicated rails or guideways 
separated from motor vehicular traffic. This amendment also 
dictates that the system must ultimately link the five largest 
urban areas of the State and that construction must begin by 
November 1, 2003.
  The Florida Legislature, at the 2001 regular legislative 
session, enacted the Florida High Speed Rail Authority Act, 
which created a nine-member High Speed Rail Authority charged 
with planning, administering and managing the preliminary 
engineering and environmental assessment of the intrastate 
high-speed rail system. It also required that the first segment 
of the system be developed and operated between St. Petersburg, 
Tampa and Orlando with future service to Miami. The legislation 
provided an appropriation of $4.5 million to the Authority for 
the purpose of performing its duties under the Act. On June 1, 
2001, Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed this legislation into 
law.
  The Florida High Speed Rail Authority is currently evaluating 
several options for high-speed rail passenger service, not all 
of which would involve Amtrak as a carrier. This approach 
allows the State to let the ``market'' decide what technologies 
and service concepts best suit its own needs. The Authority 
will receive proposals from different consortia which may offer 
different solutions: one might be maglev, another might be new 
high-speed rail on completely separated right-of-way with no 
Amtrak involvement, and a third might be operated by Amtrak 
over existing freight railroad right-of-way. It is important to 
note that although service offered through Amtrak on the 
existing freight right-of-way might be cheaper, the return on 
investment might be lower. This result would be brought about 
because the patronage (particularly from Miami to Orlando) 
would be lower since the expected trip times would not be 
competitive with air travel. The initial studies for this 
project appeared to indicate that 150 mph diesel-electric 
technology might have the best return on investment. At this 
speed, electrification expenses would be avoided, but trip 
times would be almost as good as 180 mph top speed, which could 
be achieved through electrification. However, at 150 mph, 
operation over the same tracks as freight trains is 
problematic. Thus, under this scenario, the advantage of 
gaining access to the freight right-of-way through Amtrak's 
statutory right of access may be of some value, but would not 
be dispositive.
  In general, high-speed rail passenger service promises many 
potential benefits, including mobility, safety, security, 
convenience, environmental, and economic benefits. According to 
the DOT, the development of high-speed rail passenger service 
would mean reduced congestion for other modes of 
transportation, leading to a more balanced system of 
transportation. For example, high-speed rail passenger service 
is expected to reduce reliance on highway and air travel, 
relieving congestion on these important modes of transportation 
and allowing them to function more efficiently. The development 
of intercity rail passenger service would not only benefit 
corridors linking major cities by reducing highway and air 
traffic, but it could also potentially benefit those larger 
cities linked by corridors through the reduction of commuter 
traffic. According to submitted written testimony (Clement), as 
part of the Virginia Transportation Act of 2000, the Virginia 
General Assembly authorized $65 million for improvements to the 
rail infrastructure between Richmond, VA, and Washington, DC; 
the development of an extended NEC through Richmond, VA, could 
alleviate heavy volumes of commuter traffic from destinations 
along the I-95 corridor in Northern Virginia (Clement).
  High-speed rail passenger service could mean increased 
mobility for a large number of travelers. Passenger rail also 
provides a viable alternative to other modes, making them more 
competitive and creating choices for passengers. In short-
distance corridors, high-speed trains have the potential to 
deliver passengers downtown-to-downtown almost as fast as 
airplanes at a fraction of the ticket price, and can do so in 
virtually all weather. For example, the Midwest Rapid Rail 
Initiative has forecast maximum revenues when fares are set at 
approximately \2/3\ the price of airline fares for equivalent 
routes. Ultimately, the use of high-speed rail service may 
result in the added benefit of relieving congestion at crowded 
airports, thereby freeing up slots for longer distance flights. 
High-speed trains are reliable, and on-time performance, though 
affected by freight railroad operations when operating on 
mixed-use track, is generally good. This year, Amtrak trains on 
the NEC have been on-time 88.3 percent of the time.
  High-speed passenger trains world-wide have excellent safety 
records. Many foreign countries operating high-speed rail 
systems realize safety benefits associated with operations on 
dedicated passenger right-of-way and advanced train control 
systems. In the United States, positive train control, which 
uses advanced train control technology, has been on the 
National Transportation Safety Board's ``Most Wanted'' Safety 
Improvements List in one form or another since 1990. According 
to Railway Safety, a British rail safety group, British and 
European Union transport safety statistics show that rail 
travel in the United Kingdom (both conventional and high-speed) 
is 9 times safer than car travel, and 2.5 times safer than air 
travel. In the United States, high-speed trains have an 
excellent safety record. On the NEC, the only corridor in the 
country where sustained train speeds reach 90 mph or above, 
Acela trains have not had any accidents, passenger injuries, or 
passenger fatalities, since the inception of service in 
December 2000. Metroliner train service on the NEC has resulted 
in only two passenger fatalities since Amtrak's inception in 
1970.
  The national security of the United States can benefit in at 
least two ways from an effective rail passenger system. First, 
the tragic events of September 11, 2001, highlighted the need 
for a more balanced system of transportation, one which 
provides options to travelers and makes efficient use of 
infrastructure. Second, not only could a sound rail passenger 
system provide travelers a viable alternative to highway and 
air travel, but rail passenger system development could have 
the added benefits of fostering a more fuel-efficient 
transportation system, thereby potentially reducing our 
nation's dependence on foreign oil. The United States 
Department of Energy states in its report ``Annual Energy 
Outlook 2002'' that in 2000 the transportation sector accounted 
for fully \2/3\ of total United States petroleum demand, 
compared to about 50 percent before 1973. In addition, 
projected future increases in total consumption are due mostly 
to increases in demand in the transportation sector. According 
to initial analyses by the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, 
high-speed rail would reduce energy consumption along the 
Chicago-St. Louis corridor by 8 percent per year, the 
equivalent of 6.5 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. In 
the Northeast, most of the NEC is electrified, meaning no 
diesel fuel is consumed for train travel through those 
electrified areas.
  High-speed passenger trains can also provide more convenience 
and comfort to passengers than other modes of transportation, 
making rail travel a productive alternative to travel by car or 
airplane. For example, Acela trains operating on the NEC have 
coach-class seats wider than most airplanes, electrical outlets 
for laptop computers, and food service. On the same route from 
Washington, DC, to New York, NY, an airline passenger may be 
subjected to more stringent security measures, including 
remaining in his or her seat throughout the entire flight. In 
an automobile, the traveler would now likely be operating the 
vehicle, unable to utilize the approximately four hours spent 
on the road for sleep, rest or work activities.
  Cities facing environmental and air quality problems are 
increasingly recognizing the environmental benefits associated 
with rail passenger service. Federal law defines a 
``nonattainment area'' as a locality where air pollution levels 
persistently exceed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (see 
Clean Air Act and Amendments of 1990). Designating an area as a 
nonattainment area requires a formal rulemaking process, and 
EPA normally take this action only after air quality standards 
have been exceeded for several consecutive years. Currently, 
Los Angeles, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA, and 166 
other areas in the country (in 260 counties) are designated as 
nonattainment areas. Under revised EPA standards not yet 
implemented, 329 counties would be designated as nonattainment 
areas. Once cities or counties are classified as 
``nonattainment'' areas, States in which they are located are 
restricted in their ability to use Federal highway funds for 
additional road construction projects. In this case, the State 
must show how the proposed highway projects would result in 
decreased congestion or improved air quality. As such, these 
States are being forced to look for other solutions to satisfy 
increased demand for transportation infrastructure. According 
to the Environmental Law and Policy Center, a single railroad 
track can carry as many passengers as a ten-lane highway at a 
fraction of the cost. Recognizing this potential, many areas of 
the United States are now considering rail passenger options to 
satisfy environmental restrictions on further highway building.
  Many potential economic benefits are associated with 
development of rail passenger service. For instance, this 
development will most certainly create new jobs for the 
construction and operation of new passenger train service. It 
will also revive the ailing $25 billion, 150,000-employee 
domestic rail supply industry. This development can also have 
secondary effects, such as spurring economic growth. Many 
cities throughout the nation are increasingly looking to 
revitalize their urban centers. Train stations with increased 
passenger traffic provide incentive for commercial 
redevelopment and promote substantial new development in 
surrounding areas similar to Union Station in Washington, DC, 
making railroad properties attractive sites. Furthermore, new 
or increased rail passenger service may reduce the need for the 
expansion of or construction of new outlying highways and 
airports, which often exacerbate sprawl.
    The costs associated with development of high-speed rail 
service may vary, but can be competitive with construction 
costs for highways. The FRA noted in its September 1997 report, 
``High Speed Ground Transportation for America,'' that the 
development costs for high-speed rail vary with the type of 
technology implemented and the physical location of the 
corridor. The report notes that while high-speed corridors 
providing passenger service at 90 mph could be developed for 
costs as little as $1 million per route-mile, technology using 
magnetic levitation technology, or ``maglev,'' can cost between 
$20 million and $50 million per route-mile. The report further 
notes that the cost of developing advanced steel-wheel-on-rail 
high-speed rail passenger service on completely new rights-of-
way could be as low as $10 million per route mile, which can be 
competitive with highway construction costs.
  Developing high-speed rail corridors is a long-term 
initiative that will require significant financial commitments. 
GAO has noted that the ultimate cost of developing the high-
speed rail corridors is unknown, but certainly in the many tens 
of billions of dollars (Report #GAO-01-480T). The total costs 
to develop a national passenger railroad system incorporating 
high-speed service cannot be readily determined without making 
critical decisions on technology, routing, and intended service 
levels at individual corridors.
  Currently, corridor projects around the country are in 
different stages of planning and development. California has 
announced plans for a 20-year, $10 billion program. The Midwest 
Regional Rail Initiative has completed detailed project studies 
and estimates the cost of infrastructure and equipment for the 
midwest high-speed corridor at approximately $4 billion. 
Florida is considering several different high-speed 
technologies, with an estimated cost of between $5.5 for 
conventional high-speed service and $24 billion for maglev. 
Virginia and North Carolina have identified a $1.2 billion 
program that would reduce travel time between Washington, 
Richmond, Raleigh, and Charlotte. The high-speed rail 
initiative in the Pacific Northwest Corridor is estimated to 
cost $2 billion. And Amtrak has estimated that a total of about 
$20 billion is needed over the next 20 years to meet capital 
needs on the Northeast Corridor.
  In sum, the technology is now available to incrementally 
address regional transportation needs through rail passenger 
development and to capture some of the numerous benefits of 
high-speed rail service in the United States. While a number of 
States have, on their own initiative, already undertaken 
planning for high-speed rail projects and are ready to begin 
construction, others are looking to the Federal government to 
provide leadership in developing the infrastructure. Today, 
States are constrained in their decision-making regarding rail 
service due to what some members of the Committee believe is a 
bias in current Federal transportation policy, which provides a 
proportionally large share of Federal funding for highway, 
transit, and aviation projects, but does not provide a similar 
incentive for States pursuing the development of rail passenger 
infrastructure. The Federal government must reevaluate its 
current priorities and establish new policy with respect to 
transportation infrastructure development for this believed 
bias against rail passenger service to be eliminated.

                                 AMTRAK

  Amtrak was created in 1970 to ensure the continuation of 
intercity rail passenger service as a component of the national 
transportation system. In addition, as a result of railroad 
bankruptcies and consolidation in the 1970's, Amtrak was given 
title to and responsibility for the NEC, which has since been 
significantly improved. In exchange for relieving the railroads 
of their obligation to carry passengers, Amtrak inherited some 
passenger cars and equipment and was granted statutory access 
to the freight railroads' tracks on an incremental cost basis 
and with operating priority. Amtrak now owns 730 route miles of 
track (mostly on the NEC), which is about 3 percent of its 
nationwide network. The other 22,000 route miles of track over 
which Amtrak conducts operations are owned by the major freight 
rail carriers.
  In FY 2001, Amtrak employed almost 25,000 people and served 
23.5 million passengers at over 500 stations in 46 States. The 
States not served by Amtrak are Alaska, Hawaii, South Dakota 
and Wyoming, although Wyoming is served by Amtrak Thruway 
Motorcoaches. In addition, Amtrak is the nation's largest 
provider of contract-commuter service for State and regional 
authorities and serves an additional 61.1 million commuter 
passengers.
  Amtrak's operations are split into 5 business units: (1) 
Northeast Corridor service; (2) Amtrak West Business Unit; (3) 
Intercity Business Unit; (4) Mail and Express Unit; and (5) 
Corporate and Service Center Business Unit. The Northeast 
Corridor group manages operations in the NEC as well as the NEC 
infrastructure. Amtrak offers high-speed service on its Acela 
trains, which can operate at speeds of up to 150 mph. These 
trains currently operate from Washington, D.C., to New York 
City, NY, in as little as 2 hours, 43 minutes. The Amtrak West 
Business Unit handles long-distance and short-distance routes 
primarily in the western United States. The Intercity Business 
Unit manages the remainder of Amtrak's operations, including 
both long and short distance train service. Mail and express is 
a new strategic business unit created last year to focus on its 
ongoing mail and express freight operations. Amtrak Corporate 
is the non-operations business unit, which accounts for much of 
the railroad's overhead and management functions. Amtrak 
operates approximately 260 trains per day.
  No national rail passenger system in the world operates 
without some form of subsidy, either operating or capital 
funding, or both. Amtrak is no exception. Although Congress has 
appropriated an average of $833 million per year, many would 
argue that the railroad has been seriously undercapitalized 
from its inception. Moreover, Amtrak's funding has actually 
been provided in a very erratic fashion making it very 
difficult to plan effectively and implement the most beneficial 
major capital expenditures on a system-wide basis. For 
instance, since 1998, Amtrak has been appropriated only $2.8 
billion of the $5.3 billion it has been authorized to receive 
through the annual appropriations process, however an 
additional $2.2 billion was provided for capital projects 
through the Taxpayer Relief Act in 1997. Further, Amtrak's 
subsidies have never been sufficient to allow it to operate 
``in the black.'' The impact of the undercapitalization 
continues today, and even Amtrak's most popular routes 
historically have not covered Amtrak's costs. The DOT Office of 
Inspector General found in its January 2002 report that under-
funding of infrastructure and capital expenses has resulted in 
deferred maintenance on many projects, leading to increased 
delays in service and safety and security concerns. A national 
rail passenger system, in any form, must have sufficient 
funding to support capital investment.
  Amtrak's major categories of expenses consist of: capital 
expenses, operating costs, mandatory excess Railroad Retirement 
Trust Account (RRTA) payments (approximately $160 million in 
2003, which cover the retirement costs of former railroad 
employees beyond the benefits received by Amtrak retirees), 
principal and interest payments on debt, one-time security and 
life-safety improvements, and compliance with other regulations 
such as those promulgated under the Americans with Disabilities 
Act (ADA) and environmental regulations.
  Calls for reform of Amtrak focus prominently upon Amtrak's 
expenses and its lack of transparent accounting. The DOT 
Inspector General found that since December, 1997, for every 
additional dollar earned in revenue, cash expenses increased by 
$1.05. Amtrak suffered its largest operating loss in its 
history last year, losing over $1.1 billion and its long-term 
debt and capital lease obligations have tripled to over $3.6 
billion, approximately one-fourth of which is defeased. Due to 
the increase in debt, Amtrak's interest expense will rise from 
$85 million in FY 2001 to $225 million in FY 2005, primarily 
attributable to interest expense associated with external 
financing of the Acela train sets, according to the DOT 
Inspector General. Last summer, short on cash, Amtrak mortgaged 
a portion of New York's Penn Station to raise $300 million to 
cover operating expenses. Proper funding of Amtrak's capital 
needs would help to reduce Amtrak's operating expenses, 
obviating the need for short-term borrowing to cover operating 
expenses.
  The hiring of independent auditors has been viewed as one way 
to address the concerns raised about the methods and reporting 
of Amtrak financial information. For example, since it was 
created in 1971, Amtrak has used certified public accounting 
firms for its annual financial audit which is prepared in a 
manner similar to other large public corporations. In addition, 
increased oversight by the DOT Inspector General has also been 
utilized as a tool to try to improve financial accountability 
and reporting to Congress. For example, the Amtrak Reform and 
Accountability Act of 1997 (ARAA) (Public Law 105-134) required 
a one-time independent financial assessment of the financial 
requirements of Amtrak through FY 2002, overseen by the DOT 
Inspector General. It also directed the DOT Inspector General 
to conduct annual reviews of Amtrak's operations and conduct an 
assessment of the financial requirements of Amtrak during any 
year Amtrak requests Federal assistance.
  In the past, Federal funding for Amtrak has been authorized 
in lump sums for capital expenditures and operating expenses. 
An alternative to this funding approach which would provided 
greater detail and more accountability and transparency would 
be legislation which specifically authorizes on a line-item 
basis funding for Amtrak's various functions. Historically and 
currently, all money Congress appropriates for specific capital 
improvements for Amtrak flows through grant agreements 
administered by the DOT. Under these grant agreements, the DOT 
reimburses Amtrak's obligations (as opposed to expenditures) 
for project activities covered by the agreement. Such 
reimbursable agreements are the norm for government financing 
and have been used successfully between Amtrak and DOT for such 
undertakings as the Northeast Corridor Improvement Project, the 
Westside Connector, and painting of the Hell Gate Bridge. Funds 
for general capital grants are not covered by such agreements.

              AMTRAK REFORM AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1997

  On December 2, 1997, the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act 
of 1997 (ARAA) was signed into law. The legislation authorized 
funding for Amtrak through 2002 and triggered the release of a 
$2.2 billion tax refund provided to Amtrak in the Taxpayer 
Relief Act of 1997. Passage of the legislation was achieved in 
large part due to the fact that Amtrak, the GAO, and others, 
estimated that Amtrak would be bankrupt within a year. The 
legislation included statutory operational, procurement, labor 
and liability reforms, so Amtrak could operate more like a 
private business. This funding provided Amtrak with badly 
needed capital to improve their equipment, tracks, and to 
provide for general modernization which helps to reduce its 
operating expenditures.
  One of the main features of the ARAA requires that Amtrak 
operate without Federal operating grant funds five years after 
the date of enactment of the Act (December 2, 2002). 
Furthermore, in addition to replacing the previous Board of 
Directors with a new Amtrak Reform Board, the Act also 
established a politically-appointed 11-member Amtrak Reform 
Council (ARC) charged with developing recommendations for 
improving Amtrak, as well as monitoring Amtrak's progress in 
achieving the goals of the ARAA. Finally, the Act required the 
DOT Inspector General to conduct annual reviews of Amtrak's 
operations and conduct an assessment of the financial 
requirements of Amtrak during any year Amtrak requests Federal 
assistance.that an independent assessment of Amtrak's finances 
be conducted annually by the DOT's Inspector General (DOT IG).
  The ARAA provided that, if the ARC found at anytime after two 
years after the date of enactment that Amtrak would not meet 
its mandate for operational self-sufficiency, it must develop 
and submit to Congress an action plan for a restructured 
intercity passenger system within 90 days. The ARC made such a 
finding on November 9, 2001, and on February 7, 2002, submitted 
its restructuring plan to Congress. Within the same time 
period, the law directed Amtrak to prepare a plan for its 
complete liquidation; however this requirement was repealed in 
January, 2002, by an amendment contained in Section 1102 of the 
Department of Defense and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations 
for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the 
United States Act, 2002 (P.L. 107-117) that prohibits the use 
of Federal funds or funds generated by Amtrak to be used to 
prepare a liquidation plan until Congress passes an Amtrak 
reauthorization Act.
  In February, 2002, the ARC released a report detailing its 
final recommendations. The report concludes that Amtrak's 
business structure should be fundamentally changed. The ARC 
recommendations would:
          1. Restructure the National Railroad Passenger 
        Corporation as the Federal Program Management Agency. 
        The National Railroad Passenger Corporation would 
        survive as a small government corporation responsible 
        for overseeing franchising of train operations, seeking 
        Federal funding for infrastructure, and planning future 
        service.
          2. Create a separate corporation to conduct train 
        operations: Amtrak's operations would be placed into a 
        separate, train-operating government corporation, with 
        business units such as: corridor and intercity train 
        service, mail and express service, equipment 
        maintenance, ownership and leasing of equipment, and 
        commuter service. After a transition period of 2 to 5 
        years, the ARC plan would permit each of these business 
        units to be franchised through a competitive bidding 
        process. This train operating company could ultimately 
        be privatized.
          3. Create a regionally-directed company to operate, 
        maintain, and improve the Northeast Corridor 
        infrastructure: Ownership of the Northeast Corridor 
        infrastructure would be held by a separate government 
        corporation. This corporation would be responsible for 
        maintaining, acquiring, and transferring assets, as 
        needed. This corporation would be overseen by and 
        Federally-funded through the NRPC. Management of the 
        Northeast Corridor infrastructure could be contracted 
        out to a private contractor after a transition period 
        of 2 to 5 years.
  The ARC report also identified a number of options as 
potential principal means for financing capital for 
infrastructure and equipment, including (1) Federal 
appropriations, (2) a dedicated rail passenger transportation 
fund, perhaps funded by a penny a gallon excise tax at both the 
Federal and State level (estimated at raising $3.2 billion 
annually), and (3) through the sale of tax-exempt bonds.
  The ARAA further required an annual assessment by the DOT 
Inspector General of Amtrak's annual financial performance and 
needs. On January 24, 2002, the DOT IG published its 2001 
Assessment of Amtrak's Financial Performance and Requirements 
(Report Number CR-2002-075). While the DOT IG found that Amtrak 
will not meet its 2002 goal of operating self-sufficiency 
without drastic unadvisable measures, it also found that 
Amtrak's focus on self-sufficiency has detracted it from making 
badly-needed infrastructure improvements.
  The following are excerpts from the DOT IG's 2001 Annual 
Report:
           Amtrak does not have sufficient time to 
        achieve self-sufficiency through meaningful and 
        sustainable improvements.
           Remaining options for achieving self-
        sufficiency by 2003 are not advisable.
           Amtrak will likely need additional funds in 
        2002 to meet cash liabilities.
           Amtrak's needs exceed available capital 
        funding.
           Amtrak's focus on self-sufficiency has 
        detracted from basic system reinvestment.
           Amtrak's long-term funding requirements will 
        need to be determined.
           Amtrak's infrastructure needs are $1 billion 
        to $1.5 billion annually over the next 20 years.

               IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL CONCERNS FACING AMTRAK

  Amtrak announced on February 1, 2002, that if it does not 
receive its funding request of $1.2 billion for FY 2003, it 
will be forced to make system-wide cuts in service. It also 
announced on that day that it would be forced to reduce by 10 
percent the number of management positions and 3 percent of its 
labor workforce, resulting in an overall cut of about 1000 
positions in order to sustain itself.
  The President's FY 2003 Budget Request agrees with former 
Amtrak President George Warrington's assessment that ``Amtrak 
could not continue indefinitely under current circumstances.'' 
However, the President included only $521 million for Amtrak in 
the FY 2003 Budget, the same level of funding as last year 
noting that the request ``serves as a placeholder pending the 
development of a new pardigm for intercity passenger rail 
service.'' This amount is significantly below Amtrak's $955 
million authorization for FY 2002. Although the Administration 
has recognized that Amtrak's current authorization expires this 
year and has only provided a placeholder in its budget request, 
the Administration has failed to submit a proposal to Congress 
as it debates the re-authorization of Amtrak.
  On March 19, 2002, 51 Senators wrote Chairman Conrad and 
Ranking Member Domenici of the Senate Budget Committee to 
request that $1.2 billion for Amtrak be included in the 
transportation 400 function of the FY 2003 budget, recognizing 
that no comparable national rail passenger system in the world 
has succeeded without operating subsidies; and certainly no 
system has ever succeeded without substantial public capital 
investment. They point out in the letter points out that 
funding for America's passenger railroad has barely been enough 
to keep the system operating on a year-to-year basis, but it 
has been insufficient to meet its longer-term public service 
mission much less its capital needs. The letter concluded that 
if Amtrak continues to be underfunded, it will ultimately 
result in even greater costs to this country as the rail 
passenger network deteriorates due to short-term budget 
constraints.
  The FY 2003 budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 100) reported by 
the Senate Budget Committee on March 21, 2002, provides $1.2 
billion for Amtrak for FY 2003.

           RAILROAD REHABILITATION AND IMPROVEMENT FINANCING

  Another major issue facing railroad development in the United 
States is the maintenance and repair of existing track for both 
passenger and freight railroad needs. The RRIF program 
authorizes loans for the improvement of rail infrastructure. 
Under the program, the Secretary may provide direct loans and 
loan guarantees for terms up to 25 years to State and local 
governments, government sponsored authorities and corporations, 
railroads, and joint ventures that include at least one 
railroad. These funds may be used: to acquire, improve, or 
rehabilitate intermodal or rail equipment or facilities, 
including track, components of track, bridges, yards, 
buildings, and shops; to refinance existing debt incurred for 
the previous purposes; and to develop and establish new 
intermodal or railroad facilities. Since enactment of TEA-21, 
there is a statutory cap of $3.5 billion for outstanding unpaid 
principal at any point in time. Of this, $1 billion is reserved 
for projects primarily benefiting short line and regional 
railroads. The interest rate charged is that for Treasury 
securities of comparable maturities.
  The RRIF program was created in 1998 pursuant to TEA-21 as a 
modification to the existing railroad infrastructure financing 
program contained in title V of the Railroad Revitalization and 
Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 821 et seq.) to bring 
it in line with the Credit Reform Act of 1990. Since the RRIF 
program's amendment in 1998, 23 applicants have sought RRIF 
funds for 30 projects totaling $569.33 million, but to date, 
only two loans have been approved totalling $110 million. 
Neither of these approvals has resulted in an executed loan 
agreement; therefore, no funds or guarantees have been 
disbursed under the program. Critics of the current program 
argue that unwieldy program requirements instituted by the 
Administration have created insurmountable program impediments 
and made the program unworkable. For instance, under the 
existing requirements for the RRIF program, short lines are 
required to fully collateralize the loan, causing the railroads 
who tend to be smaller business entities not to have adequate 
collateral to go to the bank to get a loan to cover the credit 
risk premium. The credit risk premium is a cash payment 
provided to DOT by a non-Federal ``infrastructure partner'' to 
cover the estimated long-term cost to the Federal government of 
a loan or loan guarantee, taking into consideration estimated 
defaults, delinquencies, penalties, and prepayments. It must be 
paid, pursuant to the Credit Reform Act of 1990, in advance of 
funds being disbursed. The amount of the credit risk premium 
required is determined by the specifics of the proposed 
transaction and the risks of the undertaking. The pledging of 
collateral lowers the required risk premium since the greater 
the value of the collateral, the higher recovery rate in the 
event of a default. In many instances, railroads cannot afford 
the credit risk premium, and important infrastructure 
improvements, many of which have public benefits, are not 
accomplished. While some of the requirements of the program 
reduce the risk to the Federal government, they may be 
hindering the execution of the program and its purpose to 
promote growth of railroad infrastructure and to help smaller 
railroads access capital. Reforms to the existing program may 
achieve both of these goals.
  Many infrastructure upgrades are needed specifically for 
improved passenger service. Currently, Amtrak has identified 
$4.17 billion in infrastructure needs outside of the Northeast 
Corridor to improve passenger service (including infrastructure 
upgrades along high-speed corridors) in the following States: 
Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, 
Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, 
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, 
Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Financing through the RRIF 
program could provide much-needed capital, as Amtrak, the 
States and freight railroads work together to increase capacity 
or track speeds, as needed, for these projects.
  RRIF funds could also be used to address freight rail 
capacity concerns, including relieving congestion in port and 
urban areas. An example of one such project is the Alameda 
Corridor project in California which was financed through a 
Federal, State, and private partnership, including the use of 
Federal loans provided through the DOT. This multi-year, $2.4 
billion project involved infrastructure upgrades on rail right-
of-way from downtown Los Angeles to its port areas. Ninety 
miles of railroad lines were consolidated to increase freight 
capacity, eliminate over 200 railroad grade crossings, and 
improve the movement of freight from the ports of Los Angeles 
and Long Beach. The DOT Inspector General has cited this 
project as one of several large projects that stand as examples 
of good project management.
  As the rail freight industry moves toward the use of rail 
cars loaded to 286,000 pounds, many miles of track need to be 
improved to handle the heavier loads, including track owned by 
short lines and regional railroads. The short line industry has 
approximately $7 billion in existing needs to bring their 
50,000 miles of track up to ``286K standards.'' As identified 
in a study by the consulting firm Zeta Tech in testimony before 
the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee last 
year, there is strong public policy justification to keep this 
50,000 miles of track from being disconnected from the national 
rail network and enable all United States shippers to take 
advantage of the efficiencies of heavier rail.

                      Summary of Major Provisions

  S. 1991 provides a comprehensive approach to developing and 
maintaining rail passenger service in the United States. The 
bill's focus is on developing high-speed rail corridors, but at 
the same time also provides funding to preserve long-distance 
routes and ensures that we will continue to have a national 
system connecting with high-speed corridors. Continuation of a 
national system will provide service for those communities that 
do not have the population densities to support air service and 
the bill's funding will also help preserve Amtrak's valuable 
assets, including the Northeast Corridor. Finally, S. 1991 
addresses reform and control over Amtrak's financial accounting 
and service-related management decisions.
  Title I of S. 1991 authorizes $1.4 billion in emergency 
spending for Amtrak's security and tunnel life safety needs. 
Similar language was included in the Rail Security Act, S. 
1550, which was favorably reported by the Committee on October 
17, 2001. In that legislation, funds were authorized for 
immediate rail security needs, such as hiring more police 
officers across the entire Amtrak system and modernizing the 
safety infrastructure of tunnels in New York, Baltimore, and 
Washington. Title I of S. 1991 adjusts the funding amounts 
provided by S. 1550 to reflect $105 million provided in the 
Department of Defense and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations 
for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the 
United States Act, 2002 (P.L. 107-117), incorporates certain 
additional measures, and requires that 50 percent of the funds 
be spent outside of the NEC, and specifically authorizes how 
such funds shall be expended where.
  Title II of S. 1991 authorizes $1.55 billion annually for 
high-speed rail corridor planning and development and builds on 
the Swift Rail Development Act of 1994 to implement high-speed 
rail service. The Swift Rail Development Act of 1994 provided 
funds for planning, but it did not authorize funds for actual 
development of high-speed rail infrastructure. These funds are 
needed for infrastructure acquisition, highway-rail grade 
crossing improvement/elimination, acquisition of rolling stock, 
and track and signal improvements. The bill would permit, but 
not require, any State contribution in order to receive Federal 
funds, and preference would be given to projects having right-
of-way dedicated to rail passenger service, involving high-
speed passenger service of 125 mph (although operations of 90 
mph speeds or more would be eligible for funding), and projects 
connecting to other modes of passenger transportation, 
including airports and bus terminals. The DOT would be directed 
to conduct a rulemaking to provide for competitive bidding on 
high-speed rail projects and the use of full funding grant 
agreements for such projects.
  Title III of S. 1991 fully funds Amtrak's current operational 
and capital needs, including the capital backlog on the 
Northeast Corridor, estimated by the DOT IG to be $5 billion. 
This bill authorizes funds to enable Amtrak to eliminate its 
capital backlog of projects, maintain ongoing projects to 
capital infrastructure, and improve capacity to accommodate 
projected growth in ridership. This title also repeals the 
operating self-sufficiency requirements of the Amtrak Reform 
and Accountability Act of 1997. It authorizes funding for 
compliance with environmental standards and the ADA. This title 
makes several changes to require Amtrak to operate more 
efficiently, including: requiring Amtrak to develop a new, more 
detailed financial accounting system; requiring Amtrak to 
develop a new methodology to be used when preparing its route 
profitability report; requiring Amtrak to prepare annually a 
five-year financial plan, to be reviewed by the DOT Inspector 
General, and submitted to Congress; and requiring Amtrak to 
develop (through the use of an independent auditor) and adhere 
to objective criteria to be used when making decisions 
affecting levels of service.
  Title IV of S. 1991 increases the aggregate unpaid principle 
amount of obligations under the RRIF program from $3.5 billion 
to $35 billion. This money will dramatically expand the current 
Railroad Rehabilitation and Infrastructure Financing loan and 
loan guarantee program. Since being revised in 1998 as part of 
TEA-21 bill, the program has processed only a few loans because 
of rigid program requirements and constraints. S. 1991 revises 
the qualification procedures in place for the current program; 
these revisions are designed to make it easier for applicants 
to actually obtain the funds authorized for the program, and to 
stimulate the construction and rehabilitation of our railroad 
network.

                          Legislative History

  Senator Hollings introduced S. 1991 on March 6, 2002. The 
legislation was referred to the Committee. The bill was 
originally co-sponsored by Senators Biden, Breaux, Carper, 
Cleland, Clinton, Corzine, Durbin, Hutchison, Jeffords, 
Kennedy, Kerry, Leahy, Mikulski, Rockefeller, Schumer, Stevens, 
Torricelli, Reid, and Feinstein. Senators Baucus, Snowe, 
Sarbanes, Boxer, Inouye, Specter, Dorgan, Burns, Lieberman, 
Collins, Ben Nelson, Dodd, Chafee, and Cochran, were 
subsequently added as co-sponsors.
  On March 14, 2001, the Committee held a full Committee 
hearing on S. 1991. Testimony was provided by Senators Joseph 
R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) and Thomas R. Carper (D-DE); Amtrak 
President George D. Warrington; Deputy Secretary of 
Transportation Michael P. Jackson; DOT Inspector General 
Kenneth Mead; North Carolina Deputy Secretary of Transportation 
David D. King; Charles Moneypenny, Transport Workers Union of 
America; Gilbert Carmichael, Chairman, Amtrak Reform Council; 
William J. Rennicke, Vice President, Mercer Management 
Consulting; Edward Hamberger, President, Association of 
American Railroads; and Marc Morial, Mayor of New Orleans, 
Louisiana, and President of the United States Conference of 
Mayors. Virginia Secretary of Transportation Whittington W. 
Clement and others provided written statements for the record 
for this hearing.
  On April 18, 2002, the Committee ordered S. 1991 to be 
reported favorably with an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute, and eighteen amendments thereto. The substitute 
amendment was offered by the Chairman and contained the 
following changes: (i) it amended title I to reflect total 
security needs of $515 million, 50 percent of which will be 
dedicated to security requirements outside of the Northeast 
Corridor; (ii) it amended title II to require a greater amount 
of coordination at the State/regional level and ensure that the 
high-speed rail project receiving Federal funds is recognized 
in state- and region-wide transportation plans; (iii) it 
amended title II to apply current Amtrak Buy America 
requirements (49 U.S.C. 24305(f)) to any entity receiving funds 
for high-speed rail operation, and to provide that persons 
conducting high-speed rail operations funded under the Act are 
deemed rail carriers and subject to the Railway Labor Act, the 
Railroad Retirement Act, and other applicable railroad laws; 
(iv) it amended title II to ensure that this legislation will 
not affect the level of any labor protections currently in 
place throughout the industry; (v) it amended title III to 
require that Amtrak apply any net revenues from non-passenger 
operations into maintaining sufficient working capital; (vi) it 
amended title III to require a greater amount of fiscal 
accountability by Amtrak, providing for new financial 
accounting methods to be developed and implemented, and 
requiring Amtrak to develop a 5-year financial plan annually, 
to be reviewed by the DOT Inspector General and reported to 
Congress; and (vii) it amended title III to require that Amtrak 
be operated as a national system, and that, aside from 
mandatory contributions to the Railroad Retirement Trust 
Account and expenditures for Northeast Corridor tunnel life 
safety needs, amounts appropriated to Amtrak under title III 
(if less than the full amount authorized) must be spent in the 
same proportions as authorized.
  Nine amendments by Senator John McCain were adopted en bloc 
by voice vote. These modifications include technical 
corrections; require that high-speed rail projects be covered 
by full funding grant agreements; give the Secretary of 
Transportation the flexibility to be represented on the Board 
by his or her designee; require that a new methodology be 
developed for the preparation of Amtrak's route profitability 
report; require that Amtrak remain subject to the D.C. 
Corporations Act; and further refine the bill's provisions 
aimed at making Amtrak's financial accounting more transparent.
  Two amendments offered at the executive session by Senator 
McCain were defeated. The first would have required the 
creation of an Amtrak Control Board to monitor and control 
financial and management decisions made by Amtrak. The second 
would have required Amtrak to obtain permission from the 
Secretary of Transportation before assuming any additional 
debt.
  Two additional amendments offered by Senator McCain were 
adopted, with modifications. The first amendment requires that 
all high-speed rail services be competitively bid. Based on 
discussions at the executive session, the amendment has been 
modified to clarify that rail operators would be subject to the 
Railway Labor Act and other applicable railroad laws and that a 
State or group of States, as a condition of receiving funding, 
has provided for competitive bidding for the project in 
accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements for 
Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local 
Governments. The second amendment would have lowered the 
maximum Federal share for high-speed rail projects from 100 
percent of project costs to 80 percent of project costs. Based 
on discussions at the executive session, the amendment has been 
modified to clarify that States may voluntarily contribute, 
although they would not be required to contribute, to the cost 
of these projects.
  The Committee adopted three amendments by Senator Gordon 
Smith: one requiring Amtrak to evaluate security needs at 
stations it serves but does not own (incorporated in section 
105), another clarifying that nothing in this legislation will 
affect Amtrak's ability to pursue additional long-distance 
service (incorporated in section 301), and a third which adds 
Portland, OR, as a priority location for receipt of high-speed 
corridor planning and implementation assistance in sections 202 
and 203.
  Senators Byron L. Dorgan and John D. Rockefeller, IV offered 
an amendment which permits entities other than railroads to be 
eligible for funds under the Railroad Rehabilitation and 
Improvement Financing loan program, incorporated in section 
401. The amendment was approved by the committee by voice vote.
  Senator Ron Wyden offered two amendments: one which applies 
Federal conflict of interest standards to Amtrak Board members 
and officers (section 309), and one which requires Amtrak, 
through the use of an independent auditor selected by the DOT 
Inspector General, to develop objective criteria for use in 
decisions affecting levels of service (section 314). These 
amendments were approved by the committee by voice vote.
  An amendment offered by Senator Bill Nelson adds Orlando, FL, 
as a priority location for receipt of high-speed corridor 
planning and implementation assistance in sections 202 and 203. 
The amendment was approved by the committee by voice vote.

                            Estimated Costs

  In compliance with subsection (a)(3) of paragraph 11 of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states 
that, in its opinion, it is necessary to dispense with the 
requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of that subsection in 
order to expedite the business of the Senate.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

  In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:
  S. 1991 authorizes funding to be administered by the DOT. 
Although this funding will not result in any additional 
regulatory or reporting requirements for businesses or 
individuals, efforts will be required to ensure that this 
funding is being used in accordance with Federal requirements. 
The legislation will have no further effect on the number or 
types of individuals and businesses regulated, the economic 
impact of such regulation, the personal privacy of affected 
individuals, or the paperwork required from such individuals 
and businesses.

                       number of persons covered

  S. 1991 is intended to develop and maintain rail passenger 
service in the United States. The number of persons covered 
should be, in addition to current levels of individuals 
affected, those affected by development of new high-speed rail 
corridors, including rail construction and rail operations 
industries.

                            economic impact

  S. 1991 is intended to develop new rail passenger 
infrastructure and services, as well as maintain existing 
levels of long-distance passenger train and corridor service. 
It should have a beneficial impact on the economy of the United 
States.

                                privacy

  S. 1991 will not have an adverse effect on the personal 
privacy of any individuals that will be impacted by this 
legislation.

                               paperwork

  S. 1991 does not create any new reporting requirements, and 
any impact on paperwork will be consistent with current levels. 
While the legislation does require the production of some 
reports, the total impact on paperwork should not be 
significant.

                      Section-by-section Analysis

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``National Defense Rail Act.''

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  This section cites findings by Congress concerning rail 
passenger service in the United States.

                 Title I--Rail Transportation Security

SEC. 101. AMTRAK SECURITY ASSISTANCE.

  This section would authorize approximately $515 million for 
Amtrak security. Slightly over 50 percent of these funds must 
be spent outside of the Northeast Corridor. These funds are to 
be used as follows:
           $417 million for infrastructure security, 
        including the protection of tunnels, bridges, 
        interlockings, towers on the Northeast Corridor, 
        electric traction facilities on the Northeast Corridor, 
        equipment, yard, and terminal facilities, mail and 
        express facilities, and stations. These funds would be 
        used for surveillance cameras, lighting, fencing, 
        vehicle barriers, incident tracking systems, passenger 
        information retrieval systems, incident command 
        systems, train location and tracking systems, incident 
        notification systems, mail and express tracking and 
        tender software development, bomb-resistant trash 
        containers, and employee identification systems.
           $37 million for equipment security, 
        including crew communications devices, mobile emergency 
        command and communications units, radioactive material 
        detectors, bomb detectors, express package screeners, 
        secure locking devices on mail and express cars, video 
        surveillance systems on head-end units, upgrades of 
        radio repeaters, high-rail vehicle rescue equipment, 
        and remote-based emergency shut-off units for 
        locomotives.
           $61 million for system-wide security 
        operations, including hiring and training additional 
        security and patrol officers, intelligence-gathering 
        specialists, canine-assisted bomb-detection teams, 
        leased vehicles, expansion of Amtrak's aviation unit, 
        application investigation expenses, rapid response team 
        equipment, and infrastructure security inspectors.
  The amounts appropriated shall remain available until 
expended. This section would also forbid employers from using 
security cameras for employee discipline or monitoring purposes 
unrelated to security.

SEC. 102. STUDY OF FOREIGN RAIL TRANSPORT SECURITY PROGRAMS.

  This section requires the Comptroller General to conduct a 
survey of rail security programs in several foreign countries. 
The survey would identify effective measures and then assess 
the feasibility of implementing those measures in the United 
States.

SEC. 103. PASSENGER, BAGGAGE, AND CARGO SCREENING.

  This section would require the Secretary of Transportation to 
conduct a study and report on the cost and feasibility of 
requiring security screening for all passengers, baggage, and 
mail, express and other cargo on Amtrak trains. It would also 
require the Secretary to conduct a pilot program of random 
passenger security screening at 5 of Amtrak's 10 busiest 
stations and at up to 5 additional stations selected by the 
Secretary.

SEC. 104. RAIL SECURITY.

  This section would clarify that the Secretary of 
Transportation has the authority to issue regulations and 
orders governing railroad ``security'' in addition to safety.
  The section would permit railroad officers, under regulations 
issued by the Secretary, to enforce laws on the property of 
other railroads. Current law only allows railroad police to 
enforce laws protecting their own employer's operations.
  This section would also require within 180 days of enactment, 
the Secretary, in consultation with the Federal Railroad 
Administration's Rail Safety Advisory Committee, and the 
Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of 
Sciences, to review existing rail regulations of the DOT and 
identify potential revisions to improve rail safety and 
security.

SEC. 105. RAIL TRANSPORTATION SECURITY RISK ASSESSMENT.

  This section would direct the Secretary of Transportation to 
assess the security risks associated with rail transportation 
by developing prioritized recommendations for: (1) improving 
the security of rail tunnels, rail bridges, rail switching 
areas, stations serviced but not owned by Amtrak, and other 
areas identified by the Secretary as posing significant rail-
related risks to public safety and the movement of interstate 
commerce; (2) deploying chemical and biological weapon 
detection equipment; (3) dealing with the immediate and long-
term economic impact of measures that may be required to 
address those risks; and (4) training employees in terrorism 
response activities. The assessment must take into account any 
actions already taken to address security issues by both public 
and private entities, and it must include an analysis of the 
risks to public safety and security that are associated with 
long delays in the movement of trains stopped at highway-rail 
grade crossings.
  While preparing the assessment, the Secretary would be 
directed to consult with rail management, rail labor, public 
safety officials, the Federal Railroad Administration's 
Railroad Safety Advisory Committee, and the Transportation 
Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. This 
section would require a final report on the assessment to be 
submitted to the Committee and the House Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure within 180 days after the 
bill's enactment. The Secretary would be able to submit the 
report in both classified and redacted formats.
  The section would require that the report include prioritized 
recommendations and proposals for providing Federal financial, 
technological, or research and development assistance to 
railroads to improve security and reduce the likelihood of 
crime or terrorist attacks. The Secretary would also be 
required to conduct a study of the security and safety 
improvements that may be needed at stations served but not 
owned by Amtrak. Within 180 days after the date of enactment, 
the Secretary would be required to submit a report to the 
Congress on the number of stations served but not owned by 
Amtrak, the estimated costs of security and station 
enhancements, and any additional recommendations the Secretary 
deems appropriate. This section would authorize $5 million for 
carrying out these assessments.

SEC. 106. OFFSET FOR EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS.

  This section would require that any amounts authorized by 
this title be reduced by the amounts appropriated under the 
Department of Defense and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations 
for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the 
United States Act, 2002 (P.L. 107-117), once they are used by 
Amtrak. These amounts are included in title I of this Act 
because it is not clear where they will be spent.

   Title II--Interstate Railroad Passenger High-speed Transportation 
                                 System

SEC. 201. INTERSTATE RAILROAD PASSENGER HIGH-SPEED TRANSPORTATION 
                    POLICY.

  This section would require completion of a national high-
speed ground transportation policy, as required by 49 U.S.C. 
309(e)(1). The amended completion date would be December 31, 
2002.

SEC. 202. HIGH-SPEED RAIL CORRIDOR PLANNING.

  This section would provide further authority to the Secretary 
of Transportation to provide planning assistance in the form of 
direct assistance, or financial assistance to entities 
promoting the development of designated high-speed rail 
corridors. It would further allow for up to a 100 percent 
Federal subsidy of those planning costs (no State match 
required), and give preference to projects undertaken in 
Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA, Dallas, TX, Orlando, FL, and 
Portland, OR.
  This section also would add to the criteria used by the 
Secretary to allocate planning funds. In addition to current 
criteria, the bill directs the Secretary to consider the extent 
to which the planning involves a project with dedicated rail 
passenger service rights-of-way and designed to reach sustained 
speeds of 125 miles per hour or greater. However, any project 
involving rail passenger systems capable of reaching sustained 
speeds of 90 miles per hour or more would be eligible for 
funding under this chapter. Finally, this section would allow 
for financial assistance to take the form of loans and loan 
guarantees, in addition to other funding mechanisms.
  Finally, this section would also specify that persons 
conducting rail operations funded under the Act will be deemed 
rail carriers and be subject to the Railway Labor Act and other 
applicable railroad laws.

SEC. 203. IMPLEMENTATION ASSISTANCE.

  This section would create a separate scheme for providing 
assistance, either direct technical assistance or financial 
assistance, to aid implementation of high-speed corridor plans. 
The Secretary of Transportation would create procedures for on-
the-record approval of applicants receiving assistance for 
these projects. The section would further allow for up to 100 
percent Federal funding of those implementation costs (no State 
match required). Projects undertaken in Chicago, IL, Atlanta, 
GA, Dallas, TX, Tampa-Orlando, FL, and Portland, OR, would 
receive preference under this section.
  This section requires the Secretary of Transportation to set 
aside an appropriate amount of funds to provide assistance to 
any State which does not have physical access to the general 
system of railroad transportation in the continental United 
States, Alaska, and Hawaii, or to any State which has unique 
geographical characteristics or on the basis of other relevant 
considerations as determined by the Secretary.
  This section would allow use of these funds for security 
planning, operating expenses, infrastructure acquisition, 
highway-rail grade-crossing improvements and eliminations, and 
acquisition of right-of-way, locomotives, rolling stock, track, 
and signal equipment. In selecting recipients of assistance, 
the Secretary is to encourage the use of positive train control 
technologies, give preference to projects that have 
particularly high levels of safety, encourage intermodal 
passenger connectivity transportation, and ensure there will 
exist a regional balance in the provision of assistance so as 
to avoid the concentration of disproportionate assistance in 
one single project or region of the country. The Secretary is 
also to ensure that the project is compatible with State and 
regional transportation plans developed under title 23, United 
States Code.
  The section would specify that any persons conducting rail 
operations funded under the Act will be deemed rail carriers 
and be subject to the Railway Labor Act and other applicable 
railroad laws.
  This section would require a recipient of funds under this 
section to comply with domestic buying preference, or ``Buy 
America,'' standards. These standards require that, for any 
purchase over $1,000,000, unmanufactured articles be purchased 
in the United States, and manufactured articles be purchased 
only if substantially made from articles, material, and 
supplies mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States. 
Exceptions would exist for instances where the Secretary finds 
that costs would be unreasonable, the articles are not 
reasonably available, or it would be inconsistent with the 
public interest.
  This section would require the Secretary to initiate a rule-
making within 90 days after enactment to create an application 
and qualification process on providing funding assistance. This 
process would provide guidance as to when and whether a project 
is eligible for implementation assistance under this section, 
rather than planning assistance.
  This section would also require the Secretary to initiate a 
rule-making to create procedures for the awarding of 
implementation assistance under this section. These procedures 
must include steps for application and qualification, 
competitive bidding requirements, and the use of a full-funding 
grant agreement between the government and the applicant.

SEC. 204. DESIGNATED HIGH-SPEED RAIL CORRIDORS.

  This section would identify in statute law existing 
designated high-speed rail corridors, add a new Southwest 
Corridor from Los Angeles, CA, to Las Vegas, NV, and extend the 
currently designated Southeast Corridor to Charleston, SC, 
Savannah, GA, and other points.

SEC. 205. LABOR STANDARDS.

  This section would clarify that nothing in this Act will 
affect the level of employee protection provided to freight 
rail, Amtrak, or mass transit employees as existed on the day 
before the date of enactment of this Act. This section would 
also require that any project financed in whole or in part by 
funds authorized by this title be conducted in a manner that 
provides for fair labor standards, including the payment of 
prevailing wages (per 40 U.S.C. 276a et. seq., the Davis-Bacon 
Act) and the allowance of collective bargaining over wage 
rates. The section would also require that employees affected 
by high-speed rail projects be entitled to labor protection at 
least as protective as arrangements reached under section 141 
of the ARAA (49 U.S.C. 24706 nt).

SEC. 206. RAILWAY-HIGHWAY CROSSINGS IN HIGH-SPEED RAIL CORRIDORS.

  This section would reserve a minimum of $150 million of the 
corridor implementation funds for the improvement or 
elimination of highway-rail grade crossings in high-speed 
corridors. This funding would be available under conditions 
similar to current grade crossing elimination/improvement 
programs identified in section 130 of title 23, United States 
Code, and would be coordinated with such current programs. This 
section also directs the Secretary to give priority to 
eliminating, rather than upgrading, grade crossings along high-
speed rail routes.

SEC. 207. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  This section would authorize annual funding through FY 2007 
for high-speed rail corridors as follows:
           $25 million for corridor planning purposes.
           $1.5 billion for implementation purposes.
           $25 million for research and development 
        purposes.
  These funds would remain available until expended, and could 
not be used for projects on the Northeast Corridor, so long as 
the NEC receives separate Federal funds for capital and 
operating expenses.

           Title III--National Railroad Passenger Corporation

SEC. 301. NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM DEFINED.

  This section would statutorily designate the national rail 
passenger transportation system. The system would consist of 
the Northeast Corridor, high-speed rail corridors designated by 
the Secretary of Transportation (after they have been improved 
to permit operation of high-speed service), long-distance 
routes of 750 miles or more currently operated by Amtrak, and 
short distance routes currently operated by Amtrak.
  This section would also allow Amtrak to enter into contracts 
with State or local entities to provide service in routes not 
currently included in the national system. Such service could 
be discontinued upon the termination or expiration, or 
cessation of funding, of Amtrak's contract to operate such 
services.
  This section would further clarify that nothing in this Act 
is intended to preclude Amtrak from restoring, improving, or 
developing non-high-speed intercity rail passenger service.

SEC. 302. AMTRAK AUTHORIZATIONS.

  This section would repeal the operating self-sufficiency 
requirements imposed by the Amtrak Reform and Accountability 
Act of 1997 (ARAA). Second, it would eliminate the ARAA 
requirement for Amtrak to redeem all common stock for fair 
market value by October 1, 2002. Third, this section would 
authorize Amtrak to obtain lease arrangement services from the 
Administrator of General Services. Fourth, this section would 
help clarify Amtrak's right to bring claims under the False 
Claims Act.

SEC. 303. ADDITIONAL AMTRAK AUTHORIZATIONS.

  This section contains several 5-year funding authorizations. 
First, this section would authorize appropriations as needed by 
Amtrak for the amount it must pay in excess mandatory 
contributions to the Railroad Retirement Trust Account (RRTA) 
under section 3221 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. 
Second, this section would authorize payments on debt service, 
including both principal and interest, totaling $1.334 billion 
over the five year period. Third, this section would authorize 
$30 million annually for compliance with environmental 
requirements, one third of which must be spent on the Northeast 
Corridor. Fourth, this section would authorize $43 million 
annually for facilities improvements in order to comply with 
the ADA, of which $10 million would have to be spent on the NEC 
and $33 million outside of the NEC. Under this section, Amtrak 
would further be given a postponement to the compliance date of 
the ADA if the Secretary of Transportation finds that Amtrak 
has made substantial progress towards meeting the ADA's 
requirements despite insufficient appropriations of funds. If 
the Secretary makes such a finding, Amtrak would be provided a 
reasonable time to complete construction of improvements after 
sufficient funds have been appropriated to enable Amtrak to 
comply with ADA requirements. Finally, this section would 
require Amtrak to apply net revenues from non-passenger 
operations to the railroad's working capital to satisfy current 
liabilities. Once Amtrak's working capital has improved to the 
point that Amtrak's liquid assets are sufficient to satisfy 
short-term liabilities, excess net non-passenger revenues are 
to be invested in high priority capital projects.

SEC. 304. NORTHEAST CORRIDOR AUTHORIZATIONS.

  This section would authorize an average of $1.3 billion 
annually plus a one-time authorization of $895 million for 
tunnel life-safety projects for FYs 2003 through 2007 for 
infrastructure improvements on the Northeast Corridor:
           $370 million to address the capital backlog 
        and bring the infrastructure up to a state-of-good-
        repair, including renewal of South End electric 
        traction system and improvements on bridges, tunnels, 
        and interlockings.
           $60 million for the capital backlogs on 
        fleet infrastructure.
           $40 million for the capital backlog on 
        stations and facilities, including improvements to Penn 
        Station and maintenance of way facilities.
           $350 million for ongoing capital 
        infrastructure improvements, including replacement of 
        assets on a life-cycle basis to ensure a state-of-good 
        repair is maintained and current service requirements 
        can be met.
           $40 million for ongoing capital fleet 
        investment to sustain regularly scheduled maintenance.
           $30 million for ongoing capital improvements 
        to stations and facilities.
           $20 million for ongoing technology upgrades 
        of reservation, distribution, financial, and operating 
        systems.
           $895 million to complete New York tunnel 
        life-safety projects and to rehabilitate tunnels in 
        Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland.
           $3 million for the preliminary design of 
        options for a new tunnel on a different alignment to 
        augment the capacity of the existing Baltimore tunnels, 
        such sums to remain available until expended.
           $200 million for corridor growth investments 
        in FY 2003.
           $300 million for corridor growth investments 
        in FY 2004.
           $400 million for corridor growth investments 
        in FY 2005.
           $500 million for corridor growth investments 
        in FY 2006.
           $600 million for corridor growth investments 
        in FY 2007.
  This section would authorize the Secretary to obtain 
financial contributions (on projects involving life-safety 
improvements), from other rail carriers who use the Northeast 
Corridor. All funds authorized under this section would remain 
available until fully expended.
  Under this section, Amtrak would be required to invest net 
revenues from core passenger operations in the Northeast 
Corridor into capital needs in the Northeast Corridor until 
such time as the backlog of capital needs is eliminated.

SEC. 305. LONG DISTANCE TRAINS.

  This section would authorize $580 million annually for each 
of FYs 2003 through 2007 for Amtrak's long-distance passenger 
train service, as follows:
           $360 million for operating costs associated 
        with long-distance train service.
           $70 million for capital backlog 
        improvements, to bring the existing fleet into a state 
        of good repair to meet current service commitments.
           $80 million for ongoing capital 
        infrastructure improvements to replace assets on a 
        life-cycle basis, ensure a good state of repair for 
        equipment, meet current service commitments, and allow 
        certain funds to be used for investment in non-Amtrak-
        Owned right-of-way, and other railroad-owned 
        infrastructure, and to permit continued Amtrak 
        operations.
           $50 million for ongoing capital fleet needs 
        to meet a regularly scheduled maintenance, including 
        preventative maintenance.
           $10 million for ongoing capital improvements 
        to stations and facilities to provide regular upgrades 
        to meet current service needs, and regular improvements 
        to maintenance-of-way equipment and facilities.
           $10 million for ongoing technology upgrades 
        to reservation, distribution, financial, and operating 
        systems.

SEC. 306. SHORT-DISTANCE TRAINS; STATE-SUPPORTED ROUTES.

  This section would authorize $270 million annually in each of 
FYs 2003 through 2007 for Amtrak's short-distance (less than 
750-mile) corridor routes outside of the Northeast Corridor, as 
follows:
           $20 million for needed capital improvements 
        on infrastructure such as improvements on bridges, 
        tunnels, interlockings and signal systems.
           $10 million for the capital backlog on fleet 
        capital improvements.
           $170 million for ongoing capital 
        infrastructure improvements to replace assets on a 
        life-cycle basis, ensure a good state of repair for 
        equipment, meet current service commitments, and allow 
        certain funds to be used for investment in non-Amtrak-
        Owned right-of-way, and other railroad-owned 
        infrastructure, and to permit continued Amtrak 
        operations.
           $40 million for ongoing capital fleet needs 
        to meet a regularly scheduled maintenance, including 
        preventative maintenance.
           $10 million for ongoing capital improvements 
        to stations and facilities to provide regular upgrades 
        to meet current service needs, and regular improvements 
        to maintenance-of-way equipment and facilities.
           $20 million for ongoing technology upgrades 
        to reservation, distribution, financial, and operating 
        systems.

SEC. 307. RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF NORTHEAST CORRIDOR SAFETY COMMITTEE.

  This section would reauthorize the Northeast Corridor Safety 
Committee, which is administered by the DOT and consists of 
users of the Northeast Corridor.

SEC. 308. ON-TIME PERFORMANCE.

  This section would allow Amtrak to request that the Surface 
Transportation Board (STB) investigate recurring delay problems 
when on-time performance on any of its trains falls below 80 
percent over a consecutive 3-month period. The STB would 
investigate whether and to what extent the delays are due to 
causes that could be addressed by freight carriers using the 
track or commuter authorities. The STB then would be able to 
make recommendations regarding reasonable measures which could 
be taken to improve the on-time performance of such train.

SEC. 309. AMTRAK BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

  This section would authorize the appointment of a new Board 
of Directors for Amtrak. The Board would be made up of the 
President of Amtrak, the Secretary of Transportation (who may 
be represented at Board meetings by the Secretary's designee), 
and 7 presidential appointees with experience in the railroad, 
travel, or hospitality industry. Each appointment would be for 
a term of 5 years. No more than 4 appointees may be from the 
same political party. This section would further provide for 
the compensation of such board members at a rate of not more 
than $300 per day when performing board duties and reimburse 
board members for necessary travel, subsistence, and staff 
support reimbursements.
  This section would require vacancies on the board to be 
filled within 120 days in the same way as original 
appointments, except that in such case, the appointee may only 
serve until the end of the original term. This section would 
further allow for the board to adopt bylaws and make the 
effective date of all of these changes October 1, 2003.
  This section would apply Federal executive branch employee 
conflict of interest standards to Amtrak officers and members 
of the Amtrak Board of Directors while in office.

SEC. 310. ESTABLISHMENT OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING SYSTEM FOR AMTRAK 
                    OPERATIONS BY INDEPENDENT AUDITOR.

  This section would require Amtrak to employ an independent 
financial consultant to assess its financial accounting and 
reporting system and practices. Based on the results of that 
assessment, the consultant would design and implement a modern 
financial accounting and reporting system capable of producing 
accurate and timely financial information in sufficient detail 
to enable Amtrak to appropriately assign revenues and expenses 
to each of Amtrak's lines of business activity (cost centers). 
At a minimum, the system should be able to segregate the 
expenses and revenues related to infrastructure from those 
attributable to train operations. It should also be able to 
identify expenses and revenues associated with the major 
functions within each business group, including train 
operations, equipment maintenance, ticketing, and reservations. 
The Inspector General would review the system and report to 
Congress. This section further would authorize $2.5 million for 
FY 2003 for this one-time initiative.

SEC. 311. DEVELOPMENT OF A 5-YEAR FINANCIAL PLAN AND BUDGET FOR AMTRAK 
                    OPERATIONS BY INDEPENDENT AUDITOR.

  This section would require Amtrak to develop a 5-year 
financial plan that includes a detailed budget for the first 
year and financial plans for the subsequent four years. The 5-
year plan would contain:
           All projected revenues and expenditures for 
        Amtrak, including governmental funding sources.
           Projected ridership levels for all Amtrak 
        passenger operations.
           Revenue and expenditure forecasts for non-
        passenger operations.
           Capital funding requirements and 
        expenditures necessary to maintain passenger service 
        which will accommodate predicted ridership levels and 
        predicted sources of capital funding.
           Operations funding needs, if any, to 
        maintain current and projected levels of passenger 
        service, including State-supported routes and predicted 
        funding sources.
           An assessment of the continuing financial 
        stability of Amtrak, as indicated by factors such as: 
        the ability of the Federal government to adequately 
        meet capital and operating requirements, Amtrak's 
        access to long-term and short-term capital markets, 
        Amtrak's ability to efficiently manage its workforce, 
        and Amtrak's ability to effectively provide passenger 
        train service.
           Lump sum expenditures of $10 million or more 
        and sources of funding.
           Estimates of long-term and short-term debt 
        (both outstanding and anticipated).
           Annual cash flow forecasts.
           A statement describing methods of estimation 
        and significant assumptions.
  This section would require Amtrak to apply sound budgetary 
practices, and, when available, use the categories specified in 
the financial accounting and reporting system developed under 
Section 310 in preparing its 5-year financial plan.
  Under this section, Amtrak would be required to submit its 5-
year financial plan to the Secretary of Transportation and the 
DOT Inspector General no later than the first day of each 
fiscal year, or within 60 days of enactment of an appropriation 
act for the fiscal year, if later. The IG would be required to 
assess the financial plans and report to the appropriate 
Congressional authorizing and appropriating committees.

SEC. 312. REVISED REPORTING METHODOLOGY REQUIRED.

  This section would require Amtrak, in consultation with the 
Amtrak Comptroller General, to develop a revised reporting 
methodology for use in preparing annual operations reports 
(more commonly known as the Route Profitability System report) 
required by 49 U.S.C. 24315(a), beginning with FY 2002. The new 
methodology will specifically exclude non-core profits in 
calculating the financial performance of Amtrak trains.

SEC. 313. APPROPRIATED AMOUNTS TO BE SPENT PROPORTIONATELY.

  This section would require that, if Amtrak is appropriated a 
sum less than the total amount authorized in this Act, then, 
after first allocating the full amount for mandatory excess 
Railroad Retirement Trust Account contributions, the remainder, 
excluding amounts authorized for Northeast Corridor tunnel life 
safety needs and Northeast Corridor growth in sections 304(b) 
and (d) of this Act, shall be spent in direct proportion to the 
remaining authorizations in this Act.

SEC. 314. INDEPENDENT AUDITOR TO ESTABLISH CRITERIA FOR AMTRAK ROUTE 
                    AND SERVICE PLANNING DECISIONS.

  This section would require the DOT Inspector General (IG) to 
contract with an independent auditor to establish objective 
criteria for determining appropriate changes in Amtrak service, 
including establishing new routes, eliminating existing routes, 
and contracting or expanding existing services. The IG would 
review the criteria developed and, if approved, transmit them 
to the Amtrak Board of Directors. The Amtrak Board of Directors 
would be required to incorporate the criteria in its route and 
service planning and decision-making process, as well as its 
financial plans and budgets. If Amtrak makes a decision 
regarding a change in service which does not comport with the 
established decision-making criteria, the Amtrak Board of 
Directors would be required to notify the appropriate 
Congressional authorizing committees at least 30 days in 
advance of such change.

                        Title IV--Miscellaneous

SEC. 401. REHABILITATION, IMPROVEMENT, AND SECURITY FINANCING.

  This section would increase the aggregate unpaid principle 
amount of obligations allowed under the RRIF program from $3.5 
billion to $35 billion in the form of loans or loan guarantee 
coverage for infrastructure rehabilitation, improvement and 
security enhancements. A minimum of $7 billion would be set 
aside for projects benefiting short line and regional 
railroads. This section would require the Secretary to provide 
guidance on conditions of assistance, procedures for requesting 
and approving assistance, and substantive approval criteria for 
receipt of assistance. An estimated 10 percent of the credit 
risk premium is estimated at $350 million annually to cover the 
Federal costs to issue loan guarantees. The Secretary would be 
prohibited from limiting the amount of available loans or loan 
guarantees that may be dedicated to a single project. The 
section would also specify that a cohort may include a loan or 
loan guarantee. The Secretary would also be prohibited from 
requiring any applicants to provide collateral, and could not 
require that the applicant have previously sought and been 
denied financial assistance from another source. The Secretary 
would be required to approve or disapprove applications for 
RRIF funding within 180 days after an application is filed. 
Within 30 days after enactment, the Secretary would be required 
to publish the criteria and standards to be used in determining 
whether to approve an application. The section would also 
provide that persons conducting rail operations funded with 
RRIF loans or loan guarantees would be deemed rail carriers and 
subject to all applicable railroad laws. Entities other than 
railroad companies would be eligible to receive assistance 
under this section.

SEC. 402. RAIL PASSENGER COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM.

  This section would require the Secretary of Transportation to 
establish a cooperative research program which conducts 
research on rail passenger issues. It would further require the 
Secretary to establish an advisory board made up of the rail 
passenger community and other interested parties which makes 
recommendations concerning rail passenger research issues. 
Finally, this section would authorize funding of $5 million for 
grants to the National Academy of Sciences to carry our 
research in conjunction with the cooperative research program.

SEC. 403. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 49 REFLECTING ICC TERMINATION 
                    ACT.

  This section makes technical amendments in title 49, United 
States Code, acknowledging the supplanting of duties of the 
Interstate Commerce Commission by the Surface Transportation 
Board.

SEC. 404. APPLICABILITY OF REVERSION TO ALASKA RAILROAD RIGHT-OF-WAY 
                    PROPERTY.

  This section would serve as a technical amendment to allow 
the Alaska Railroad to swap property with landowners along its 
existing right-of-way. This would result in allowing Alaska 
Railroad to pursue the straightening of its route, which will 
remedy safety concerns and allow for the safer and more 
efficient movement of passengers and freight. Nothing in this 
Act is intended to supersede section 608(a) of the Alaska 
Railroad Transfer Act of 1982 (45 U.S.C. 1207(a)).

                      Rollcall Votes in Committee

  In accordance with paragraph 7(c) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following description of the record votes during its 
consideration of S. 1991:
  Senator McCain offered an amendment to provide for the 
establishment of an Amtrak Control Board, and for other 
purposes, to the amendment (in the nature of a substitute) 
offered by Senator Hollings. By rollcall vote of 5 yeas and 18 
nays as follows, the amendment was defeated:
        YEAS--5                       NAYS--18
Mr. McCain                          Mr. Hollings
Mr. Brownback                       Mr. Inouye\1\
Mr. Fitzgerald                      Mr. Rockefeller
Mr. Ensign                          Mr. Kerry\1\
Mr. Allen                           Mr. Breaux
                                    Mr. Dorgan
                                    Mr. Wyden
                                    Mr. Cleland\1\
                                    Mrs. Boxer
                                    Mr. Edwards\1\
                                    Mrs. Carnahan\1\
                                    Mr. Nelson
                                    Mr. Stevens\1\
                                    Mr. Burns
                                    Mr. Lott
                                    Mrs. Hutchison
                                    Ms. Snowe
                                    Mr. Smith

    \1\By proxy

  Senator McCain offered an amendment to require the approval 
of the Secretary of Transportation in order for Amtrak to 
assume additional debt to the amendment (in the nature of a 
substitute) offered by Senator Hollings. By rollcall vote of 10 
yeas and 13 nays as follows, the amendment was defeated:
        YEAS--10                      NAYS--13
Mr. McCain                          Mr. Hollings
Mr. Stevens\1\                      Mr. Inouye\1\
Mr. Burns                           Mr. Rockefeller
Mr. Lott                            Mr. Kerry\1\
Mrs. Hutchison                      Mr. Breaux
Mr. Brownback                       Mr. Dorgan
Mr. Smith                           Mr. Wyden
Mr. Fitzgerald                      Mr. Cleland\1\
Mr. Ensign\1\                       Mrs. Boxer
Mr. Allen                           Mr. Edwards\1\
                                    Mrs. Carnahan\1\
                                    Mr. Nelson
                                    Ms. Snowe

    \1\By proxy

    By rollcall vote of 20 yeas and 3 nays as follows, the bill 
was ordered reported with an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute:
        YEAS--20                      NAYS--3
Mr. Hollings                        Mr. McCain
Mr. Inouye\1\                       Mr. Brownback
Mr. Rockefeller                     Mr. Ensign
Mr. Kerry\1\
Mr. Breaux
Mr. Dorgan
Mr. Wyden
Mr. Cleland\1\
Mrs. Boxer\1\
Mr. Edwards\1\
Mrs. Carnahan\1\
Mr. Nelson
Mr. Stevens\1\
Mr. Burns
Mr. Lott
Mrs. Hutchison
Ms. Snowe\1\
Mr. Smith
Mr. Fitzgerald
Mr. Allen\1\

    \1\By proxy

                        Changes in Existing Law

  In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill, 
as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new material is printed 
in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown 
in roman):

              AMTRAK REFORM AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1997

[SEC. 204. SUNSET TRIGGER.

                          [49 U.S.C. 24101 nt]

  [(a) In general.--If at any time more than 2 years after the 
date of enactment of this Act and implementation of the 
financial plan referred to in section 24104(d) of title 49, 
United States Code, as amended by section 201 of this Act, the 
Amtrak Reform Council finds that--
          [(1) Amtrak's business performance will prevent it 
        from meeting the financial goals set forth in section 
        24104(d) of title 49, United States Code, as amended by 
        section 201 of this Act; or
          [(2) Amtrak will require operating grant funds after 
        the fifth anniversary of the date of enactment of this 
        Act, then the Council shall immediately notify the 
        President, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the United States Senate, and the 
        Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the 
        United States House of Representatives.
  [(b) Factors considered.--In making a finding under 
subsection (a), the Council shall take into account--
          [(1) Amtrak's performance;
          [(2) the findings of the independent assessment 
        conducted under section 202;
          [(3) the level of Federal funds made available for 
        carrying out the financial plan referred to in section 
        24104(d) of title 49, United States Code, as amended by 
        section 201 of this Act; and
          [(4) Acts of God, national emergencies, and other 
        events beyond the reasonable control of Amtrak.
  [(c) Action plan.--Within 90 days after the Council makes a 
finding under subsection (a)--
          [(1) it shall develop and submit to the Congress an 
        action plan for a restructured and rationalized 
        national intercity rail passenger system; and
          [(2) Amtrak shall develop and submit to the Congress 
        an action plan for the complete liquidation of Amtrak, 
        after having the plan reviewed by the Inspector General 
        of the Department of Transportation and the General 
        Accounting Office for accuracy and reasonableness.

[SEC. 205. SENATE PROCEDURE FOR CONSIDERATION OF RESTRUCTURING AND 
                    LIQUIDATION PLANS.

  [(a) In general.--If, within 90 days (not counting any day on 
which either House is not in session) after a restructuring 
plan is submitted to the House of Representatives and the 
Senate by the Amtrak Reform Council under section 204 of this 
Act, an implementing Act with respect to a restructuring plan 
(without regard to whether it is the plan submitted) has not 
been passed by the Congress, then a liquidation disapproval 
resolution shall be introduced in the Senate by the Majority 
Leader of the Senate, for himself and the Minority Leader of 
the Senate, or by Members of the Senate designated by the 
Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate. The 
liquidation disapproval resolution shall be held at the desk at 
the request of the Presiding Officer.
  [(b) Consideration in the Senate.--
          [(1) Referral and reporting.--A liquidation 
        disapproval resolution introduced in the Senate shall 
        be placed directly and immediately on the Calendar.
          [(2) Implementing resolution from House.--When the 
        Senate receives from the House of Representatives a 
        liquidation disapproval resolution, the resolution 
        shall not be referred to committee and shall be placed 
        on the Calendar.
          [(3) Consideration of single liquidation disapproval 
        resolution.--After the Senate has proceeded to the 
        consideration of a liquidation disapproval resolution 
        under this subsection, then no other liquidation 
        disapproval resolution originating in that same House 
        shall be subject to the procedures set forth in this 
        section.
          [(4) Amendments.--No amendment to the resolution is 
        in order except an amendment that is relevant to 
        liquidation of Amtrak. Consideration of the resolution 
        for amendment shall not exceed one hour excluding time 
        for recorded votes and quorum calls. No amendment shall 
        be subject to further amendment, except for perfecting 
        amendments.
          [(5) Motion nondebatable.--A motion to proceed to 
        consideration of a liquidation disapproval resolution 
        under this subsection shall not be debatable. It shall 
        not be in order to move to reconsider the vote by which 
        the motion to proceed was adopted or rejected, although 
        subsequent motions to proceed may be made under this 
        paragraph.
          [(6) Limit on consideration.--
                  [(A) After no more than 20 hours of 
                consideration of a liquidation disapproval 
                resolution, the Senate shall proceed, without 
                intervening action or debate (except as 
                permitted under paragraph (9)), to vote on the 
                final disposition thereof to the exclusion of 
                all amendments not then pending and to the 
                exclusion of all motions, except a motion to 
                reconsider or table.
                  [(B) The time for debate on the liquidation 
                disapproval resolution shall be equally divided 
                between the Majority Leader and the Minority 
                Leader or their designees.
          [(7) Debate of amendments.--Debate on any amendment 
        to a liquidation disapproval resolution shall be 
        limited to one hour, equally divided and controlled by 
        the Senator proposing the amendment and the majority 
        manager, unless the majority manager is in favor of the 
        amendment, in which case the minority manager shall be 
        in control of the time in opposition.
          [(8) No motion to recommit.--A motion to recommit a 
        liquidation disapproval resolution shall not be in 
        order.
          [(9) Disposition of Senate resolution.--If the Senate 
        has read for the third time a liquidation disapproval 
        resolution that originated in the Senate, then it shall 
        be in order at any time thereafter to move to proceed 
        to the consideration of a liquidation disapproval 
        resolution for the same special message received from 
        the House of Representatives and placed on the Calendar 
        pursuant to paragraph (2), strike all after the 
        enacting clause, substitute the text of the Senate 
        liquidation disapproval resolution, agree to the Senate 
        amendment, and vote on final disposition of the House 
        liquidation disapproval resolution, all without any 
        intervening action or debate.
          [(10) Consideration of House message.--Consideration 
        in the Senate of all motions, amendments, or appeals 
        necessary to dispose of a message from the House of 
        Representatives on a liquidation disapproval resolution 
        shall be limited to not more than 4 hours. Debate on 
        each motion or amendment shall be limited to 30 
        minutes. Debate on any appeal or point of order that is 
        submitted in connection with the disposition of the 
        House message shall be limited to 20 minutes. Any time 
        for debate shall be equally divided and controlled by 
        the proponent and the majority manager, unless the 
        majority manager is a proponent of the motion, 
        amendment, appeal, or point of order, in which case the 
        minority manager shall be in control of the time in 
        opposition.
  [(c) Consideration in conference.--
          [(1) Convening of conference.--In the case of 
        disagreement between the two Houses of Congress with 
        respect to a liquidation disapproval resolution passed 
        by both Houses, conferees should be promptly appointed 
        and a conference promptly convened, if necessary.
          [(2) Senate consideration.--Consideration in the 
        Senate of the conference report and any amendments in 
        disagreement on a liquidation disapproval resolution 
        shall be limited to not more than 4 hours equally 
        divided and controlled by the Majority Leader and the 
        Minority Leader or their designees. A motion to 
        recommit the conference report is not in order.
  [(d) Definitions.--For purposes of this section--
          [(1) Liquidation disapproval resolution.--The term 
        'liquidation disapproval resolution' means only a 
        resolution of either House of Congress which is 
        introduced as provided in subsection (a) with respect 
        to the liquidation of Amtrak.
          [(2) Restructuring plan.--The term 'restructuring 
        plan' means a plan to provide for a restructured and 
        rationalized national intercity rail passenger 
        transportation system.
  [(e) Rules of Senate.--This section is enacted by the 
Congress--
          [(1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the 
        Senate, and as such they are deemed a part of the rules 
        of the Senate, but applicable only with respect to the 
        procedure to be followed in the Senate in the case of a 
        liquidation disapproval resolution; and they supersede 
        other rules only to the extent that they are 
        inconsistent therewith; and
          [(2) with full recognition of the constitutional 
        right of the Senate to change the rules (so far as 
        relating to the procedure of the Senate) at any time, 
        in the same manner and to the same extent as in the 
        case of any other rule of the Senate.]

                             * * * * * * *

SEC. 415. FINANCIAL POWERS.

                          [49 U.S.C. 24304 nt]

  (a) Capitalization.--(1) Section 24304 is amended to read as 
follows:

``Sec. 24304. EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLANS

  ``In issuing stock pursuant to applicable corporate law, 
Amtrak is encouraged to include employee stock ownership 
plans.''.
  ``(2) The item relating to section 24304 in the table of 
sections of chapter 243 is amended to read as follows:
``24304. Employee stock ownerhsip plans.''.
  [(b) Redemption of common stock.--Amtrak shall, before 
October 1, 2002, redeem all common stock previously issued, for 
the fair market value of such stock.]
  (c) Elimination of liquidation preference and voting rights 
of preferred stock.--
          (1)(A) Preferred stock of Amtrak held by the 
        Secretary of Transportation shall confer no liquidation 
        preference.
          (B) Subparagraph (A) shall take effect 90 days after 
        the date of the enactment of this Act.
          (2)(A) Preferred stock of Amtrak held by the 
        Secretary of Transportation shall confer no voting 
        rights.
          (B) Subparagraph (A) shall take effect 60 days after 
        the date of the enactment of this Act.
  (d) Status and Applicable Laws.--(1) Section 24301(a)(3) is 
amended by inserting ``, and shall not be subject to title 31'' 
after ``United States Government''.
  (2) Section 9101(2) of title 31, United States Code, relating 
to Government corporations, is amended by striking subparagraph 
(A) and redesignating subparagraphs (B) through (L) as 
subparagraphs (A) through (K), respectively.
  (3) This section does not affect the applicability of section 
3729 of title 31, United States Code, to claims made against 
Amtrak.

                             * * * * * * *

       RAILROAD REVITALIZATION AND REGULATORY REFORM ACT OF 1976

SEC. 102. DEFINITIONS.

                            [45 U.S.C. 802]

  As used in this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates, 
the term--
          (1) ``Association'' means the United States Railway 
        Association;
          (2) ``Commission'' means the Interstate Commerce 
        Commission;
          (3) ``Corporation'' means the Consolidated Rail 
        Corporation;
          (4) ``final system plan'' means the final system plan 
        and any additions thereto adopted by the Association 
        pursuant to the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 
        1973 (45 U.S.C. 701 et seq.);
          (5) ``includes'' and variants thereof should be read 
        as if the phrase ``but is not limited to'' were also 
        set forth;
          (6) ``Office'' means the Rail Services Planning 
        Office of the Commission;
          [(7) ``railroad'' means a rail carrier subject to 
        part A of subtitle IV of title 49, United States Code, 
        and includes the National Railroad Passenger 
        Corporation; and]
          (7) ``railroad'' has the meaning given that term in 
        section 20102 of title 49, United States Code; and
          (8) ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Transportation or his designated representative.

SEC. 502. DIRECT LOANS AND LOAN GUARANTEES.

                            [45 U.S.C. 822]

  (a) General authority.--The [Secretary may provide direct 
loans and loan guarantees to State and local governments,] 
Secretary shall provide direct loans and loan guarantees to 
State and local governments, interstate compacts entered into 
under section 410 of the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act 
of 1997 (49 U.S.C 24101 nt), government sponsored authorities 
and corporations, railroads, and joint ventures that include at 
least 1 railroad.
  (b) Eligible purposes.--
          (1) In general.--Direct loans and loan guarantees 
        under this section shall be used to--
                  (A) acquire, improve, or rehabilitate 
                intermodal or rail equipment or facilities, 
                including track, components of track, bridges, 
                yards, buildings, and shops;
                  (B) refinance outstanding debt incurred for 
                the purposes described in subparagraph (A); 
                [or]
                  (C) to acquire, improve, or rehabilitate rail 
                safety and security equipment and facilities; 
                or
                  [(C)] (D) develop or establish new intermodal 
                or railroad facilities.
          (2) Operating expenses not eligible.--Direct loans 
        and loan guarantees under this section shall not be 
        used for railroad operating expenses.
  (c) Priority projects.--In granting applications for direct 
loans or guaranteed loans under this section, the Secretary 
shall give priority to projects that--
          (1) enhance public safety;
          (2) enhance the environment;
          (3) promote economic development;
          (4) enable United States companies to be more 
        competitive in international markets;
          (5) are endorsed by the plans prepared under section 
        135 of title 23, United States Code, by the State or 
        States in which they are located; or
          (6) preserve or enhance rail or intermodal service to 
        small communities or rural areas.
  (d) Extent of authority.--The aggregate unpaid principal 
amounts of obligations under direct loans and loan guarantees 
made under this section shall not exceed [$3,500,000,000] 
$35,000,000,000 at any one time. Of this amount, not less than 
[$1,000,000,000] $7,000,000,000 shall be available solely for 
projects primarily benefiting freight railroads other than 
Class I carriers. The Secretary shall not establish any limit 
on the proportion of the unused amount authorized under this 
subsection that may be used for 1 loan or loan guarantee.
  (e) Rates of iterest.--
          (1) Direct loans.--The Secretary shall require 
        interest to be paid on a direct loan made under this 
        section at a rate not less than that necessary to 
        recover the cost of making the loan.
          (2) Loan guarantees.--The Secretary shall not make a 
        loan guarantee under this section if the interest rate 
        for the loan exceeds that which the Secretary 
        determines to be reasonable, taking into consideration 
        the prevailing interest rates and customary fees 
        incurred under similar obligations in the private 
        capital market.
  (f) Infrastructure partners.--
          (1) Authority of Secretary.--In lieu of or in 
        combination with appropriations of budget authority to 
        cover the costs of direct loans and loan guarantees as 
        required under section 504(b)(1) of the Federal Credit 
        Reform Act of 1990, the Secretary may accept on behalf 
        of an applicant for assistance under this section a 
        commitment from a non-Federal source to fund in whole 
        or in part credit risk premiums with respect to the 
        loan that is the subject of the application. In no 
        event shall the aggregate of appropriations of budget 
        authority and credit risk premiums described in this 
        paragraph with respect to a direct loan or loan 
        guarantee be less than the cost of that direct loan or 
        loan guarantee.
          (2) Credit risk premium amount.--The Secretary shall 
        determine the amount required for credit risk premiums 
        under this subsection on the basis of--
                  (A) the circumstances of the applicant, 
                including the amount of collateral [offered;] 
                offered, if any;
                  (B) the proposed schedule of loan 
                disbursements;
                  (C) historical data on the repayment history 
                of similar borrowers;
                  (D) consultation with the Congressional 
                Budget Office; [and]
                  (E) the size and characteristics of the 
                cohort of which the loan or loan guarantee is a 
                member; and
                  [(E)] (F) any other factors the Secretary 
                considers relevant.
          (3)  Payment of premiums.--Credit risk premiums under 
        this subsection shall be paid to the Secretary before 
        the disbursement of loan amounts.
          (4) Cohorts of loans.--In order to maintain 
        sufficient balances of credit risk premiums to 
        adequately protect the Federal Government from risk of 
        default, while minimizing the length of time the 
        Government retains possession of those balances, the 
        Secretary shall establish cohorts of loans. When all 
        obligations attached to a cohort of loans have been 
        satisfied, credit risk premiums paid for the cohort, 
        and interest accrued thereon, which were not used to 
        mitigate losses shall be returned to the original 
        source on a pro rata basis. A cohort may include loans 
        and loan guarantees. The Secretary shall not establish 
        any limit on the proportion of a cohort that may be 
        used for 1 loan or loan guarantee.
  (g) Prerequisites for assistance.--The Secretary shall not 
make a direct loan or loan guarantee under this section unless 
the Secretary has made a finding in writing that--
          (1) repayment of the obligation is required to be 
        made within a term of not more than 25 years from the 
        date of its execution;
          (2) the direct loan or loan guarantee is justified by 
        the present and probable future demand for rail 
        services or intermodal facilities;
          (3) the applicant has given reasonable assurances 
        that the facilities or equipment to be acquired, 
        rehabilitated, improved, developed, or established with 
        the proceeds of the obligation will be economically and 
        efficiently utilized;
          (4) the obligation can reasonably be repaid, using an 
        appropriate combination of credit risk premiums and 
        collateral offered by the applicant to protect the 
        Federal Government; and
          (5) the purposes of the direct loan or loan guarantee 
        are consistent with subsection (b).
  (h) Conditions of assistance.--(1) The Secretary shall, 
before granting assistance under this section, require the 
applicant to agree to such terms and conditions as are 
sufficient, in the judgment of the Secretary, to ensure that, 
as long as any principal or interest is due and payable on such 
obligation, the applicant, and any railroad or railroad partner 
for whose benefit the assistance is intended--
          [(1)] (A) will not use any funds or assets from 
        railroad or intermodal operations for purposes not 
        related to such operations, if such use would impair 
        the ability of the applicant, railroad, or railroad 
        partner to provide rail or intermodal services in an 
        efficient and economic manner, or would adversely 
        affect the ability of the applicant, railroad, or 
        railroad partner to perform any obligation entered into 
        by the applicant under this section;
          [(2)] (B) will, consistent with its capital 
        resources, maintain its capital program, equipment, 
        facilities, and operations on a continuing basis; and
          [(3)] (C) will not make any discretionary dividend 
        payments that unreasonably conflict with the purposes 
        stated.
  (2) The Secretary shall not require an applicant for a direct 
loan or loan guarantee under this section to provide 
collateral.
  (3) The Secretary shall not require that an applicant for a 
direct loan or loan guarantee under this section have 
previously sought the financial assistance requested from 
another source.
  (4) The Secretary shall require recipients of direct loans or 
loan guarantees under this section to apply the standards of 
section 22301(b) and (c) of title 49, United States Code, to 
their projects.
  (i) Time Limit for Approval or Disapproval.--Not later than 
180 days after receiving a complete application for a direct 
loan or loan guarantee under this section, the Secretary shall 
approve or disapprove the application.
  (j) Operators Deemed Rail Carriers.--A person that conducts 
rail operations funded or otherwise receiving assistance under 
this section is deemed to be a rail carrier for purposes of 
part A of subtitle IV of title 49, United States Code, when so 
operating or performing such services.
  (k) Loan and Loan Guarantees for Non-Railroad Entities.--
Nothwithstanding any other provision of law, entities other 
than rail companies shall be eligible for loans and loan 
guarantees under this section.

SEC. 503. ADMINISTRATION OF DIRECT LOANS AND LOAN GUARANTEES.

                            [45 U.S.C. 823]

  (a) Applications.--The Secretary shall prescribe the form and 
contents required of applications for assistance under section 
502, to enable the Secretary to determine the eligibility of 
the applicant's proposal, and shall establish terms and 
conditions for direct loans and loan guarantees made under that 
section.
  (b) Full faith and credit.--All guarantees entered into by 
the Secretary under section 502 shall constitute general 
obligations of the United States of America backed by the full 
faith and credit of the United States of America.
  (c) Assignment of loan guarantees.--The holder of a loan 
guarantee made under section 502 may assign the loan guarantee 
in whole or in part, subject to such requirements as the 
Secretary may prescribe.
  (d) Modifications.--The Secretary may approve the 
modification of any term or condition of a direct loan, loan 
guarantee, direct loan obligation, or loan guarantee 
commitment, including the rate of interest, time of payment of 
interest or principal, or security requirements, if the 
Secretary finds in writing that--
          (1) the modification is equitable and is in the 
        overall best interests of the United States; and
          (2) consent has been obtained from the applicant and, 
        in the case of a loan guarantee or loan guarantee 
        commitment, the holder of the obligation.
  (e) Compliance.--The Secretary shall assure compliance, by an 
applicant, any other party to the loan, and any railroad or 
railroad partner for whose benefit assistance is intended, with 
the provisions of this title , regulations issued hereunder, 
and the terms and conditions of the direct loan or loan 
guarantee, including through regular periodic inspections.
  (f) Commercial validity.--For purposes of claims by any party 
other than the Secretary, a loan guarantee or loan guarantee 
commitment shall be conclusive evidence that the underlying 
obligation is in compliance with the provisions of this title, 
and that such obligation has been approved and is legal as to 
principal, interest, and other terms. Such a guarantee or 
commitment shall be valid and incontestable in the hands of a 
holder thereof, including the original lender or any other 
holder, as of the date when the Secretary granted the 
application therefor, except as to fraud or material 
misrepresentation by such holder.
  (g) Default.--The Secretary shall prescribe regulations 
setting forth procedures in the event of default on a loan made 
or guaranteed under section 502. The Secretary shall ensure 
that each loan guarantee made under that section contains terms 
and conditions that provide that--
          (1) if a payment of principal or interest under the 
        loan is in default for more than 30 days, the Secretary 
        shall pay to the holder of the obligation, or the 
        holder's agent, the amount of unpaid guaranteed 
        interest;
          (2) if the default has continued for more than 90 
        days, the Secretary shall pay to the holder of the 
        obligation, or the holder's agent, 90 percent of the 
        unpaid guaranteed principal;
          (3) after final resolution of the default, through 
        liquidation or otherwise, the Secretary shall pay to 
        the holder of the obligation, or the holder's agent, 
        any remaining amounts guaranteed but which were not 
        recovered through the default's resolution;
          (4) the Secretary shall not be required to make any 
        payment under paragraphs (1) through (3) if the 
        Secretary finds, before the expiration of the periods 
        described in such paragraphs, that the default has been 
        remedied; and
          (5) the holder of the obligation shall not receive 
        payment or be entitled to retain payment in a total 
        amount which, together with all other recoveries 
        (including any recovery based upon a security interest 
        in equipment or facilities) exceeds the actual loss of 
        such holder.
  (h) Rights of the Secretary.--
          (1) Subrogation.--If the Secretary makes payment to a 
        holder, or a holder's agent, under subsection (g) in 
        connection with a loan guarantee made under section 
        502, the Secretary shall be subrogated to all of the 
        rights of the holder with respect to the obligor under 
        the loan.
          (2) Disposition of property.--The Secretary may 
        complete, recondition, reconstruct, renovate, repair, 
        maintain, operate, charter, rent, sell, or otherwise 
        dispose of any property or other interests obtained 
        pursuant to this section. The Secretary shall not be 
        subject to any Federal or State regulatory requirements 
        when carrying out this paragraph.
  (i) Action against obligor.--The Secretary may bring a civil 
action in an appropriate Federal court in the name of the 
United States in the event of a default on a direct loan made 
under section 502, or in the name of the United States or of 
the holder of the obligation in the event of a default on a 
loan guaranteed under section 502. The holder of a guarantee 
shall make available to the Secretary all records and evidence 
necessary to prosecute the civil action. The Secretary may 
accept property in full or partial satisfaction of any sums 
owed as a result of a default. If the Secretary receives, 
through the sale or other disposition of such property, an 
amount greater than the aggregate of--
          (1) the amount paid to the holder of a guarantee 
        under subsection (g) of this section; and
          (2) any other cost to the United States of remedying 
        the default, the Secretary shall pay such excess to the 
        obligor.
  (j) Breach of conditions.--The Attorney General shall 
commence a civil action in an appropriate Federal court to 
enjoin any activity which the Secretary finds is in violation 
of this title, regulations issued hereunder, or any conditions 
which were duly agreed to, and to secure any other appropriate 
relief.
  (k) Attachment.--No attachment or execution may be issued 
against the Secretary, or any property in the control of the 
Secretary, prior to the entry of final judgment to such effect 
in any State, Federal, or other court. Funds received by the 
Secretary under the preceding sentence shall be credited to the 
appropriation from which the expenses of making such 
appraisals, determinations, and findings were incurred.
  (l) Investigation charge.--The Secretary may charge and 
collect from each applicant a reasonable charge for appraisal 
of the value of the equipment or facilities for which the 
direct loan or loan guarantee is sought, and for making 
necessary determinations and findings. Such charge shall not 
aggregate more than one-half of 1 percent of the principal 
amount of the obligation. in subsection (b).
  (m) Fees and Charges.--Except as provided in this title, the 
Secretary may not assess any fees, including user fees, or 
charges in connection with a direct loan or loan guarantee 
provided under section 502.

                             * * * * * * *

                  ALASKA RAILROAD TRANSFER ACT OF 1982

SEC. 610. REVERSION.

                            [45 U.S.C. 1209]

  (a) Reversion of payment to Federal government for conversion 
to use preventing State-owned railroad from continuing to 
operate.--If, within ten years after the date of transfer to 
the State authorized by section 604 of this title, the 
Secretary finds that all or part of the real property 
transferred to the State under this title, except that portion 
of real property which lies within the boundaries of the Denali 
National Park and Preserve, is converted to a use that would 
prevent the State-owned railroad from continuing to operate, 
that real property (including permanent improvements to the 
property) shall revert to the United States Government, or (at 
the option of the State) the State shall pay to the United 
States Government an amount determined to be the fair market 
value of that property at the time its conversion prevents 
continued operation of the railroad.
  (b) Reversion upon discontinuance by State of use of any land 
within right-of-way; criteria for discontinuance.--(1) If, 
after the date of transfer pursuant to section 604 of this 
title, the State discontinues use of any land within the right-
of-way, the State's interest in such land shall revert to the 
United States. The State shall be considered to have 
discontinued use within the meaning of this subsection and 
subsection (d) of this section when:
          [(1)] (A) the Governor of the State of Alaska 
        delivers to the Secretary of the Interior a notice of 
        such discontinuance, including a legal description of 
        the property subject to the notice, and a quitclaim 
        deed thereto; or
          [(2)] (B) the State has made no use of the land for a 
        continuous period of eighteen years for transportation, 
        communication, or transmission purposes. Notice of such 
        discontinuance shall promptly be published in the 
        Federal Register by the Secretary, the Secretary of the 
        Interior, or the Secretary of Agriculture, and 
        reversion shall be effected one year after such notice, 
        unless within such one-year period the State brings an 
        appropriate action in the United States District Court 
        for the District of Alaska to establish that the use 
        has been continuing without an eighteen-year lapse. Any 
        such action shall have the effect of staying reversion 
        until exhaustion of appellate review from the final 
        judgment in that action or termination of the right to 
        seek such review, whichever first occurs.
  (2)(A) The State-owned railroad may convey all right, title, 
and interest of the State in any land within the right-of-way 
to a third party in exchange for other land that, in 
substitution for the land conveyed, is to be utilized as part 
of the right-of-way if the continuity of the right-of-way 
corridor for transportation, communications, and transmission 
purposes is provided by such use of the substituted land.
  (B) The provisions of this section that require reversion 
shall apply to the substituted land, as of the effective date 
of the exchange of that land in a transaction authorized by 
subparagraph (A), as fully as if the substituted land had been 
rail properties of the Alaska Railroad as of January 13, 1983.
  (C) Upon the conveyance of land in a transaction authorized 
by subparagraph (A), any reversionary interest in the land 
under this section shall terminate.
  (c) Conveyances by United States subsequent to reversion.--
Upon such reversion pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, 
the Secretary of the Interior shall immediately convey by 
patent to abutting landowners all right, title and interest of 
the United States. Where land abutting the reverted right-of-
way is owned by different persons or entities, the conveyance 
made pursuant to this subsection shall extend the property of 
each abutting owner to the centerline of the right-of-way.
  (d) Discontinuance by State of use of national park or forest 
lands; jurisdiction upon reversion.--If use is discontinued (as 
that term is used in subsection (b) of this section) of all or 
part of those properties of the Alaska Railroad transferred to 
the State pursuant to this title which lie within the 
boundaries of the Denali National Park and Preserve or the 
Chugach National Forest, such properties or part thereof 
(including permanent improvements to the property) shall revert 
to the United States and shall not be subject to subsection (c) 
of this section. Upon such reversion, jurisdiction over that 
property shall be transferred to the Secretary of the Interior 
or the Secretary of Agriculture, as appropriate, for 
administration as part of the Denali National Park and Preserve 
or the Chugach National Forest.
  (e) Payment into Treasury of United States of excess proceeds 
from sale or transfer of all or substantially all of State-
owned railroad; limitation.--Except as provided in subsections 
(a) through (d) of this section, if, within five years after 
the date of transfer to the State pursuant to section 604 of 
this title, the State sells or transfers all or substantially 
all of the State-owned railroad to an entity other than an 
instrumentality of the State, the proceeds from the sale or 
transfer that exceed the cost of any rehabilitation and 
improvement made by the State for the State-owned railroad and 
any net liabilities incurred by the State for the State-owned 
railroad shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury of 
the United States.
  (f) Enforcement by Attorney General.--The Attorney General, 
upon the request of the Secretary, the Secretary of the 
Interior, or the Secretary of Agriculture, shall institute 
appropriate proceedings to enforce this section in the United 
States District Court for the District of Alaska.

                        TITLE 49. TRANSPORTATION

                SUBTITLE I. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

                  CHAPTER 3. GENERAL DUTIES AND POWERS

        SUBCHAPTER I. DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION

Sec. 307. Safety information and intervention in [Interstate Commerce 
                    Commission] Surface Transportation Board 
                    proceedings

  (a) The Secretary of Transportation shall inspect promptly 
the safety compliance record in the Department of 
Transportation of each person applying to the [Interstate 
Commerce Commission] Surface Transportation Board for authority 
to provide transportation or freight forwarder service. The 
Secretary shall report the findings of the inspection to the 
[Commission.] Board.
  (b) When the Secretary is not satisfied with the safety 
record of a person applying for permanent authority to provide 
transportation or freight forwarder service, or for approval of 
a proposed transfer of permanent authority, the Secretary shall 
intervene and present evidence of the fitness of the person to 
the [Commission] Board in its proceedings.
  (c) When requested by the [Commission,] Board, the Secretary 
shall--
          (1) provide the [Commission] Board with a complete 
        report on the safety compliance of a carrier providing 
        transportation or freight forwarder service subject to 
        its jurisdiction;
          (2) provide promptly a statement of the safety record 
        of a person applying to the [Commission] Board for 
        temporary authority to provide transportation;
          (3) intervene and present evidence in a proceeding in 
        which a finding of fitness is required; and
          (4) make additional safety compliance surveys and 
        inspections the [Commission] Board decides are 
        desirable to allow it to act on an application or to 
        make a finding on the fitness of a carrier.

                             * * * * * * *

Sec. 309. High-speed ground transportation

  (a) The Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the 
Secretaries of Commerce, Energy, and Defense, the Administrator 
of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Assistant Secretary 
of the Army for Public Works, and the heads of other interested 
agencies, shall lead and coordinate Federal efforts in the 
research and development of high-speed ground transportation 
technologies in order to foster the implementation of magnetic 
levitation and high-speed steel wheel on rail transportation 
systems as alternatives to existing transportation systems.
  (b)(1) The Secretary may award contracts and grants for 
demonstrations to determine the contributions that high-speed 
ground transportation could make to more efficient, safe, and 
economical intercity transportation systems. Such 
demonstrations shall be designed to measure and evaluate such 
factors as the public response to new equipment, higher speeds, 
variations in fares, improved comfort and convenience, and more 
frequent service. In connection with grants and contracts for 
demonstrations under this section, the Secretary shall provide 
for financial participation by private industry to the maximum 
extent practicable.
  (2)(A) In connection with the authority provided under 
paragraph (1), there is established a national high-speed 
ground transportation technology demonstration program, which 
shall be separate from the national magnetic levitation 
prototype development program established under section 1036(b) 
of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 
and shall be managed by the Secretary of Transportation.
  (B)(i) Any eligible applicant may submit to the Secretary a 
proposal for demonstration of any advancement in a high-speed 
ground transportation technology or technologies to be 
incorporated as a component, subsystem, or system in any 
revenue service high-speed ground transportation project or 
system under construction or in operation at the time the 
application is made.
  (ii) Grants or contracts shall be awarded only to eligible 
applicants showing demonstrable benefit to the research and 
development, design, construction, or ultimate operation of any 
maglev technology or high-speed steel wheel on rail technology. 
Criteria to be considered in evaluating the suitability of a 
proposal under this paragraph shall include--
          (I) feasibility of guideway or track design and 
        construction;
          (II) safety and reliability;
          (III) impact on the environment in comparison to 
        other high-speed ground transportation technologies;
          (IV) minimization of land use;
          (V) effect on human factors related to high-speed 
        ground transportation;
          (VI) energy and power consumption and cost;
          (VII) integration of high-speed ground transportation 
        systems with other modes of transportation;
          (VIII) actual and projected ridership; and
          (IX) design of signaling, communications, and control 
        systems.
  (C) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term ``eligible 
applicant'' means any United States private business, State 
government, local government, organization of State or local 
government, or any combination thereof. The term does not 
include any business owned in whole or in part by the Federal 
Government.
  (D) The amount and distribution of grants or contracts made 
under this paragraph shall be determined by the Secretary. No 
grant or contract may be awarded under this paragraph to 
demonstrate a technology to be incorporated into a project or 
system located in a State that prohibits under State law the 
expenditure of non-Federal public funds or revenues on the 
construction or operation of such project or system.
  (E) Recipients of grants or contracts made pursuant to this 
paragraph shall agree to submit a report to the Secretary 
detailing the results and benefits of the technology 
demonstration proposed, as required by the Secretary.
  (c)(1) In carrying out the responsibilities of the Secretary 
under this section, the Secretary is authorized to enter into 1 
or more cooperative research and development agreements (as 
defined by section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology 
Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a)), and 1 or more 
funding agreements (as defined by section 201(b) of title 35, 
United States Code), with United States companies for the 
purpose of--
          (A) conducting research to overcome technical and 
        other barriers to the development and construction of 
        practicable high-speed ground transportation systems 
        and to help advance the basic generic technologies 
        needed for these systems; and
          (B) transferring the research and basic generic 
        technologies described in subparagraph (A) to industry 
        in order to help create a viable commercial high-speed 
        ground transportation industry within the United 
        States.
  (2) In a cooperative agreement or funding agreement under 
paragraph (1), the Secretary may agree to provide not more than 
80 percent of the cost of any project under the agreement. Not 
less than 5 percent of the non-Federal entity's share of the 
cost of any such project shall be paid in cash.
  (3) The research, development, or utilization of any 
technology pursuant to a cooperative agreement under paragraph 
(1), including the terms under which such technology may be 
licensed and the resulting royalties may be distributed, shall 
be subject to the provisions of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology 
Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.).
  (4) The research, development, or utilization of any 
technology pursuant to a funding agreement under paragraph (1), 
including the determination of all licensing and ownership 
rights, shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 18 of 
title 35, United States Code.
  (5) At the conclusion of fiscal year 1993 and again at the 
conclusion of fiscal year 1996, the Secretary shall submit 
reports to Congress regarding research and technology transfer 
activities conducted pursuant to the authorization contained in 
paragraph (1).
  (d)(1) Not later than June 1, 1995, the Secretary shall 
complete and submit to Congress a study of the commercial 
feasibility of constructing 1 or more high-speed ground 
transportation systems in the United States. Such study shall 
consist of--
          (A) an economic and financial analysis;
          (B) a technical assessment; and
          (C) recommendations for model legislation for State 
        and local governments to facilitate construction of 
        high-speed ground transportation systems.
  (2) The economic and financial analysis referred to in 
paragraph (1)(A) shall include--
          (A) an examination of the potential market for a 
        nationwide high-speed ground transportation network, 
        including a national magnetic levitation ground 
        transportation system;
          (B) an examination of the potential markets for 
        short-haul high-speed ground transportation systems and 
        for intercity and long-haul high-speed ground 
        transportation systems, including an assessment of--
                  (i) the current transportation practices and 
                trends in each market; and
                  (ii) the extent to which high-speed ground 
                transportation systems would relieve the 
                current or anticipated congestion on other 
                modes of transportation;
          (C) projections of the costs of designing, 
        constructing, and operating high-speed ground 
        transportation systems, the extent to which such 
        systems can recover their costs (including capital 
        costs), and the alternative methods available for 
        private and public financing;
          (D) the availability of rights-of-way to serve each 
        market, including the extent to which average and 
        maximum speeds would be limited by the curvature of 
        existing rights-of-way and the prospect of increasing 
        speeds through the acquisition of additional rights-of-
        way without significant relocation of residential, 
        commercial, or industrial facilities;
          (E) a comparison of the projected costs of the 
        various competing high-speed ground transportation 
        technologies;
          (F) recommendations for funding mechanisms, tax 
        incentives, liability provisions, and changes in 
        statutes and regulations necessary to facilitate the 
        development of individual high-speed ground 
        transportation systems and the completion of a 
        nationwide high-speed ground transportation network;
          (G) an examination of the effect of the construction 
        and operation of high-speed ground transportation 
        systems on regional employment and economic growth;
          (H) recommendations for the roles appropriate for 
        local, regional, and State governments to facilitate 
        construction of high-speed ground transportation 
        systems, including the roles of regional economic 
        development authorities;
          (I) an assessment of the potential for a high-speed 
        ground transportation technology export market;
          (J) recommendations regarding the coordination and 
        centralization of Federal efforts relating to high-
        speed ground transportation;
          (K) an examination of the role of the National 
        Railroad Passenger Corporation in the development and 
        operation of high-speed ground transportation systems; 
        and
          (L) any other economic or financial analyses the 
        Secretary considers important for carrying out this 
        section.
  (3) The technical assessment referred to in paragraph (1)(B) 
shall include--
          (A) an examination of the various technologies 
        developed for use in the transportation of passengers 
        by high-speed ground transportation, including a 
        comparison of the safety (including dangers associated 
        with grade crossings), energy efficiency, operational 
        efficiencies, and environmental impacts of each system;
          (B) an examination of the potential role of a United 
        States designed maglev system, developed as a prototype 
        under section 1036(b) of the Intermodal Surface 
        Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, in relation to 
        the implementation of other high-speed ground 
        transportation technologies and the national 
        transportation system;
          (C) an examination of the work being done to 
        establish safety standards for high-speed ground 
        transportation as a result of the enactment of section 
        7 of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 1988;
          (D) an examination of the need to establish 
        appropriate technological, quality, and environmental 
        standards for high-speed ground transportation systems;
          (E) an examination of the significant unresolved 
        technical issues surrounding the design, engineering, 
        construction, and operation of high-speed ground 
        transportation systems, including the potential for the 
        use of existing rights-of-way;
          (F) an examination of the effects on air quality, 
        energy consumption, noise, land use, health, and safety 
        as a result of the decreases in traffic volume on other 
        modes of transportation that are expected to result 
        from the full-scale development of high-speed ground 
        transportation systems; and
          (G) any other technical assessments the Secretary 
        considers important for carrying out this section.
  (e)(1) [Within 12 months after the submission of the study 
required by subsection (d),] No later than December 31, 2002, 
the Secretary shall establish the national high-speed ground 
transportation policy (hereinafter in this section referred to 
as the ``Policy'').
  (2) The Policy shall include--
          (A) provisions to promote the design, construction, 
        and operation of high-speed ground transportation 
        systems in the United States;
          (B) a determination whether the various competing 
        high-speed ground transportation technologies can be 
        effectively integrated into a national network and, if 
        not, whether 1 or more such technologies should receive 
        preferential encouragement from the Federal Government 
        to enable the development of such a national network;
          (C) a strategy for prioritizing the markets and 
        corridors in which the construction of high-speed 
        ground transportation systems should be encouraged; and
          (D) provisions designed to promote American 
        competitiveness in the market for high-speed ground 
        transportation technologies.
  (3) The Secretary shall solicit comments from the public in 
the development of the Policy and may consult with other 
Federal agencies as appropriate in drafting the Policy.

                             * * * * * * *

                     SUBCHAPTER II. ADMINISTRATIVE

Sec. 333. Responsibility for rail transportation unification and 
                    coordination projects

  (a) The Secretary of Transportation may develop and make 
available to interested persons any plans, proposals, and 
recommendations for mergers, consolidations, reorganizations, 
and other unification or coordination projects for rail 
transportation (including arrangements for joint use of tracks 
and other facilities and acquisition or sale of assets) that 
the Secretary believes will result in a rail system that is 
more efficient and consistent with the public interest.
  (b) To achieve a more efficient, economical, and viable rail 
system in the private sector, the Secretary, when requested by 
a rail carrier and under this section, may assist in planning, 
negotiating, and carrying out a unification or coordination of 
operations and facilities of at least 2 rail carriers.
  (c)(1) The Secretary may conduct studies to determine the 
potential cost savings and possible improvements in the quality 
of rail transportation that are likely to result from 
unification or coordination of at least 2 rail carriers, 
through--
          (A) elimination of duplicating or overlapping 
        operations and facilities;
          (B) reducing switching operations;
          (C) using the shortest or more efficient and 
        economical routes;
          (D) exchanging trackage rights;
          (E) combining trackage and terminal or other 
        facilities;
          (F) upgrading tracks and other facilities used by at 
        least 2 rail carriers;
          (G) reducing administrative and other expenses; and
          (H) other measures likely to reduce costs and improve 
        rail transportation.
  (2) When the Secretary requests information for a study under 
this section, a rail carrier shall provide the information 
requested. In carrying out this section, the Secretary may 
designate an officer or employee to get from a rail carrier 
information on the kind, quality, origin, destination, 
consignor, consignee, and routing of property. This information 
may be obtained without the consent of the consignor or 
consignee notwithstanding section 11904 of this title. When 
appropriate, the designated officer or employee has the powers 
described in section 203(c) of the Regional Rail Reorganization 
Act of 1973 to carry out this section, but a subpena must be 
issued under the signature of the Secretary.
  (d)(1) When requested by a rail carrier, the Secretary may 
hold conferences on and mediate disputes resulting from a 
proposed unification or coordination project. The Secretary may 
invite to a conference--
          (A) officers and directors of an affected rail 
        carrier;
          (B) representatives of rail carrier employees who may 
        be affected;
          (C) representatives of the [Interstate Commerce 
        Commission;] Surfrace Transportation Board;
          (D) State and local government officials, shippers, 
        and consumer representatives; and
          (E) representatives of the Federal Trade Commission 
        and the Attorney General.
  (2) A person attending or represented at a conference on a 
proposed unification or coordination project is not liable 
under the antitrust laws of the United States for any 
discussion at the conference and for any agreements reached at 
the conference, that are entered into with the approval of the 
Secretary to achieve or determine a plan of action to carry out 
the unification or coordination project.
  (e) When the approval of a proposal submitted by a rail 
carrier for a merger or other action is subject to the 
jurisdiction of the [Interstate Commerce Commission] Surface 
Transportation Board under section 11323(a) of this title, the 
Secretary may study the proposal to decide whether it satisfies 
section 11324(b) of this title. When the proposal is the 
subject of an application and proceeding before the 
[Commission,] Board, the Secretary may appear in any proceeding 
related to the application.

                             * * * * * * *

                     SUBCHAPTER III. MISCELLANEOUS

Sec. 351. Judicial review of actions in carrying out certain 
                    transferred duties and powers

  (a) Judicial Review.--An action of the Secretary of 
Transportation in carrying out a duty or power transferred 
under the Department of Transportation Act (Public Law 89-670, 
80 Stat. 931), or an action of the Administrator of the Federal 
Railroad Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, or 
the Federal Aviation Administration in carrying out a duty or 
power specifically assigned to the Administrator by that Act, 
may be reviewed judicially to the same extent and in the same 
way as if the action had been an action by the department, 
agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government 
carrying out the duty or power immediately before the transfer 
or assignment.
  (b) Application of Procedural Requirements.--A statutory 
requirement related to notice, an opportunity for a hearing, 
action on the record, or administrative review that applied to 
a duty or power transferred by the Act applies to the Secretary 
or Administrator when carrying out the duty or power.
  (c) Nonapplication.--This section does not apply to a duty or 
power transferred from the [Interstate Commerce Commission] 
Surface Transportation Board to the Secretary under section 
6(e)(1)-(4) and (6)(A) of the Act.

                       SUBTITLE V. RAIL PROGRAMS

                             PART A. SAFETY

                          CHAPTER 201. GENERAL

                         SUBCHAPTER I. GENERAL

Sec. 20103. General authority

  (a) Regulations and Orders.--The Secretary of Transportation, 
as necessary, shall prescribe regulations and issue orders for 
every area of railroad [safety], safety, including the security 
of railroad operations, supplementing laws and regulations in 
effect on October 16, 1970.
  (b) Regulations of practice for proceedings.--The Secretary 
shall prescribe regulations of practice applicable to each 
proceeding under this chapter. The regulations shall reflect 
the varying nature of the proceedings and include time limits 
for disposition of the proceedings. The time limit for 
disposition of a proceeding may not be more than 12 months 
after the date it begins.
  (c) Consideration of Information and Standards.--In 
prescribing regulations and issuing orders under this section, 
the Secretary shall consider existing relevant safety 
information and standards.
  (d) Waivers.--The Secretary may waive compliance with any 
part of a regulation prescribed or order issued under this 
chapter if the waiver is in the public interest and consistent 
with railroad safety. The Secretary shall make public the 
reasons for granting the waiver.
  (e) Hearings.--The Secretary shall conduct a hearing as 
provided by section 553 of title 5 when prescribing a 
regulation or issuing an order under this chapter, including a 
regulation or order establishing, amending, or waiving 
compliance with a railroad safety regulation prescribed or 
order issued under this chapter. An opportunity for an oral 
presentation shall be provided.
  (f) Tourist Railroad Carriers.--In prescribing regulations 
that pertain to railroad safety that affect tourist, historic, 
scenic, or excursion railroad carriers, the Secretary of 
Transportation shall take into consideration any financial, 
operational, or other factors that may be unique to such 
railroad carriers. The Secretary shall submit a report to 
Congress not later than September 30, 1995, on actions taken 
under this subsection.

                             * * * * * * *

                    PART C. PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION

                          CHAPTER 241. GENERAL

Sec. 24102. Definitions

  In this part--
          (1) ``auto-ferry transportation'' means intercity 
        rail passenger transportation--
                  (A) of automobiles or recreational vehicles 
                and their occupants; and
                  (B) when space is available, of used 
                unoccupied vehicles.
          [(2) ``basic system'' means the system of intercity 
        rail passenger transportation designated by the 
        Secretary of Transportation under section 4 of the 
        Amtrak Improvement Act of 1978 and approved by 
        Congress, and transportation required to be provided 
        under section 24705(a) of this title and section 4(g) 
        of the Act, including changes in the system or 
        transportation that Amtrak makes using the route and 
        service criteria.]
          [(3)] (2) ``commuter authority'' means a State, 
        local, or regional entity established to provide, or 
        make a contract providing for, commuter rail passenger 
        transportation.
          [(4)] (3) ``commuter rail passenger transportation'' 
        means short-haul rail passenger transportation in 
        metropolitan and suburban areas usually having reduced 
        fare, multiple-ride, and commuter tickets and morning 
        and evening peak period operations.
          [(5)] (4) ``intercity rail passenger transportation'' 
        means rail passenger transportation, except commuter 
        rail passenger transportation.
          (5) ``national rail passenger transportation system'' 
        means--
                  (A) the segment of the Northeast Corridor 
                between Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, 
                D.C.;
                  (B) rail corridors that have been designated 
                by the Secretary of Transportation as high-
                speed corridors, but only after they have been 
                improved to permit operation of high-speed 
                service;
                  (C) long-distance routes of more than 750 
                miles between endpoints operated by Amtrak as 
                of the date of enactment of the National 
                Defense Rail Act; and
                  (D) short-distance corridors or routes 
                operated as of the date of enactment of the 
                National Defense Rail Act, unless discontinued 
                by Amtrak.
          (6) ``Northeast Corridor'' means Connecticut, 
        Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, 
        Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and 
        Rhode Island.
          (7) ``rail carrier'' means a person, including a unit 
        of State or local government, providing rail 
        transportation for compensation.
          (8) ``rate'' means a rate, fare, or charge for rail 
        transportation.
          (9) ``regional transportation authority'' means an 
        entity established to provide passenger transportation 
        in a region.

                             * * * * * * *

                          CHAPTER 241. GENERAL

Sec. 24101. Findings, purpose, and goals

  (a) Findings.--
          (1) Public convenience and necessity require that 
        Amtrak, to the extent its budget allows, provide 
        modern, cost-efficient, and energy-efficient intercity 
        rail passenger transportation between crowded urban 
        areas and in other areas of the United States.
          (2) Rail passenger transportation can help alleviate 
        overcrowding of airways and airports and on highways.
          (3) A traveler in the United States should have the 
        greatest possible choice of transportation most 
        convenient to the needs of the traveler.
          (4) A greater degree of cooperation is necessary 
        among Amtrak, other rail carriers, State, regional, and 
        local governments, the private sector, labor 
        organizations, and suppliers of services and equipment 
        to Amtrak to achieve a performance level sufficient to 
        justify expending public money.
          (5) Modern and efficient commuter rail passenger 
        transportation is important to the viability and well-
        being of major urban areas and to the energy 
        conservation and self-sufficiency goals of the United 
        States.
          (6) As a rail passenger transportation entity, Amtrak 
        should be available to operate commuter rail passenger 
        transportation through its subsidiary, Amtrak Commuter, 
        under contract with commuter authorities that do not 
        provide the transportation themselves as part of the 
        governmental function of the State.
          (7) The Northeast Corridor is a valuable resource of 
        the United States used by intercity and commuter rail 
        passenger transportation and freight transportation.
          (8) Greater coordination between intercity and 
        commuter rail passenger transportation is required.
  (b) Purpose.--By using innovative operating and marketing 
concepts, Amtrak shall provide intercity and commuter rail 
passenger transportation that completely develops the potential 
of modern rail transportation to meet the intercity and 
commuter passenger transportation needs of the United States.
  (c) Goals.--Amtrak shall--
          (1) use its best business judgment in acting to 
        minimize United States Government subsidies, 
        including--
                  (A) increasing fares;
                  (B) increasing revenue from the 
                transportation of mail and express;
                  (C) reducing losses on food service;
                  (D) improving its contracts with operating 
                rail carriers;
                  (E) reducing management costs; and
                  (F) increasing employee productivity;
          (2) minimize Government subsidies by encouraging 
        State, regional, and local governments and the private 
        sector, separately or in combination, to share the cost 
        of providing rail passenger transportation, including 
        the cost of operating facilities;
          (3) carry out strategies to achieve immediately 
        maximum productivity and efficiency consistent with 
        safe and efficient transportation;
          (4) operate Amtrak trains, to the maximum extent 
        feasible, to all station stops within 15 minutes of the 
        time established in public timetables;
          (5) develop transportation on rail corridors 
        subsidized by States and private parties;
          (6) implement schedules based on a systemwide average 
        speed of at least 60 miles an hour that can be achieved 
        with a degree of reliability and passenger comfort;
          (7) encourage rail carriers to assist in improving 
        intercity rail passenger transportation;
          (8) improve generally the performance of Amtrak 
        through comprehensive and systematic operational 
        programs and employee incentives;
          (9) carry out policies that ensure equitable access 
        to the Northeast Corridor by intercity and commuter 
        rail passenger transportation;
          (10) coordinate the uses of the Northeast Corridor, 
        particularly intercity and commuter rail passenger 
        transportation; and
          (11) maximize the use of its resources, including the 
        most cost-effective use of employees, facilities, and 
        real property.
  (d) Minimizing Government Subsidies.--To carry out subsection 
(c)(11) of this section, Amtrak is encouraged to make 
agreements with the private sector and undertake initiatives 
that are consistent with good business judgment and designed to 
maximize its revenues and minimize Government subsidies. Amtrak 
shall prepare a financial plan to operate within the funding 
levels authorized by section 24104 of this chapter, including 
budgetary goals for fiscal years 1998 through 2002. [Commencing 
no later than the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary 
of the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997, Amtrak 
shall operate without Federal operating grant funds 
appropriated for its benefit.]

                             * * * * * * *

                          CHAPTER 241. GENERAL

Sec. 24104. Authorization of appropriations

  (a) In general.--There are authorized to be appropriated to 
the Secretary of Transportation--
          (1) $1,138,000,000 for fiscal year 1998;
          (2) $1,058,000,000 for fiscal year 1999;
          (3) $1,023,000,000 for fiscal year 2000;
          (4) $989,000,000 for fiscal year 2001; and
          (5) $955,000,000 for fiscal year 2002, for the 
        benefit of Amtrak for capital expenditures under 
        chapters 243, 247, and 249 of this title, operating 
        expenses, and payments described in subsection (c)(1) 
        (A) through (C). [In fiscal years following the fifth 
        anniversary of the enactment of the Amtrak Reform and 
        Accountability Act of 1997 no funds authorized for 
        Amtrak shall be used for operating expenses other than 
        those prescribed for tax liabilities under section 3221 
        of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that are more than 
        the amount needed for benefits of individuals who 
        retire from Amtrak and for their beneficiaries.]
  (b) Operating Expenses.--
          (1) Not more than $381,000,000 may be appropriated to 
        the Secretary for each of the fiscal years ending 
        September 30, 1993, and September 30, 1994, for the 
        benefit of Amtrak for operating expenses. Not more than 
        5 percent of the amounts appropriated for each fiscal 
        year shall be used to pay operating expenses under 
        section 24704 of this title for transportation in 
        operation on September 30, 1992.
          (2)(A) Not more than the following amounts may be 
        appropriated to the Secretary for the benefit of Amtrak 
        for operating losses under section 24704 of this title 
        for transportation beginning after September 30, 1992:
                  (i) $7,500,000 for the fiscal year ending 
                September 30, 1993.
                  (ii) $9,500,000 for the fiscal year ending 
                September 30, 1994.
          (B) The expenditure by Amtrak of an amount 
        appropriated under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph 
        is deemed not to be an operating expense when 
        calculating the revenue-to-operating expense ratio of 
        Amtrak.
  (c) Mandatory Payments.--
          (1) Not more than $150,000,000 for the fiscal year 
        ending September 30, 1993, and amounts that may be 
        necessary for the fiscal year ending September 30, 
        1994, may be appropriated to the Secretary to pay--
                  (A) tax liabilities under section 3221 of the 
                Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 3221) 
                due in those fiscal years that are more than 
                the amount needed for benefits for individuals 
                who retire from Amtrak and for their 
                beneficiaries;
                  (B) obligations of Amtrak under section 8(a) 
                of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (45 
                U.S.C. 358(a)) due in those fiscal years that 
                are more than obligations of Amtrak calculated 
                on an experience-related basis; and
                  (C) obligations of Amtrak due under section 
                3321 of the Code (26 U.S.C. 3321).
          (2) Amounts appropriated under this subsection are 
        not a United States Government subsidy of Amtrak.
  (d) Payment to Amtrak.--Amounts appropriated under this 
section shall be paid to Amtrak under the budget request of the 
Secretary as approved or modified by Congress when the amounts 
are appropriated. A payment may not be made more frequently 
than once every 90 days, unless Amtrak, for good cause, 
requests more frequent payment before a 90-day period ends. In 
each fiscal year in which amounts are authorized to be 
appropriated under this section, amounts appropriated shall be 
paid to Amtrak as follows:
          (1) 50 percent on October 1.
          (2) 25 percent on January 1.
          (3) 25 percent on April 1.
  (e) Availability of Amounts and Early Appropriations.--
          (1) Amounts appropriated under this section remain 
        available until expended.
          (2) Amounts for capital acquisitions and improvements 
        may be appropriated in a fiscal year before the fiscal 
        year in which the amounts will be obligated.
  (f) Limitations on Use.--Amounts appropriated under this 
section may not be used to subsidize operating losses of 
commuter rail passenger or rail freight transportation.

                             * * * * * * *

[Sec. 24302. Board of Directors

  [(a) Reform Board.--
          [(1) Establishment and duties.--The Reform Board 
        described in paragraph (2) shall assume the 
        responsibilities of the Board of Directors of Amtrak by 
        March 31, 1998, or as soon thereafter as at least 4 
        members have been appointed and qualified. The Board 
        appointed under prior law shall be abolished when the 
        Reform Board assumes such responsibilities.
          [(2) Membership.--
                  [(A)(i) The Reform Board shall consist of 7 
                voting members appointed by the President, by 
                and with the advice and consent of the Senate, 
                for a term of 5 years.
                  [(ii) Notwithstanding clause (i), if the 
                Secretary of Transportation is appointed to the 
                Reform Board, such appointment shall not be 
                subject to the advice and consent of the 
                Senate. If appointed, the Secretary may be 
                represented at Board meetings by his designee.
                  [(B) In selecting the individuals described 
                in subparagraph (A) for nominations for 
                appointments to the Reform Board, the President 
                should consult with the Speaker of the House of 
                Representatives, the Minority Leader of the 
                House of Representatives, the Majority Leader 
                of the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the 
                Senate.
                  [(C) Appointments under subparagraph (A) 
                shall be made from among individuals who--
                          [(i) have technical qualifications, 
                        professional standing, and demonstrated 
                        expertise in the fields of 
                        transportation or corporate or 
                        financial management;
                          [(ii) are not representatives of rail 
                        labor or rail management; and
                          [(iii) in the case of 6 of the 7 
                        individuals selected, are not employees 
                        of Amtrak or of the United States.
                  [(D) The President of Amtrak shall serve as 
                an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Reform 
                Board.
          [(3) Confirmation procedure in Senate.--
                  [(A) This paragraph is enacted by the 
                Congress--
                          [(i) as an exercise of the rulemaking 
                        power of the Senate, and as such it is 
                        deemed a part of the rules of the 
                        Senate, but applicable only with 
                        respect to the procedure to be followed 
                        in the Senate in the case of a motion 
                        to discharge; and it supersedes other 
                        rules only to the extent that it is 
                        inconsistent therewith; and
                          [(ii) with full recognition of the 
                        constitutional right of the Senate to 
                        change the rules (so far as relating to 
                        the procedure of the Senate) at any 
                        time, in the same manner and to the 
                        same extent as in the case of any other 
                        rule of the Senate.
                  [(B) If, by the first day of June on which 
                the Senate is in session after a nomination is 
                submitted to the Senate under this section, the 
                committee to which the nomination was referred 
                has not reported the nomination, then it shall 
                be discharged from further consideration of the 
                nomination and the nomination shall be placed 
                on the Executive Calendar.
                  [(C) It shall be in order at any time 
                thereafter to move to proceed to the 
                consideration of the nomination without any 
                intervening action or debate.
                  [(D) After no more than 10 hours of debate on 
                the nomination, which shall be evenly divided 
                between, and controlled by, the Majority Leader 
                and the Minority Leader, the Senate shall 
                proceed without intervening action to vote on 
                the nomination.
  [(b) Board of Directors.--Five years after the establishment 
of the Reform Board under subsection (a), a Board of Directors 
shall be selected--
          [(1) if Amtrak has, during the then current fiscal 
        year, received Federal assistance, in accordance with 
        the procedures set forth in subsection (a)(2); or
          [(2) if Amtrak has not, during the then current 
        fiscal year, received Federal assistance, pursuant to 
        bylaws adopted by the Reform Board (which shall provide 
        for employee representation), and the Reform Board 
        shall be dissolved.
  [(c) Authority to Recommend Plan.--The Reform Board shall 
have the authority to recommend to the Congress a plan to 
implement the recommendations of the 1997 Working Group on 
Inter-City Rail regarding the transfer of Amtrak's 
infrastructure assets and responsibilities to a new separately 
governed corporation.]

Sec. 24302. Board of directors

  (a) Composition and Terms.--
          (1) The board of directors of Amtrak is composed of 
        the following 9 directors, each of whom must be a 
        citizen of the United States:
                  (A) The President of Amtrak.
                  (B) The Secretary of Transportation.
                  (C) 7 individuals appointed by the President 
                of the United States, by and with the advice 
                and consent of the Senate, with an interest, 
                experience, and qualifications in or directly 
                related to rail transportation, including 
                representatives of the passenger rail 
                transportation, travel, hospitality, cruise 
                line, and passenger air transportation 
                businesses, and consumers of passenger rail 
                transportation.
          (2) An individual appointed under paragraph (1)(C) of 
        this subsection serves for 5 years or until the 
        individual's successor is appointed and qualified. Not 
        more than 4 individuals appointed under paragraph 
        (1)(C) may be members of the same political party.
          (3) The board shall elect a chairman and a vice 
        chairman from among its membership. The vice chairman 
        shall serve as chairman in the absence of the chairman.
          (4) The Secretary may be represented at board 
        meetings by the Secretary's designee.
  (b) Pay and Expenses.--Each director not employed by the 
United States Government is entitled to $300 a day when 
performing board duties and powers. Each director is entitled 
to reimbursement for necessary travel, reasonable secretarial 
and professional staff support, and subsistence expenses 
incurred in attending board meetings.
  (c) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the board is filled in the same 
way as the original selection, except that an individual 
appointed by the President of the United States under 
subsection (a)(1)(C) of this section to fill a vacancy 
occurring before the end of the term for which the predecessor 
of that individual was appointed is appointed for the remainder 
of that term. A vacancy required to be filled by appointment 
under subsection (a)(1)(C) must be filled not later than 120 
days after the vacancy occurs.
  (d) Bylaws.--The board may adopt and amend bylaws governing 
the operation of Amtrak. The bylaws shall be consistent with 
this part and the articles of incorporation.
  (e) Conflicts of Interest.--Subparts D, E, and F of part 2635 
of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, shall apply to members 
of the board of directors during their term of office in the 
same manner as if they were employees of an executive agency 
(as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code).

Sec. 24303. Officers

  (a) Appointment and terms.--Amtrak has a President and other 
officers that are named and appointed by the board of directors 
of Amtrak. An officer of Amtrak must be a citizen of the United 
States. Officers of Amtrak serve at the pleasure of the board.
  (b) Pay.--The board may fix the pay of the officers of 
Amtrak. An officer may not be paid more than the general level 
of pay for officers of rail carriers with comparable 
responsibility. The preceding sentence shall not apply for any 
fiscal year for which no Federal assistance is provided to 
Amtrak.
  [(c) Conflicts of interest.--When employed by Amtrak, an 
officer may not have a financial or employment relationship 
with another rail carrier, except that holding securities 
issued by a rail carrier is not deemed to be a violation of 
this subsection if the officer holding the securities makes a 
complete public disclosure of the holdings and does not 
participate in any decision directly affecting the rail 
carrier.]
  (c) Conflicts of Interest.--Subparts D, E, and F of part 2635 
of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, shall apply to 
officers when employed by Amtrak in the same manner as if they 
were employees of an executive agency (as defined in section 
105 of title 5, United States Code).

                             * * * * * * *

Sec. 24307. Special transportation

  (a) Reduced Fare Program.--Amtrak shall maintain a reduced 
fare program for the following:
          (1) individuals at least 65 years of age.
          (2) individuals (except alcoholics and drug abusers) 
        who--
                  (A) have a physical or mental impairment that 
                substantially limits a major life activity of 
                the individual;
                  (B) have a record of an impairment; or
                  (C) are regarded as having an impairment.
  (b) Employee Transportation.--
          (1) In this subsection, ``rail carrier employee'' 
        means--
                  (A) an active full-time employee of a rail 
                carrier or terminal company and includes an 
                employee on furlough or leave of absence;
                  (B) a retired employee of a rail carrier or 
                terminal company; and
                  (C) a dependent of an employee referred to in 
                clause (A) or (B) of this paragraph.
          (2) Amtrak shall ensure that a rail carrier employee 
        eligible for free or reduced-rate rail transportation 
        on April 30, 1971, under an agreement in effect on that 
        date is eligible, to the greatest extent practicable, 
        for free or reduced-rate intercity rail passenger 
        transportation provided by Amtrak under this par, if 
        space is available, on terms similar to those available 
        on that date under the agreement. However, Amtrak may 
        apply to all rail carrier employees eligible to receive 
        free or reduced-rate transportation under any agreement 
        a single systemwide schedule of terms that Amtrak 
        decides applied to a majority of employees on that date 
        under all those agreements. Unless Amtrak and a rail 
        carrier make a different agreement, the carrier shall 
        reimburse Amtrak at the rate of 25 percent of the 
        systemwide average monthly yield of each revenue 
        passenger-mile. The reimbursement is in place of costs 
        Amtrak incurs related to free or reduced-rate 
        transportation, including liability related to travel 
        of a rail carrier employee eligible for free or 
        reduced-rate transportation.
          (3) This subsection does not prohibit the [Interstate 
        Commerce Commission] Surface Transportation Board from 
        ordering retroactive relief in a proceeding begun or 
        reopened after October 1, 1981.

Sec. 24308. Use of facilities and providing services to Amtrak

  (a) General Authority.--
          (1) Amtrak may make an agreement with a rail carrier 
        or regional transportation authority to use facilities 
        of, and have services provided by, the carrier or 
        authority under terms on which the parties agree. The 
        terms shall include a penalty for untimely performance.
          (2)(A) If the parties cannot agree and if the 
        [Interstate Commerce Commission] Surface Transportation 
        Board finds it necessary to carry out this part, the 
        [Commission] Board shall--
                  (i) order that the facilities be made 
                available and the services provided to Amtrak; 
                and
                  (ii) prescribe reasonable terms and 
                compensation for using the facilities and 
                providing the services.
          (B) When prescribing reasonable compensation under 
        subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the [Commission] 
        Board shall consider quality of service as a major 
        factor when determining whether, and the extent to 
        which, the amount of compensation shall be greater than 
        the incremental costs of using the facilities and 
        providing the services.
          (C) The [Commission] Board shall decide the dispute 
        not later than 90 days after Amtrak submits the dispute 
        to the [Commission.] Board.
          (3) Amtrak's right to use the facilities or have the 
        services provided is conditioned on payment of the 
        compensation. If the compensation is not paid promptly, 
        the rail carrier or authority entitled to it may bring 
        an action against Amtrak to recover the amount owed.
          (4) Amtrak shall seek immediate and appropriate legal 
        remedies to enforce its contract rights when track 
        maintenance on a route over which Amtrak operates falls 
        below the contractual standard.
  (b) Operating During EmergenciesK.--To facilitate operation 
by Amtrak during an emergency, the [Commission,] Board, on 
application by Amtrak, shall require a rail carrier to provide 
facilities immediately during the emergency. The [Commission] 
Board then shall promptly prescribe reasonable terms, including 
indemnification of the carrier by Amtrak against personal 
injury risk to which the carrier may be exposed. The rail 
carrier shall provide the facilities for the duration of the 
emergency.
  (c) Preference Over Freight Transportation.--Except in an 
emergency, intercity and commuter rail passenger transportation 
provided by or for Amtrak has preference over freight 
transportation in using a rail line, junction, or crossing 
unless the Secretary of Transportation orders otherwise under 
this subsection. A rail carrier affected by this subsection may 
apply to the Secretary for relief. If the Secretary, after an 
opportunity for a hearing under section 553 of title 5, decides 
that preference for intercity and commuter rail passenger 
transportation materially will lessen the quality of freight 
transportation provided to shippers, the Secretary shall 
establish the rights of the carrier and Amtrak on reasonable 
terms.
  (d) Accelerated Speeds.--If a rail carrier refuses to allow 
accelerated speeds on trains operated by or for Amtrak, Amtrak 
may apply to the Secretary for an order requiring the carrier 
to allow the accelerated speeds. The Secretary shall decide 
whether accelerated speeds are unsafe or impracticable and 
which improvements would be required to make accelerated speeds 
safe and practicable. After an opportunity for a hearing, the 
Secretary shall establish the maximum allowable speeds of 
Amtrak trains on terms the Secretary decides are reasonable.
  (e) Additional Trains.--
          (1) When a rail carrier does not agree to provide, or 
        allow Amtrak to provide, for the operation of 
        additional trains over a rail line of the carrier, 
        Amtrak may apply to the Secretary for an order 
        requiring the carrier to provide or allow for the 
        operation of the requested trains. After a hearing on 
        the record, the Secretary may order the carrier, within 
        60 days, to provide or allow for the operation of the 
        requested trains on a schedule based on legally 
        permissible operating times. However, if the Secretary 
        decides not to hold a hearing, the Secretary, not later 
        than 30 days after receiving the application, shall 
        publish in the Federal Register the reasons for the 
        decision not to hold the hearing.
          (2) The Secretary shall consider--
                  (A) when conducting a hearing, whether an 
                order would impair unreasonably freight 
                transportation of the rail carrier, with the 
                carrier having the burden of demonstrating that 
                the additional trains will impair the freight 
                transportation; and
                  (B) when establishing scheduled running 
                times, the statutory goal of Amtrak to 
                implement schedules that attain a system-wide 
                average speed of at least 60 miles an hour that 
                can be adhered to with a high degree of 
                reliability and passenger comfort.
          (3) Unless the parties have an agreement that 
        establishes the compensation Amtrak will pay the 
        carrier for additional trains provided under an order 
        under this subsection, the [Commission] Board shall 
        decide the dispute under subsection (a) of this 
        section.
  (f) On-time Performance.--If the on-time performance of any 
intercity passenger train averages less than 80 percent for any 
consecutive 3-month period, Amtrak may petition the Surface 
Transportation Board to investigate whether, and to what 
extent, delays are due to causes that could reasonably be 
addressed by a rail carrier over the tracks of which the 
intercity passenger train operates, or by a regional authority 
providing commuter service, if any. In carrying out such an 
investigation, the Surface Transportation Board shall obtain 
information from all parties involved and make recommendations 
regarding reasonable measures to improve the on-time 
performance of the train.

                             * * * * * * *

Sec. 24311. Acquiring interests in property by eminent domain

  (a) General Authority.--
          (1) To the extent financial resources are available, 
        Amtrak may acquire by eminent domain under subsection 
        (b) of this section interests in property--
                  (A) necessary for intercity rail passenger 
                transportation, except property of a rail 
                carrier, a State, a political subdivision of a 
                State, or a governmental authority; or
                  (B) requested by the Secretary of 
                Transportation in carrying out the Secretary's 
                duty to design and build an intermodal 
                transportation terminal at Union Station in the 
                District of Columbia if the Secretary assures 
                Amtrak that the Secretary will reimburse 
                Amtrak.
          (2) Amtrak may exercise the power of eminent domain 
        only if it cannot--
                  (A) acquire the interest in the property by 
                contract; or
                  (B) agree with the owner on the purchase 
                price for the interest.
  (b) Civil Actions.--
          (1) A civil action to acquire an interest in property 
        by eminent domain under subsection (a) of this section 
        must be brought in the district court of the United 
        States for the judicial district in which the property 
        is located or, if a single piece of property is located 
        in more than one judicial district, in any judicial 
        district in which any piece of the property is located. 
        An interest is condemned and taken by Amtrak for its 
        use when a declaration of taking is filed under this 
        subsection and an amount of money estimated in the 
        declaration to be just compensation for the interest is 
        deposited in the court. The declaration may be filed 
        with the complaint in the action or at any time before 
        judgment. The declaration must contain or be 
        accompanied by--
                  (A) a statement of the public use for which 
                the interest is taken;
                  (B) a description of the property sufficient 
                to identify it;
                  (C) a statement of the interest in the 
                property taken;
                  (D) a plan showing the interest taken; and
                  (E) a statement of the amount of money Amtrak 
                estimates is just compensation for the 
                interest.
          (2) When the declaration is filed and the deposit is 
        made under paragraph (1) of this subsection, title to 
        the property vests in Amtrak in fee simple absolute or 
        in the lesser interest shown in the declaration, and 
        the right to the money vests in the person entitled to 
        the money. When the declaration is filed, the court may 
        decide--
                  (A) the time by which, and the terms under 
                which, possession of the property is given to 
                Amtrak; and
                  (B) the disposition of outstanding charges 
                related to the property.
          (3) After a hearing, the court shall make a finding 
        on the amount that is just compensation for the 
        interest in the property and enter judgment awarding 
        that amount and interest on it. The rate of interest is 
        6 percent a year and is computed on the amount of the 
        award less the amount deposited in the court from the 
        date of taking to the date of payment.
          (4) On application of a party, the court may order 
        immediate payment of any part of the amount deposited 
        in the court for the compensation to be awarded. If the 
        award is more than the amount received, the court shall 
        enter judgment against Amtrak for the deficiency.
  (c) Authority to Condemn Rail Carrier Property Interests.--
          (1) If Amtrak and a rail carrier cannot agree on a 
        sale to Amtrak of an interest in property of a rail 
        carrier necessary for intercity rail passenger 
        transportation, Amtrak may apply to the [Interstate 
        Commerce Commission] Surfrace Transportation Board for 
        an order establishing the need of Amtrak for the 
        interest and requiring the carrier to convey the 
        interest on reasonable terms, including just 
        compensation. The need of Amtrak is deemed to be 
        established, and the [Commission,] Board, after holding 
        an expedited proceeding and not later than 120 days 
        after receiving the application, shall order the 
        interest conveyed unless the [Commission] Board decides 
        that--
                  (A) conveyance would impair significantly the 
                ability of the carrier to carry out its 
                obligations as a common carrier; and
                  (B) the obligations of Amtrak to provide 
                modern, efficient, and economical rail 
                passenger transportation can be met adequately 
                by acquiring an interest in other property, 
                either by sale or by exercising its right of 
                eminent domain under subsection (a) of this 
                section.
          (2) If the amount of compensation is not determined 
        by the date of the Commission's order, the order shall 
        require, as part of the compensation, interest at 6 
        percent a year from the date prescribed for the 
        conveyance until the compensation is paid.
          (3) Amtrak subsequently may reconvey to a third party 
        an interest conveyed to Amtrak under this subsection or 
        prior comparable provision of law if the [Commission] 
        Board decides that the reconveyance will carry out the 
        purposes of this part, regardless of when the 
        proceeding was brought (including a proceeding pending 
        before a United States court on November 28, 1990).

                             * * * * * * *

                    CHAPTER 247. AMTRAK ROUTE SYSTEM

Sec. 24702. Transportation requested by States, authorities, and other 
                    persons

  (a) Contracts for Transportation.--Amtrak and a State, a 
regional or local authority, or another person may enter into a 
contract for Amtrak to operate an intercity rail service or 
route not included in the national rail passenger 
transportation system upon such terms as the parties thereto 
may agree.
  (b) Discontinuance.--Upon termination of a contract entered 
into under this section, or the cessation of financial support 
under such a contract, Amtrak may discontinue such service or 
route, notwithstanding any other provision of law.

                             * * * * * * *

          CHAPTER 249. NORTHEAST CORRIDOR IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

Sec. 24902. GOALS AND REQUIREMENTS

  (a) Managing Costs and Revenues.--Amtrak shall manage its 
operating costs, pricing policies, and other factors with the 
goal of having revenues derived each fiscal year from providing 
intercity rail passenger transportation over the Northeast 
Corridor route between the District of Columbia and Boston, 
Massachusetts, equal at least the operating costs of providing 
that transportation in that fiscal year.
  (b) Priorities in Selecting and Scheduling Projects.--When 
selecting and scheduling specific projects, Amtrak shall apply 
the following considerations, in the following order of 
priority:
          (1) Safety-related items should be completed before 
        other items because the safety of the passengers and 
        users of the Northeast Corridor is paramount.
          (2) Activities that benefit the greatest number of 
        passengers should be completed before activities 
        involving fewer passengers.
          (3) Reliability of intercity rail passenger 
        transportation must be emphasized.
          (4) Trip-time requirements of this section must be 
        achieved to the extent compatible with the priorities 
        referred to in paragraphs (1)-(3) of this subsection.
          (5) Improvements that will pay for the investment by 
        achieving lower operating or maintenance costs should 
        be carried out before other improvements.
          (6) Construction operations should be scheduled so 
        that the fewest possible passengers are inconvenienced, 
        transportation is maintained, and the on-time 
        performance of Northeast Corridor commuter rail 
        passenger and rail freight transportation is optimized.
          (7) Planning should focus on completing activities 
        that will provide immediate benefits to users of the 
        Northeast Corridor.
  (c) Compatibility with Future Improvements and Production of 
Maximum Labor Benefits.--Improvements under this section shall 
be compatible with future improvements in transportation and 
shall produce the maximum labor benefit from hiring individuals 
presently unemployed.
  (d) Automatic Train Control Systems.--A train operating on 
the Northeast Corridor main line or between the main line and 
Atlantic City shall be equipped with an automatic train control 
system designed to slow or stop the train in response to an 
external signal.
  (e) High-speed Transportation.--If practicable, Amtrak shall 
establish intercity rail passenger transportation in the 
Northeast Corridor that carries out section 703(1)(E) of the 
Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 
(Public Law 94-210, 90 Stat. 121).
  (f) Equipment Development.--Amtrak shall develop economical 
and reliable equipment compatible with track, operating, and 
marketing characteristics of the Northeast Corridor, including 
the capability to meet reliable trip times under section 
703(1)(E) of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform 
Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-210, 90 Stat. 121) in regularly 
scheduled revenue transportation in the Corridor, when the 
Northeast Corridor improvement program is completed. Amtrak 
must decide that equipment complies with this subsection before 
buying equipment with financial assistance of the Government. 
Amtrak shall submit a request for an authorization of 
appropriations for production of the equipment.
  (g) Agreements for Off-corridor Routing of Rail Freight 
Transportation.--
          (1) Amtrak may make an agreement with a rail freight 
        carrier or a regional transportation authority under 
        which the carrier will carry out an alternate off-
        corridor routing of rail freight transportation over 
        rail lines in the Northeast Corridor between the 
        District of Columbia and New York metropolitan areas, 
        including intermediate points. The agreement shall be 
        for at least 5 years.
          (2) Amtrak shall apply to the [Interstate Commerce 
        Commission] Surface Transportation Board for approval 
        of the agreement and all related agreements 
        accompanying the application as soon as the agreement 
        is made. If the [Commission] Board finds that approval 
        is necessary to carry out this chapter, the 
        [Commission] Board, shall approve the application and 
        related agreements not later than 90 days after 
        receiving the application.
          (3) If an agreement is not made under paragraph (1) 
        of this subsection, Amtrak, with the consent of the 
        other parties, may apply to the [Interstate Commerce 
        Commission.] Not later than 90 days after the 
        application, the [Commission] Board shall decide on the 
        terms of an agreement if it decides that doing so is 
        necessary to carry out this chapter. The decision of 
        the [Commission] Board is binding on the other parties.
  (h) Coordination.--
          (1) The Secretary of Transportation shall 
        coordinate--
                  (A) transportation programs related to the 
                Northeast Corridor to ensure that the programs 
                are integrated and consistent with the 
                Northeast Corridor improvement program; and
                  (B) amounts from departments, agencies, and 
                instrumentalities of the Government to achieve 
                urban redevelopment and revitalization in the 
                vicinity of urban rail stations in the 
                Northeast Corridor served by intercity and 
                commuter rail passenger transportation.
          (2) If the Secretary finds significant noncompliance 
        with this section, the Secretary may deny financing to 
        a noncomplying program until the noncompliance is 
        corrected.
  (i) Completion.--Amtrak shall give the highest priority to 
completing the program.
  (j) Applicable Procedures.--No State or local building, 
zoning, subdivision, or similar or related law, nor any other 
State or local law from which a project would be exempt if 
undertaken by the Federal Government or an agency thereof 
within a Federal enclave wherein Federal jurisdiction is 
exclusive, including without limitation with respect to all 
such laws referenced herein above requirements for permits, 
actions, approvals or filings, shall apply in connection with 
the construction, ownership, use, operation, financing, 
leasing, conveying, mortgaging or enforcing a mortgage of (i) 
any improvement undertaken by or for the benefit of Amtrak as 
part of, or in furtherance of, the Northeast Corridor 
Improvement Project (including without limitation maintenance, 
service, inspection or similar facilities acquired, constructed 
or used for high-speed trainsets) or chapter 241, 243, or 247 
of this title or (ii) any land (and right, title or interest 
created with respect thereto) on which such improvement is 
located and adjoining, surrounding or any related land. These 
exemptions shall remain in effect and be applicable with 
respect to such land and improvements for the benefit of any 
mortgagee before, upon and after coming into possession of such 
improvements or land, any third party purchasers thereof in 
foreclosure (or through a deed in lieu of foreclosure), and 
their respective successors and assigns, in each case to the 
extent the land or improvements are used, or held for use, for 
railroad purposes or purposes accessory thereto. This 
subsection shall not apply to any improvement or related land 
unless Amtrak receives a Federal operating subsidy in the 
fiscal year in which Amtrak commits to or initiates such 
improvement.

                             * * * * * * *

Sec. 24904. General authority

  (a) General.--To carry out this chapter and the Regional Rail 
Reorganization Act of 1973 (45 U.S.C. 701 et seq.), Amtrak 
may--
          (1) acquire, maintain, and dispose of any interest in 
        property used to provide improved high-speed rail 
        transportation under section 24902 of this title;
          (2) acquire, by condemnation or otherwise, any 
        interest in real property that Amtrak considers 
        necessary to carry out the goals of section 24902;
          (3) provide for rail freight, intercity rail 
        passenger, and commuter rail passenger transportation 
        over property acquired under this section;
          (4) improve rail rights-of-way between Boston, 
        Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia (including 
        the route through Springfield, Massachusetts, and 
        routes to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Albany, New 
        York, from the Northeast Corridor main line) to achieve 
        the goals of section 24902 of providing improved high-
        speed rail passenger transportation between Boston, 
        Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia, and 
        intermediate intercity markets;
          (5) acquire, build, improve, and install passenger 
        stations, communications and electric power facilities 
        and equipment, public and private highway and 
        pedestrian crossings, and other facilities and 
        equipment necessary to provide improved high-speed rail 
        passenger transportation over rights-of-way improved 
        under clause (4) of this subsection;
          (6) make agreements with other carriers and commuter 
        authorities to grant, acquire, or make arrangements for 
        rail freight or commuter rail passenger transportation 
        over, rights-of-way and facilities acquired under the 
        Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973 (45 U.S.C. 701 
        et seq.) and the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory 
        Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 801 et seq.); and
          (7) appoint a general manager of the Northeast 
        Corridor improvement program.
  (b) Compensatory Agreements.--Rail freight and commuter rail 
passenger transportation provided under subsection (a)(3) of 
this section shall be provided under compensatory agreements 
with the responsible carriers.
  (c) Compensation for transportation over certain rights-of-
way and facilities.--
          (1) An agreement under subsection (a)(6) of this 
        section shall provide for reasonable reimbursement of 
        costs but may not cross-subsidize intercity rail 
        passenger, commuter rail passenger, and rail freight 
        transportation.
          (2) If the parties do not agree, the [Interstate 
        Commerce Commission] Surface Transportation Board shall 
        order that the transportation continue over facilities 
        acquired under the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 
        1973 (45 U.S.C. 701 et seq.) and the Railroad 
        Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 
        U.S.C. 801 et seq.) and shall determine compensation 
        (without allowing cross-subsidization between intercity 
        rail passenger and rail freight transportation) for the 
        transportation not later than 120 days after the 
        dispute is submitted. The [Commission] Board shall 
        assign to a rail freight carrier obtaining 
        transportation under this subsection the costs Amtrak 
        incurs only for the benefit of the carrier, plus a 
        proportionate share of all other costs of providing 
        transportation under this paragraph incurred for the 
        common benefit of Amtrak and the carrier. The 
        proportionate share shall be based on relative measures 
        of volume of car operations, tonnage, or other factors 
        that reasonably reflect the relative use of rail 
        property covered by this subsection.
          (3) This subsection does not prevent the parties from 
        making an agreement under subsection (a)(6) of this 
        section after the [Commission] Board makes a decision 
        under this subsection.

Sec. 24905. Coordination board and safety committee

  (a) Northeast Corridor Coordination Board.--
          (1) The Northeast Corridor Coordination Board is 
        composed of the following members:
                  (A) one individual from each commuter 
                authority (as defined in section 1135(a) of the 
                Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (45 
                U.S.C. 1104)) that provides or makes a contract 
                to provide commuter rail passenger 
                transportation over the main line of the 
                Northeast Corridor.
                  (B) 2 individuals selected by Amtrak.
                  (C) one individual selected by the 
                Consolidated Rail Corporation.
          (2) The Board shall recommend to Amtrak--
                  (A) policies that ensure equitable access to 
                the Northeast Corridor, considering the need 
                for equitable access by commuter and intercity 
                rail passenger transportation and the 
                requirements of section 24308(c) of this title; 
                and
                  (B) equitable policies for the Northeast 
                Corridor related to--
                          (i) dispatching;
                          (ii) public information;
                          (iii) maintaining equipment and 
                        facilities;
                          (iv) major capital facility 
                        investments; and
                          (v) harmonizing equipment 
                        acquisitions, rates, and schedules.
          (3) The Board may recommend to the board of directors 
        and President of Amtrak action necessary to resolve 
        differences on providing transportation, except for 
        facilities and transportation matters under section 
        24308(a) or 24904(a)(5) and (c) of this title.
  (b) Northeast Corridor Safety Committee.--
          (1) The Northeast Corridor Safety Committee is 
        composed of members appointed by the Secretary of 
        Transportation. The members shall be representatives 
        of--
                  (A) the Secretary;
                  (B) Amtrak;
                  (C) freight carriers operating more than 
                150,000 train miles a year on the main line of 
                the Northeast Corridor;
                  (D) commuter agencies;
                  (E) rail passengers;
                  (F) rail labor; and
                  (G) other individuals and organizations the 
                Secretary decides have a significant interest 
                in rail safety.
          (2) The Secretary shall consult with the Committee 
        about safety improvements on the Northeast Corridor 
        main line. The Committee shall meet at least once every 
        2 years to consider safety matters on the main line.
          (3) At the beginning of the first session of each 
        Congress, the Secretary shall submit a report to 
        Congress on the status of efforts to improve safety on 
        the Northeast Corridor main line. The report shall 
        include the safety recommendations of the Committee and 
        the comments of the Secretary on those recommendations.
          (4) The Committee shall cease to exist on [January 1, 
        1999,] January 1, 2008, or on another date the 
        Secretary decides is appropriate. The Secretary shall 
        notify Congress in writing of a decision to terminate 
        the Committee on another date.

                             * * * * * * *

Sec. 24910. Passenger rail cooperative research program

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish and carry out 
a rail passenger cooperative research program. The program 
shall--
          (1) address, among other matters, intercity rail 
        passenger services, including existing rail passenger 
        technologies and speeds, incrementally enhanced rail 
        systems and infrastructure, and new high-speed wheel-
        on-rail systems;
          (2) give consideration to research on commuter rail, 
        regional rail, freight rail, and other modes of rail 
        transportation that may affect rail passenger 
        transportation due to the interconnectedness of the 
        rail passenger network with other rail transportation 
        services; and
          (3) give consideration to regional concerns regarding 
        rail passenger transportation, including meeting 
        research needs common to designated high-speed 
        corridors, long-distance rail services, and regional 
        intercity rail corridors, projects, and entities.
  (b) Contents.--The program to be carried out under this 
section shall include research designed--
          (1) to develop more accurate models for evaluating 
        the indirect effects of rail passenger service, 
        including the effects on highway and airport and airway 
        congestion, environmental quality, and energy 
        consumption;
          (2) to develop a better understanding of modal choice 
        as it affects rail passenger transportation, including 
        development of better models to predict ridership;
          (3) to recommend priorities for technology 
        demonstration and development;
          (4) to meet additional priorities as determined by 
        the advisory board established under subsection (c), 
        including any recommendations made by the National 
        Research Council;
          (5) to explore improvements in management, financing, 
        and institutional structures;
          (6) to address rail capacity constraints that affect 
        passenger rail service through a wide variety of 
        options, ranging from operating improvements to 
        dedicated new infrastructure, taking into account the 
        impact of such options on freight and commuter rail 
        operations; and
          (7) to improve maintenance, operations, customer 
        service, or other aspects of existing intercity rail 
        passenger service existing in 2002.
  (c) Advisory Board.--
          (1) Establishment.--In consultation with the heads of 
        appropriate Federal departments and agencies, the 
        Secretary shall establish an advisory board to 
        recommend research, technology, and technology transfer 
        activities related to rail passenger transportation.
          (2) Membership.--The advisory board shall include--
                  (A) representatives of State transportation 
                agencies;
                  (B) transportation and environmental 
                economists, scientists, and engineers; and
                  (C) representatives of Amtrak, the Alaska 
                Railroad, transit operating agencies, intercity 
                rail passenger agencies, railway labor 
                organizations, and environmental organizations.
  (d) National Academy of Sciences.-- The Secretary may make 
grants to, and enter into cooperative agreements with, the 
National Academy of Sciences to carry out such activities 
relating to the research, technology, and technology transfer 
activities described in subsection (b) as the Secretary deems 
appropriate.

                             * * * * * * *

                        PART D. HIGH-SPEED RAIL

                CHAPTER 261. HIGH-SPEED RAIL ASSISTANCE

Sec. 26100. Policy.

    (a) In General.--The Congress declares that it is the 
policy of the United States that designated high-speed railroad 
passenger transportation corridors are the building blocks of 
an interconnected interstate railroad passenger system that 
serves the entire Nation.
  (b) Secretary Required To Establish National High-speed 
Ground Transportation Policy.--The Secretary of Transportation 
shall establish the national high-speed ground transportation 
policy required by section 309(e)(1) of this title no later 
than December 31, 2002.

Sec. 26101. Corridor planning

  [(a) Corridor Planning Assistance.--
          [(1) The Secretary may provide under this section 
        financial assistance to a public agency or group of 
        public agencies for corridor planning for up to 50 
        percent of the publicly financed costs associated with 
        eligible activities.
          [(2) No less than 20 percent of the publicly financed 
        costs associated with eligible activities shall come 
        from State and local sources, which State and local 
        sources may not include funds from any Federal 
        program.]
  (a) Planning.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary of Transportation 
        shall provide planning assistance to States or group of 
        States and other public agencies promoting the 
        development of high-speed rail corridors designated by 
        the Secretary under section 104(d) of title 23.
          (2) Secretary may provide direct or financial 
        assistance.--The Secretary may provide planning 
        assistance under paragraph (1) directly or by providing 
        financial assistance to a public agency or group of 
        public agencies to undertake planning activities 
        approved by the Secretary.
          (3) 100 percent Federal funding.--The Secretary may 
        permit, but may not require, a portion of the publicly 
        financed costs associated with eligible activities to 
        come from non-Federal sources.
          (4) Priorities to chicago, atlanta, dallas/fort 
        worth, portland, and orlando.--In determining projects 
        to be undertaken pursuant to this paragraph, the 
        Secretary shall give the highest priorities to 
        undertaking planning in the vicinity of Union Station 
        in Chicago, Illinois, in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, 
        in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, area, in the Portland, 
        Oregon, area, and on the Orlando Corridor in Florida.
  (b) Eligible Activities.--
          (1) A corridor planning activity is eligible for 
        financial assistance under subsection (a) if the 
        Secretary determines that it is necessary to establish 
        appropriate engineering, operational, financial, 
        environmental, or socioeconomic projections for the 
        establishment of high-speed rail service in the 
        corridor and that it leads toward development of a 
        prudent financial and institutional plan for 
        implementation of specific high-speed rail 
        improvements. Eligible corridor planning activities 
        include--
                  (A) environmental assessments;
                  (B) feasibility studies emphasizing 
                commercial technology improvements or 
                applications;
                  (C) economic analyses, including ridership, 
                revenue, and operating expense forecasting;
                  (D) assessing the impact on rail employment 
                of developing high-speed rail corridors;
                  (E) assessing community economic impacts;
                  (F) coordination with State and metropolitan 
                area transportation planning and corridor 
                planning with other States;
                  (G) operational planning;
                  (H) route selection analyses and purchase of 
                rights-of-way for proposed high-speed rail 
                service;
                  (I) preliminary engineering and design;
                  (J) identification of specific improvements 
                to a corridor, including electrification, line 
                straightening and other right-of-way 
                improvements, bridge rehabilitation and 
                replacement, use of advanced locomotives and 
                rolling stock, ticketing, coordination with 
                other modes of transportation, parking and 
                other means of passenger access, track, signal, 
                station, and other capital work, and use of 
                intermodal terminals;
                  (K) preparation of financing plans and 
                prospectuses; and
                  (L) creation of public/private partnerships.
          (2) No financial assistance shall be provided under 
        this section for corridor planning with respect to the 
        main line of the Northeast Corridor, between 
        Washington, District of Columbia, and Boston, 
        Massachusetts.
  (c) Criteria for determining financial assistance. Selection 
by the Secretary of recipients of financial assistance under 
this section shall be based on such criteria as the Secretary 
considers appropriate, including--
          (1) the relationship of the corridor to the 
        Secretary's national high-speed ground transportation 
        policy;
          [(2) the extent to which the proposed planning 
        focuses on systems which will achieve sustained speeds 
        of 125 mph or greater;]
          (2) the extent to which the proposed planning focuses 
        on high-speed rail systems, giving a priority to 
        systems which will achieve sustained speeds of 125 
        miles per hour or greater and projects involving 
        dedicated rail passenger rights-of-way;
          (3) the integration of the corridor into metropolitan 
        area and statewide transportation planning;
          (4) the potential interconnection of the corridor 
        with other parts of the Nation's transportation system, 
        including the interconnection with other countries;
          (5) the anticipated effect of the corridor on the 
        congestion of other modes of transportation;
          (6) whether the work to be funded will aid the 
        efforts of State and local governments to comply with 
        the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.);
          (7) the past and proposed financial commitments and 
        other support of State and local governments and the 
        private sector to the proposed high-speed rail program, 
        including the acquisition of rolling stock;
          (8) the estimated level of ridership;
          (9) the estimated capital cost of corridor 
        improvements, including the cost of closing, improving, 
        or separating highway-rail grade crossings;
          (10) rail transportation employment impacts;
          (11) community economic impacts;
          (12) the extent to which the projected revenues of 
        the proposed high-speed rail service, along with any 
        financial commitments of State or local governments and 
        the private sector, are expected to cover capital costs 
        and operating and maintenance expenses; and
          (13) whether a specific route has been selected, 
        specific improvements identified, and capacity studies 
        [completed; and] completed.
          [(14) whether the corridor has been designated as a 
        high-speed rail corridor by the Secretary.]
  (d) Operators Deemed Rail Carriers.--A person that conducts 
rail operations funded or otherwise receiving assistance under 
this section is deemed to be a rail carrier for purposes of 
part A of subtitle IV, when so operating or performing such 
services.

Sec. 26101A. Implementation of corridor plans

  (a) Implementation Assistance.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary of Transportation 
        shall provide implementation assistance to States or 
        group of States and other public agencies promoting the 
        development of high-speed rail corridors designated by 
        the Secretary under section 104(d) of title 23. The 
        Secretary shall establish an application and 
        qualification process and, before providing assistance 
        under this section, make a determination on the record 
        that the applicant is qualified and eligible for 
        assistance under this section.
          (2) Secretary may provide direct or financial 
        assistance.--The Secretary may provide implementation 
        assistance under paragraph (1) directly or by providing 
        financial assistance to a public agency or group of 
        public agencies to undertake implementation activities 
        approved by the Secretary.
          (3) 100 percent Federal share.--The Secretary may 
        permit, but may not require, a portion of the publicly 
        financed costs associated with eligible activities to 
        come from non-Federal sources.
          (4) Contribution of land.--Notwithstanding paragraph 
        (3), the Secretary may accept land contributed by a 
        State for right-of-way, without regard to whether the 
        State acquired the land directly or indirectly through 
        the use of Federal funds, including transfers from the 
        Highway Trust Fund under section 9503 of the Internal 
        Revenue Code of 1986.
          (5) Priorities to chicago, atlanta, dallas/fort 
        worth, portland, and orlando.--In determining projects 
        to be undertaken pursuant to this subsection, the 
        Secretary shall give the highest priorities to 
        undertaking implementation assistance in the vicinity 
        of Union Station in Chicago, Illinois, in metropolitan 
        Atlanta, Georgia, and in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, 
        area, in the Portland, Oregon, area, and on the Orlando 
        Corridor in Florida.
          (6) Special transportation circumstances.--In 
        carrying out this section, the Secretary shall allocate 
        an appropriate portion of the amounts available for 
        implementation assistance to providing appropriate 
        related assistance in any State the rail transportation 
        system of which--
                  (A) is not physically connected to rail 
                systems in the continental United States; and
                  (B) may not otherwise qualify for high-speed 
                rail implementation assistance due to the 
                constraints imposed on the railway 
                infrastructure in that State due to the unique 
                characteristics of the geography of that State 
                or other relevant considerations, as determined 
                by the Secretary.
  (b) Eligible Implementation Activities.--The following 
activities are eligible for implementation assistance under 
subsection (a):
          (1) Security planning and the acquisition of security 
        and emergency response equipment.
          (2) Operating expenses.
          (3) Infrastructure acquisition and construction of 
        track and facilities.
          (4) Highway-rail grade crossing eliminations and 
        improvements.
          (5) Acquisition of rights-of-way, locomotives, 
        rolling stock, track, and signal equipment.
  (c) Criteria for Determining Assistance for Implementation 
Activities.--The Secretary, in selecting recipients of 
assistance under subsection (a), shall--
          (1) encourage the use of positive train control 
        technologies;
          (2) require that any project meet any existing safety 
        regulations, and give preference to any project 
        determined by the Secretary to have particularly high 
        levels of safety;
          (3) encourage intermodal connectivity by locating 
        train stations in or near airports, bus terminals, 
        subway stations, ferry ports, and other modes of 
        transportation;
          (4) ensure a general regional balance in providing 
        such assistance and avoid the concentration of a 
        disproportionate dedication of available financial 
        assistance resources to a single project or region of 
        the country; and
          (5) ensure that any project is compatible with, and 
        operated in conformance with, plans developed pursuant 
        to the requirements of sections 134 and 135 of title 
        23, United States Code.
  (d) Operators Deemed Rail Carriers.--A person that conducts 
rail operations funded or otherwise receiving assistance under 
this section is deemed to be a rail carrier for purposes of 
part A of subtitle IV, when so operating or performing such 
services.
  (e) Domestic Buying Preferences.--
          (1) In general.--In carrying out a project assisted 
        under this section, a recipient shall buy only--
                  (A) unmanufactured articles, material, and 
                supplies mined or produced in the United 
                States; or
                  (B) manufactured articles, material, and 
                supplies manufactured in the United States 
                substantially from articles, material, and 
                supplies mined, produced, or manufactured in 
                the United States.
          (2) De minimis amount.--Paragraph (1) of this 
        subsection applies only when the cost of those 
        articles, material, or supplies bought is at least 
        $1,000,000.
          (3) Exemptions.--On application of a recipient, the 
        Secretary of Transportation may exempt a recipient from 
        the requirements of this subsection if the Secretary 
        decides that, for particular articles, material, or 
        supplies--
                  (A) the requirements of paragraph (1) of this 
                subsection are inconsistent with the public 
                interest;
                  (B) the cost of imposing those requirements 
                is unreasonable; or
                  (C) the articles, material, or supplies, or 
                the articles, material, or supplies from which 
                they are manufactured, are not mined, produced, 
                or manufactured in the United States in 
                sufficient and reasonably available commercial 
                quantities and are not of a satisfactory 
                quality.
          (4) United States defined.--In this subsection, the 
        term ``the United States'' means the States, 
        territories, and possessions of the United States and 
        the District of Columbia.

                             * * * * * * *

[Sec. 26104. Authorization of appropriations

  [(a) Fiscal Year 1995.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary $29,000,000 for fiscal year 1995, 
for carrying out sections 26101 and 26102 (including payment of 
administrative expenses related thereto).
  [(b) Fiscal Year 1996.--
          [(1) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $40,000,000 for fiscal year 1996, for 
        carrying out section 26101 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
          [(2) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $30,000,000 for fiscal year 1996, for 
        carrying out section 26102 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
  [(c) Fiscal Year 1997.--
          [(1) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $45,000,000 for fiscal year 1997, for 
        carrying out section 26101 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
          [(2) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $40,000,000 for fiscal year 1997, for 
        carrying out section 26102 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
  [(d) Fiscal Year 1998.--
          [(1) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1998, for 
        carrying out section 26101 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
          [(2) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $25,000,000 for fiscal year 1998, for 
        carrying out section 26102 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
  [(e) Fiscal Year 1999.--
          [(1) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $10,000,000 for fiscal year 1999, for 
        carrying out section 26101 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
          [(2) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $25,000,000 for fiscal year 1999, for 
        carrying out section 26102 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
  [(f) Fiscal Year 2000.--
          [(1) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2000, for 
        carrying out section 26101 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
          [(2) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2000, for 
        carrying out section 26102 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
  [(g) Fiscal Year 2001.--
          [(1) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2001, for 
        carrying out section 26101 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
          [(2) There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
        Secretary $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2001, for 
        carrying out section 26102 (including payment of 
        administrative expenses related thereto).
  [(h) Funds to Remain Available.--Funds made available under 
this section shall remain available until expended.]

Sec. 26104. Authorization of appropriations

  (a) Fiscal Years 2003 through 2007.--There are authorized to 
be appropriated to the Secretary for each of fiscal years 2003 
through 2007--
          (1) $25,000,000 for carrying out section 26101;
          (2) $1,500,000,000 for carrying out section 26101A; 
        and
          (3) $25,000,000 for carrying out section 26102.
  (b) Funds To Remain Available.--Funds made available under 
this section shall remain available until expended.
  (c) Special Rule.--Except as specifically provided in section 
26101, 26101A, or 26102, no amount authorized by subsection (a) 
may be used for obligation or expenditure on the Boston-to-
Washington segment of the Northeast Corridor while that segment 
is receiving Federal funds for capital or operating expenses.

Sec. 26105. Definitions For purposes of this chapter--

          (1) the term ``financial assistance'' includes 
        grants, contracts, loans, loan guarantees, and 
        cooperative agreements;
          (2) the term ``high-speed rail'' means all forms of 
        nonhighway ground transportation that run on rails or 
        electromagnetic guideways providing transportation 
        service which is--
                  (A) reasonably expected to reach sustained 
                speeds of [more than 125 miles per hour;] 90 
                miles per hour or more; and
                  (B) made available to members of the general 
                public as passengers, but does not include 
                rapid transit operations within an urban area 
                that are not connected to the general rail 
                system of transportation;
          (3) the term ``publicly financed costs'' means the 
        costs funded after April 29, 1993, by Federal, State, 
        and local governments;
          (4) the term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Transportation;
          (5) the term ``State'' means any of the several 
        States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the 
        Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, 
        American Samoa, and any other territory or possession 
        of the United States; and
          (6) the term ``United States private business'' means 
        a business entity organized under the laws of the 
        United States, or of a State, and conducting 
        substantial business operations in the United States.

                             * * * * * * *

                         PART E. MISCELLANEOUS

                      CHAPTER 281. LAW ENFORCEMENT

Sec. 28101. Rail police officers

  Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of 
Transportation, a rail police officer who is employed by a rail 
carrier and certified or commissioned as a police officer under 
the laws of a State may enforce the laws of any jurisdiction in 
which [the rail carrier] any rail carrier owns property, to the 
extent of the authority of a police officer certified or 
commissioned under the laws of that jurisdiction, to protect--
  (1) employees, passengers, or patrons of [the rail carrier] 
any rail carrier;
  (2) property, equipment, and facilities owned, leased, 
operated, or maintained by [the rail carrier] any rail carrier;
  (3) property moving in interstate or foreign commerce in the 
possession of [the rail carrier] any rail carrier; and
  (4) personnel, equipment, and material moving by rail that 
are vital to the national defense.

                    MINORITY VIEWS OF SENATOR McCAIN

  It appears that once again, the American taxpayers are going 
to be railroaded into providing billions of dollars in 
subsidies to Amtrak without fixing what ails it. I had hoped 
the Senate Commerce Committee would work to confront the 
fundamental reasons for Amtrak's failures over the past 31 
years because a reevaluation of Amtrak is clearly needed. In 
fiscal year (FY) 2001, Amtrak's operating loss was $1.1 
billion, its highest ever. Amtrak's debt, now $3.6 billion, is 
also at an all-time high, having tripled since Amtrak was last 
authorized in 1997. And despite having received over $5 billion 
in Federal assistance and another $1.2 billion from a number of 
states over the past five years, Amtrak is again on the verge 
of bankruptcy.
  We have a responsibility to fix a program that has 
consistently fallen woefully short of the goals Congress has 
set for Amtrak and that Amtrak has set for itself. The solution 
is not to throw tens of billions of dollars at the problem. 
Money, alone, is not the answer. Yet that is largely the 
solution provided by S. 1991 which would increase authorization 
levels for the FY2003 through FY2007 period from $5.163 billion 
to $14.7 billion for Amtrak; from $225 million to $7.8 billion 
for high-speed rail; and from $3.5 billion to $35 billion for 
rail project loans and loan guarantees. In total, that is an 
increase in authorization levels from $8.8 billion to an 
astounding $57.5 billion.
  To get rail passenger service on track, we need to address a 
number of tough questions. What is the future for intercity 
rail passenger transportation? Where does it attract passengers 
and where doesn't it? Does rail passenger service have to mean 
``Amtrak'' or, after 30 years, is it finally time to find a new 
approach? Where might high-speed rail service actually attract 
enough passengers to be economically viable? How does rail 
passenger service fit into our national transportation system? 
And what is the most equitable way for the Federal government, 
states and municipalities, and other rail passenger 
stakeholders to share the related financial obligations?
  Unfortunately, the legislation being reported by the Commerce 
Committee avoids addressing any of the tough issues. Perhaps 
worse, the Committee did not even attempt to address the many 
problems impeding Amtrak's financial and operational 
performance, including Amtrak's inability to control expenses. 
Rather than holding Amtrak accountable for its continuing poor 
performance and management problems as was expected under the 
Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act (ARAA) (P.L. 105-134), 
Amtrak's failure to achieve operational self-sufficiency as 
required by law is instead being rewarded with billions of 
dollars in new subsidies to maintain its existing network and 
expand into high-speed rail operations.
  The bill also ducks the toughest questions of all - whether 
we can afford and how we will pay for S. 1991, given the many 
competing demands already being placed on the budget, 
particularly since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 
Clearly, Amtrak's customers will not be able to foot the bill. 
The cost of the Amtrak and high-speed rail provisions alone 
would add $190 to the price of every ticket.
  I think we need a reality check. If S. 1991 is enacted, 
authorizations for intercity passenger rail (both Amtrak and 
high-speed rail) will rise to approximately $4.5 billion 
annually, or almost nine times the level appropriated for 
Amtrak in FY2002. Moreover, it is nearly two- thirds the level 
of the entire Federal transit program, yet if one considers 
ridership levels, transit ridership stands at 9.5 billion trips 
per year while Amtrak ridership is just 23.5 million.
  High-speed rail development is a very high-cost proposition 
and one that no one can accurately predict today. Amtrak has 
estimated the cost to develop the 11 existing corridors 
designated for high-speed rail development (before the 
additional segments designated by S. 1991) at between $50 and 
$70 billion. Further, the obligation will not stop with initial 
construction. Just like the Northeast Corridor, other high-
speed corridors will have large annual capital requirements to 
maintain track and signals and to refurbish and replace 
equipment. I am concerned that the $4.5 billion annual subsidy 
under S. 1991 will become a permanent Federal obligation. And 
the purpose of the subsidies will be to provide competition to 
other modes of transportation, including airlines, intercity 
buses and automobile, that are largely self-supporting through 
user charges.
  An underlying theme of S. 1991 and this report is that 
intercity passenger rail has been shortchanged relative to 
Federal funding for highways and airports. But the reason 
hundreds of billions of dollars have been invested for those 
modes is that their users are funding these expenditures 
through fuel taxes, surcharges on airline tickets and other 
fees. This cannot be said of Amtrak. Amtrak appropriations are 
a subsidy, pure and simple, for a comparatively small group of 
customers -- less than 1 percent of the traveling public.

                           AMTRAK (TITLE III)

             Repeal of Amtrak self-sufficiency requirements

  Five years ago, when Amtrak was last reauthorized, Congress, 
by an overwhelming majority, adopted the ARAA. The law provided 
liability, labor and procurement reforms Amtrak said it needed 
to operate more like a private business. With these changes, 
that Act required that Amtrak achieve ``operational self-
sufficiency'' no later than the fifth anniversary of enactment, 
which is December 2, 2002. Operational self-sufficiency was a 
benchmark Amtrak emphatically and repeatedly said it could 
meet.
  The 1997 Act clearly intended that Amtrak be substantially 
reformed or liquidated if Amtrak failed to meet its financial 
goals. The Act set up the Amtrak Reform Council (ARC) to 
oversee Amtrak's progress and charged the Council with 
submitting a plan for a ``restructured and rationalized 
national intercity rail passenger system'' if the Council 
determined Amtrak would not achieve self-sufficiency.
  Until quite recently, Amtrak insisted that it was on a 
``glide-path'' to self-sufficiency. What we now know is that 
Amtrak was only able to make such claims because it was selling 
equipment, borrowing to generate cash, and mortgaging its 
assets - including a portion of New York's Penn Station for 
$300 million - just to keep operating. I am not alone in 
feeling deceived by Amtrak's purposely misleading statements.
  Amtrak initially told Congress it would achieve operational 
self-sufficiency in FY2002. With the delay in the introduction 
of Acela and Amtrak's inability to control the growth of its 
expenses, Amtrak presented a more modest plan in FY2001, 
forecasting that it would achieve self-sufficiency by FY2003 
(see figure 1). But Amtrak made no progress even under its more 
modest plan. Losses for purposes of the self-sufficiency test, 
which looks at Amtrak's cash loss excluding excess railroad 
retirement payments, were $341 million in FY2001, a loss higher 
than that recorded in FY1997. In November 2001, the ARC found 
that Amtrak would not achieve self-sufficiency and in January 
2002, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General 
concluded that ``Amtrak's cash losses have not decreased and 
Amtrak is no closer to operating self-sufficiency now than it 
was in 1997.''.
  Amtrak's latest business plan for FY2002 and FY2003, issued 
in January 2002, makes no mention of operational self-
sufficiency even though it is required to meet this financial 
goal. The forecasts for both years are lower than those in 
previous plans and, even if met, will produce estimated losses 
of $179 million in FY2002 and $199 million in FY2003 for 
purposes of the self- sufficiency test.
  Amtrak's failure to make any progress toward self-sufficiency 
does not mean the standard was unfair or unachievable. It means 
that more reform and better management decisions are needed. It 
means Amtrak officials need to be held accountable to implement 
the policies needed to meet its own business plan objectives. 
And it means getting ``straight talk'' when it comes to 
Amtrak's financial and operating performance.
  The ARC submitted its recommendations for restructuring 
Amtrak on February 7, 2002. In its report to Congress, the ARC 
recommended separating Amtrak's Northeast Corridor 
infrastructure from its operations to free Amtrak of the large 
capital burden imposed by ownership of the Corridor. It also 
recommended that the Federal government take a more active role 
in overseeing Amtrak and assume responsibility for policy 
issues now largely left up to Amtrak. Most significant was the 
ARC's proposal to permit franchising of Amtrak's routes after a 
transition period during which Amtrak would ``get its house in 
order.'' Competition, the ARC reasoned, would force Amtrak to 
operate more efficiently.
  S. 1991 fails to give any acknowledgment to any of the 
recommendations by this 11- member bipartisan Council. It 
simply repeals the self-sufficiency provisions enacted in 1997. 
S. 1991 would ensure that once again, Amtrak will not be held 
accountable for its financial or management decisions.
  Prior to Committee action on S. 1991, I introduced 
legislation (S. 1958) to fundamentally alter intercity rail 
passenger service in our nation. This legislative proposal 
includes placing Amtrak under a Control Board, similar to the 
District of Columbia Control Board, to enforce financial and 
management discipline. It would also introduce competition for 
passenger rail services and, after a transition period, 
privatize Amtrak. As evidenced during and since the Commerce 
Committee's hearing on March 14, 2002, there are a number of 
private interests willing and able to operate train services, 
maintain equipment, and perform other passenger- related 
services. Thirty-one years after the formation of Amtrak, it is 
no longer necessary for the Federal government to sponsor and 
own a national passenger rail company to compete with other 
privately supported modes. Under the right conditions, better 
services can be provided more effectively by the private 
sector. After all, we don't have only one national bus carrier 
or one national air carrier.

      Authorizations to fund principal and interest on Amtrak debt

  Over the past five years, Amtrak has more than tripled its 
debt to $3.6 billion, including a $300 million mortgage on a 
portion of New York's Penn Station. It is this additional debt 
that until recently permitted Amtrak to assert that it was on a 
glide-path to self sufficiency. To most of us, the idea of 
increasing debt obligations to claim we have achieved our 
financial objectives would seem counterintuitive to our 
intended purpose of an improved financial situation as 
statutorily required of Amtrak. Obviously, Amtrak management 
does not see it the way most of us do?
  Interest on its debt is now one of Amtrak's fastest growing 
expenses. In FY2001, interest expense was $85 million and, 
according to the DOT Inspector General, will increase to $225 
million in FY2005. Unable to fund either the interest or 
principal from operating revenues, Amtrak now seeks Federal 
assistance to cover these costs. As such, S. 1991 would 
authorize a total of $1.3 billion through FY2007 for this 
purpose. I am concerned that while the bill relieves Amtrak of 
the responsibility to fund its self-incurred debt, it provides 
no safeguards or assurances to prevent Amtrak from borrowing 
yet more money and further increasing the cost to the 
taxpayers.
  During the executive session on April 18, 2002, I offered an 
amendment to require that Amtrak obtain the approval of the 
Secretary of Transportation before assuming any additional debt 
obligations. Currently, Amtrak is free to borrow funds for 
capital projects -- including equipment acquisitions (or sales 
and lease-backs) and infrastructure improvements on property to 
which the Federal government does not hold title -- without 
Federal approval. The proponents of S. 1991 intend to retain 
the status quo in this regard. Moreover, under the provisions 
of S. 1991, Amtrak would also be authorized to borrow funds 
under the RRIF program to fund high-speed rail projects. And it 
is easy to predict based on history who will be expected to pay 
for these loans - the taxpayers.
  Although my amendment was defeated on a nearly unanimous vote 
among party lines, I continue to believe that strict oversight 
of future borrowing is needed. The authorizations in S. 1991 
for principal and interest payments are not even based on 
Amtrak's total debt. Even if Amtrak does not assume any 
additional obligations between now and the end of FY2007, the 
debt on its books will rise another $400 million to reflect 
obligations already incurred that will begin coming due. 
Further, the payments that would be required to be made by 
taxpayers under S. 1991 will not come close to eliminating 
Amtrak's debt. Amtrak has indicated that at the end of FY2007, 
the principal balance on outstanding debt will still be $2.8 
billion. All the more reason, I believe, to ensure that Amtrak 
is prevented from digging an even deeper hole for itself and 
the American taxpayers without proper government oversight.

                         Amtrak Authorizations

  S. 1991 would authorize a total of $14.7 billion over five 
years for Amtrak to maintain Amtrak's existing network -- about 
three times Amtrak's current authorization level. I have a 
number of concerns about these provisions.
  First, the funding levels are inconsistent with Amtrak's own 
funding requests. In its annual grant request to Congress, 
dated February 15, 2002, Amtrak requested a total of $1.2 
billion for FY2003. While Amtrak stated that this amount is the 
minimum necessary to maintain its existing network and will not 
allow it to address its capital backlog, S. 1991 provides no 
justification for almost doubling the amount requested by 
Amtrak to $2.3 billion. Amtrak's grant request includes $200 
million to cover operating losses on its long-distance trains. 
Yet, S. 1991 authorizes $360 million annually to offset these 
losses. Even Amtrak's long-term capital plan does not suggest 
that authorizations of the magnitude provided in S. 1991 are 
necessary to meet current or projected needs.
  The only consistent trend with respect to Amtrak funding is 
that whatever Congress authorizes, it will not be enough. Over 
the past five years, Amtrak has received $6.3 billion in 
subsidies, including $5.1 billion from the Federal government 
and $1.2 billion from a number of states. Even so, Amtrak's 
operating loss in FY2001 was $1.1 billion, the highest loss in 
Amtrak's history.
  The real issue is that the American taxpayers are getting so 
little value for their investment and are being forced to 
continue subsidizing trains that will never even come close to 
breaking even. Amtrak's losses are concentrated on, although 
not limited to, its long-distance routes, i.e., the 19 routes 
with an average rider trip of more than 300 miles. 1 
In FY2001, these routes accounted for 75% of Amtrak's operating 
losses, excluding depreciation, but carried only 18% of 
Amtrak's passengers. For example, the Sunset Limited lost $347 
per passenger last year, roughly double the average fare paid 
by passengers who rode the train. The Texas Eagle, which is 
slated for expansion, lost $258 per passenger, about $100 more 
than the average fare.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ The Kentucky Cardinal is included in the list of long-distance 
trains since in FY2001 it provided sleeping accommodations for 
overnight riders.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Most of the trains on the long distant routes have break-even 
load factors well above 100%, meaning that they cannot break 
even on operating expenses (excluding depreciation) even if 
every seat were filled. The Cardinal, for example, which runs 
between Chicago, IL, and Washington, DC, had a break-even load 
factor of 182% in FY2001. This means that in order to cover its 
operating costs, every seat would have had to be occupied by 
almost two riders. But of course, it is these very trains that 
attract the fewest passengers.
  In testimony before Congress on April 11, 2002, the U.S. 
General Accounting Office (GAO) reported that in 12 of the 46 
states in which Amtrak operates, fewer than 100 passengers on 
average board Amtrak trains on a daily basis. In 34 states, 
fewer than 1,000 passengers on average board Amtrak trains 
daily (see figure 2). In my home state of Arizona, just 116 
passengers board Amtrak trains daily, compared to 56,500 daily 
airplane boardings in the state.
  My view is that the market should decide what train services 
are provided. This would likely mean an elimination of service 
along many long-distance routes, but could also mean the 
initiation of new short-distance corridor services that would 
be utilized by passengers. Corridor services are Amtrak's best 
financial performers today and are responsible for Amtrak's 
recent increases in ridership. Under this approach, if a route 
cannot be self-supporting, it would be discontinued unless a 
state or states agree to provide a subsidy to maintain service.
  This approach would also improve the equity among the states 
supporting Amtrak. Today, some states including California, 
Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Washington, Oregon and North 
Carolina, make significant contributions to support Amtrak 
while others pay nothing. For example, the States of Oregon and 
Washington provided operating support of $16.3 million in 
FY2001 for the Cascades service. California contributed $63 
million in operating support for the San Joaquins, the Capitols 
and the Pacific Surfliners. Yet states benefitting from the 
long- distance routes, the routes with the highest losses, 
contribute no direct assistance and simply get a free ride.
  Requiring states to subsidize services has the added benefit 
of providing more state involvement and oversight of Amtrak. 
Where states presently play a more active role, Amtrak operates 
more efficiently and is more accountable. States contributing 
financial support pay attention to Amtrak to ensure they are 
getting what they are paying to receive. Particularly if Amtrak 
is permitted to retain its monopoly, as would certainly be the 
case under S. 1991, this kind of involvement by the states is 
critical to ensuring Amtrak delivers operating improvements, 
not to mention, even its standard level of service.
  I strongly support Senator Wyden's amendment, adopted during 
the executive session, to require the establishment of 
objective criteria for Amtrak service changes, including the 
establishment of new routes, the elimination of existing 
routes, and the contraction or expansion of existing routes. 
Objective criteria are absolutely essential if we are to 
succeed in introducing a rational approach to evaluating 
Amtrak's network. I am concerned, however, that the amendment 
does not go far enough since there would be no consequences if 
Amtrak makes decisions inconsistent with the criteria. In order 
for route criteria to be an effective tool, a governmental body 
such as the DOT must enforce their application; routes that 
cannot meet threshold standards should be required to be 
discontinued or subsidized at the state level.

                    Financial accounting provisions

  Although S. 1991 would make modest changes to Amtrak's 
accounting and planning practices, the changes would hardly be 
enough to enforce financial discipline. For the last several 
years, we have had the DOT Inspector General, the GAO, the ARC, 
and several Congressional committees, reviewing Amtrak's 
finances and decision-making on a regular basis. But all of 
this oversight has taken the form of audits after the fact and, 
as a result, only assess past actions rather than influencing 
current and future decisions.
  Amtrak has been unable to take necessary actions on its own 
to improve its financial and operating situation. More pro-
active oversight is required to help Amtrak succeed. That is 
why I believe Amtrak would greatly benefit by the creation of a 
Control Board, modeled after the DC Financial Control Board 
that so successfully addressed the financial crisis of the 
government of the District of Columbia. A Control Board would 
be involved upfront, reviewing and approving Amtrak's business 
plan and ensuring that Amtrak sticks to its financial plans and 
business objectives throughout the year. The Control Board 
would oversee the allocation of Federal funds to Amtrak and 
would approve any additional borrowing by Amtrak. It would also 
seek operating and managerial efficiencies for Amtrak and work 
with Amtrak on actions to close the gap between operating 
revenues and expenses.
  I support the intent of the provisions of S. 1991 aimed at 
making Amtrak's accounting more transparent and requiring 
Amtrak to submit its business plan to Congress before the start 
of each fiscal year. Amtrak's current practice of submitting 
its business plan during the second quarter is simply 
unacceptable. A business plan is not useful in guiding the 
management of an organization if is not put into effect until 
the year is a quarter to half over. Nor can it be used 
effectively by Congress in setting funding priorities.
  Section 312, added by one of my amendments adopted by the 
Commerce Committee, would require that Amtrak, in consultation 
with the DOT Inspector General, revise the methodology Amtrak 
uses to prepare its annual Route Profitability report to 
Congress. This report summarizes the financial performance of 
each of Amtrak's trains. In recent years, Amtrak has changed 
annually the manner in which the report is prepared, 
deliberately making it impossible to compare similar data on a 
year by year basis. For example, most recently, Amtrak began 
subtracting ``non-core'' profits from the reported losses on 
train operations to reduce the overall reported loss by about 
$200 million. Even though most non-core profits are earned on 
the NEC, Amtrak applied the profits to routes in order of the 
losses on its routes, i.e. the routes with the largest losses 
received the largest allocation of non-core profits. My 
amendment would require that Amtrak discontinue this misleading 
practice.

                       HIGH-SPEED RAIL (TITLE II)

              High-speed rail planning and implementation

  S. 1991 embarks the Federal government on what could be an 
endless journey into a bottomless money pit for the development 
of high-speed rail. While a number of initiatives regarding 
high-speed passenger rail have been advanced in the past 
several years, most notable the Acela service on the NEC, this 
bill breaks new ground in creating a true pork barrel program.
  Sections 202 and 203 would make the Federal share for high-
speed rail projects 100% of project costs. I believe this level 
of funding, requiring no state or local match, would be 
unprecedented. Federal-aid highway projects require a 10% share 
on the Interstate system and a 20% match on other National 
Highway System routes. The new starts program for transit 
requires a 20% match, although more often, the Federal Transit 
Administration (FTA) negotiates a local share of 40% to 50%. 
Legislation recently approved by this Committee, S. 1220, to 
establish a new grant program for shortline railroads mandates 
a 20% railroad match. But S. 1991 would treat high-speed rail 
projects in a manner entirely different.
  State participation, in addition to helping defray project 
costs, helps ensure that frivolous or inadvisable projects are 
not proposed. With a stake in the project, states have the 
incentive to propose only meritorious projects and to manage 
their own funds and Federal funds responsibly. It would be a 
serious mistake not to require a state match for high-speed 
rail projects. Yet again, S. 1991 imposes no state 
participation whatsoever.
  S. 1991 is also the first piece of legislation to broach the 
issue of the need to provide operating subsidies for high-speed 
rail. Under Section 204, operating expenses would be made 
eligible for funding, presumably at a 100% Federal share. 
Proponents of high-speed rail projects, including the Midwest 
Regional Rail Initiative, assert that after an initial ramp-up 
period, the train services will show a profit at least on a 
cash basis. But this is the self-sufficiency argument all over 
again. Given the Amtrak experience, is it reasonable to assume 
that high-speed projects will be able to achieve what Amtrak 
could not - particularly if Amtrak will be the high-speed 
operator? The United States has little experience developing 
high-speed rail and I am concerned that we could be creating a 
large new Federal liability with this provision. Operating 
losses associated with high-speed service could well be a 
multiple of Amtrak's current losses. We simply have no way of 
knowing at this point what would be the level of exposure. I 
strongly urge my colleagues to support an amendment on the 
floor to strike this dangerous provision. Operating losses 
should be a responsibility of the state or states sponsoring 
the project, similar to state funding of conventional new 
service on Amtrak's corridors.
  Another provision in Title II would reduce the threshold 
speed for what is defined as ``high speed'' passenger service 
from 125 miles per hour to 90 miles per hour, or just 11 miles 
per hour faster than Amtrak's current top speed. It is hard to 
imagine that the traveling public will change its travel 
patterns and behavior in any significant way with such a small 
increase in train speed. At a top speed of 90 miles per hour, 
average speed with station stops may only be 55 to 60 miles per 
hour, a far cry from the Shinkansen and the TGV.
  The corridors themselves are also an issue. The 11 corridors 
currently designated for high-speed rail development were not 
selected based on an evaluation of where high-speed rail can be 
viable or add to the efficiency of the overall transportation 
system. The designations are a wish list of projects supported 
by the states and largely adopted through political support. 
The Christian Science Monitor recently published a report 
characterizing the Committee's approach to high-speed rail as 
the ``field of dreams'' -- ``build it and they will come.''. 
Perhaps even a more accurate statement would be ``build it and 
maybe they will come.''.
  High-speed projects will be selected for implementation 
funding from this pool of 11 candidate corridors (with the 
addition of several new high-speed segments statutorily 
designated by S. 1991). Yet, S. 1991 would require no cost-
benefit or economic analysis. The only issues to be considered 
would be intermodal connectivity, positive train control 
technologies, a regional balance in funding allocation, the 
level of safety of the project, and whether the project is 
compatible with state and local transportation plans.
  What a contrast to the existing Federal transit program. The 
FTA new starts program follows a structured analysis for 
project consideration from concept through preliminary 
engineering to final engineering and construction. Projects are 
not eligible for any significant funding until they reach the 
final design stage. Each project is reviewed by the FTA and 
receives a ranking of ``highly recommended'', ``recommended'', 
or ``not recommended'' based on a series of evaluations of the 
projects benefits. Every new start project must also have a 
full funding grant agreement with FTA before construction can 
begin.
  If S. 1991 is brought before the full Senate, I intend to 
offer an amendment that would require a thorough economic 
analysis with threshold performance requirements to be applied 
to any proposed high-speed rail project. I also favor applying 
transit's project development process to intercity high-speed 
passenger rail projects. A requirement that I advocated to 
ensure that projects have full funding grant agreements similar 
to those for transit new starts has already been adopted by the 
Committee.
  Finally, I am compelled to oppose the designation of specific 
projects located in Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, 
Portland, and Orlando for priority funding of high-speed rail 
projects. These projects have obviously been singled out to 
generate additional support for S. 1991. All projects should be 
required to compete for funding on their merits and project 
sponsors should have enough confidence in the value of their 
project to be willing to forego special legislative treatment. 
Except for the fact that each of these cities happens to be 
represented by a member serving on the Senate Commerce 
Committee and who voted in support of passage of this bill, the 
Committee has received no independent or objective analysis to 
support the merits of these proposed projects.

          Introducing competition for high-speed rail service

  During executive session, the Committee adopted, with 
modifications, an amendment I offered to require that all high-
speed rail services be subject to competitive bidding. The 
amendment offered provides for exclusive franchises given 
concerns about safety and capacity and the fact that the market 
is generally not large enough to support more than one 
operator. To ensure that there would be ``effective 
competition'' for the market, the amendment would grant 
competitors the right to access the rights-of-way of the 
freight railroads on the same terms as Amtrak, i.e. at 
incremental cost and with operating priority. As a result of 
discussions among the members, the Committee agreed to modify 
the amendment to specify that any entity operating high-speed 
rail service must be subject to the Railway Labor Act, the 
Railroad Retirement Act and other applicable railroad laws.
  Subsequently, however, the majority refused to include in the 
reported bill the portion of the amendment that expands access 
to entities selected as the provider of high-speed operations 
other than Amtrak. I strongly object to the majority's view 
that it can unilaterally decide what will and will not be in a 
bill, regardless of the opinion clearly reflected in the 
transcript. This contravenes the legislative process and sets a 
bad precedent for how this Committee will handle controversial 
issues.
  I will continue to press for full and fair competition for 
high-speed rail projects. Introducing competition will drive 
Amtrak and competitors to operate efficiently and provide 
better service to the traveling public. We see the benefits of 
competition in the market everyday. Where competition exits, 
prices are lower, companies are more responsive to their 
customers, and customers know they are getting real value for 
their dollars.
  Today, there is no alternative to Amtrak. Amtrak's statutory 
monopoly may have been repealed in 1997, but Amtrak is still 
the only railroad that can access the right-of-way of the 
freight railroads on an incremental cost basis. This puts all 
other operators at a significant competitive disadvantage and 
effectively prevents any carrier other than Amtrak from 
providing service. We should not extend Amtrak's monopoly to 
high-speed rail.
  Competition for the passenger rail market is feasible and 
workable. At the Committee's hearing in March, we heard from 
Mercer Management Consulting, which has been involved in rail 
privatization initiatives around the world, that if a process 
were put in place to privatize Amtrak, there would be a number 
of private parties interested in participating in a privately- 
operated passenger rail network. In response to Chairman 
Holling's invitation to Mercer to ``sell Amtrak'', a draft 
blueprint for privatization was prepared by Mercer and 
circulated to potential interested parties. To date, Mercer has 
received expressions of interest from 16 companies, including 
Bombardier Transportation, Connex North America, Deutsche Bahn 
AG, and Kawasaki Rail Car. Additional companies have expressed 
interest in learning more about the process.
  Franchising is not new in the rail industry. Countries around 
the world are using franchising to reform their passenger and 
freight rail systems. In fact, U.S. freight railroads invested 
in new rail entities that won freight franchises in Mexico.
  Authorizing franchising does not mean that Amtrak will not 
continue to perform the service. But I believe the pressure of 
competition will have an immediate and positive effect on 
Amtrak's efficiency and quality of service. We have nothing to 
lose and everything to gain by introducing competition for the 
passenger rail market.

        RAILROAD REHABILITATION IMPROVEMENT FINANCING (TITLE IV)

  Several proposed changes to the Railroad Rehabilitation 
Improvement Financing (RRIF) program concern me. There is no 
immediate need to increase the amount of loans and loan 
guarantees available under the program from $3.5 billion to $35 
billion. This program was last amended as part of the 
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), in 
which the level was raised from $1 billion to $3.5 billion, and 
brought into compliance with the Credit Reform Act of 1990. 
Even if all of the loan applications pending today before the 
FRA should be approved, the total obligation will be $569 
million, far below the current cap. While there have been 
stumbling blocks with this program, it does not appear that 
demand for loans and loan guarantees comes anywhere close to 
exceeding amounts now available. We can consider increasing the 
program if and when demand exceeds $3.5 billion.
  Further, I am not in favor of making mandatory the 
Secretary's authority to issue loans and loan guarantees. The 
Secretary should be able to exercise good judgment to protect 
the interest of the taxpayers. I am aware of no other loan 
guarantee program for the transportation sector that mandates 
that the Secretary execute loans. For example, the Title XI 
loan guarantee program, the Transportation Infrastructure 
Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program established by 
TEA-21, and the aviation loan program created by the Aviation 
Security Act last fall are all discretionary. The RRIF program 
should also remain discretionary. Finally, I oppose the 
provision that prohibits the Secretary from requiring 
collateral. While the RRIF program is specifically intended to 
provide financial assistance to shortline and regional 
railroads, Class I carriers and (pursuant to an amendment 
offered by Senators Dorgan and Rockefeller and adopted by the 
Committee, railroad customers and other persons) are also 
eligible for RRIF loans. These entities are fully capable of 
providing collateral to safeguard the government's investment.
  It is regrettable S. 1991 does not do more to effect positive 
change for our nation's intercity rail passenger system. S. 
1991 requires virtually no reform or restructuring of Amtrak. 
In fact, Amtrak would be even less accountable to Congress and 
the American taxpayer because the legislation would repeal the 
directive that Amtrak achieve operational self-sufficiency. 
Amtrak as we know it today would not only be perpetuated but 
significantly expanded -- as would the Federal government's 
funding obligations. This is opposite the direction that we 
should be moving.
  In spite of the $25 billion in Federal assistance invested 
over the past 31 years, Amtrak only carries 2 million more 
passengers now than it did in 1979. It serves less than one 
percent of the traveling public. Some argue that Amtrak has 
been underfunded compared to highways and airports. But the 
infrastructure for those modes is funded through user fees. S. 
1991 is silent on how the substantial increase in Federal 
obligations provided under this bill would be paid.
  The answer to how best to secure a sound future for intercity 
passenger rail is not just passing a multi-billion authorizing 
bill. Amtrak must be reformed and it must be held accountable 
to fulfill its business plan goals. To accomplish this, we must 
reassess what value Amtrak adds to our national transportation 
system; the role of the Federal government, the states, the 
commuter authorities and others in providing financial support; 
and how and where the trains can be most efficiently operated 
to provide the best service. Until then, we are only 
maintaining the status quo and prolonging the inevitable tough 
decisions.