< Back to H.R. 2247 (105th Congress, 1997–1998)

Text of the Amtrak Reform and Privatization Act of 1997

This bill was introduced on July 30, 1997, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Sep 17, 1997 (Reported by House Committee).

Source: GPO

HR 2247 RH

Union Calendar No. 144

105th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2247

[Report No. 105-251]

To reform the statutes relating to Amtrak, to authorize appropriations for Amtrak, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 24, 1997

Ms. MOLINARI (for herself and Mr. SHUSTER) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

September 17, 1997

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

[Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic]

[For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on July 24, 1997]


A BILL

To reform the statutes relating to Amtrak, to authorize appropriations for Amtrak, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Amtrak Reform and Privatization Act of 1997’.

TITLE I--PROCUREMENT REFORMS

SEC. 101. CONTRACTING OUT.

    (a) AMENDMENT- Section 24312(b) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(b) CONTRACTING OUT- (1) When Amtrak contracts out work normally performed by an employee in a bargaining unit covered by a contract between a labor organization and Amtrak, Amtrak is encouraged to use other rail carriers for performing such work.

    ‘(2)(A) Amtrak may not enter into a contract for the operation of trains with any entity other than a State or State authority.

    ‘(B) If Amtrak enters into a contract as described in subparagraph (A)--

      ‘(i) such contract shall not relieve Amtrak of any obligation in connection with the use of facilities of another entity for the operation covered by such contract; and

      ‘(ii) such operation shall be subject to any operating or safety restrictions and conditions required by the agreement providing for the use of such facilities.

    ‘(C) This paragraph shall not restrict Amtrak’s authority to enter into contracts for access to or use of tracks or facilities for the operation of trains.’.

    (b) EFFECTIVE DATE- Subsection (a) shall take effect 254 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 102. CONTRACTING PRACTICES.

    (a) BELOW-COST COMPETITION- Section 24305(b) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(b) BELOW-COST COMPETITION- (1) Amtrak shall not submit any bid for the performance of services under a contract for an amount less than the cost to Amtrak of performing such services, with respect to any activity other than the provision of intercity rail passenger transportation, commuter rail passenger transportation, or mail or express transportation. For purposes of this subsection, the cost to Amtrak of performing services shall be determined using generally accepted accounting principles for contracting.

    ‘(2) Any aggrieved individual may commence a civil action for violation of paragraph (1). The United States district courts shall have jurisdiction, without regard to the amount in controversy or the citizenship of the parties, to enforce paragraph (1). The court, in issuing any final order in any action brought pursuant to this paragraph, may award bid preparation costs, anticipated profits, and litigation costs, including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, to any prevailing or substantially prevailing party. The court may, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

    ‘(3) This subsection shall cease to be effective on the expiration of a fiscal year during which no Federal operating assistance is provided to Amtrak.’.

    (b) THROUGH SERVICE IN CONJUNCTION WITH INTERCITY BUS OPERATIONS- (1) Section 24305(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ‘(3)(A) Except as provided in subsection (d)(2), Amtrak may enter into a contract with a motor carrier of passengers for the intercity transportation of passengers by motor carrier over regular routes only--

      ‘(i) if the motor carrier is not a public recipient of governmental assistance, as such term is defined in section 13902(b)(8)(A) of this title, other than a recipient of funds under section 5311 of this title;

      ‘(ii) for passengers who have had prior movement by rail or will have subsequent movement by rail; and

      ‘(iii) if the buses, when used in the provision of such transportation, are used exclusively for the transportation of passengers described in clause (ii).

    ‘(B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to transportation funded predominantly by a State or local government, or to ticket selling agreements.’.

    (2) Section 24305(d) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ‘(3) Congress encourages Amtrak and motor common carriers of passengers to use the authority conferred in sections 11322 and 14302 of this title for the purpose of providing improved service to the public and economy of operation.’.

SEC. 103. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT.

    Section 24301(e) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘Section 552 of title 5, this part,’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘This part’.

SEC. 104. TRACK WORK.

    (a) OUTREACH PROGRAM- Amtrak shall, within one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, establish an outreach program through which it will work with track work manufacturers in the United States to increase the likelihood that such manufacturers will be able to meet Amtrak’s specifications for track work. The program shall include engineering assistance for the manufacturers and dialogue between Amtrak and the manufacturers to identify how Amtrak’s specifications can be met by the capabilities of the manufacturers.

    (b) ANNUAL REPORT- Amtrak shall report to the Congress within 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act on progress made under subsection (a), including a statement of the percentage of Amtrak’s track work contracts that are awarded to manufacturers in the United States.

TITLE II--OPERATIONAL REFORMS

SEC. 201. BASIC SYSTEM.

    (a) OPERATION OF BASIC SYSTEM- Section 24701 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 247 of such title, are repealed.

    (b) IMPROVING RAIL PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION- Section 24702 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 247 of such title, are repealed.

    (c) DISCONTINUANCE- Section 24706 of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking subsection (b);

      (2) by striking ‘NOTICE OF DISCONTINUANCE- (1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, at’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘TIME OF NOTICE- At’;

      (3) by striking ‘90 days’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘180 days’;

      (4) by striking ‘a discontinuance under section 24704 or 24707(a) or (b) of this title’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘discontinuing service over a route’;

      (5) by inserting ‘or assume’ after ‘agree to share’;

      (6) by striking ‘(2) Notice’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘(b) PLACE OF NOTICE- Notice’; and

      (7) by striking ‘section 24704 or 24707(a) or (b) of this title’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘subsection (a)’.

    (d) COST AND PERFORMANCE REVIEW- Section 24707 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 247 of such title, are repealed.

    (e) SPECIAL COMMUTER TRANSPORTATION- Section 24708 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 247 of such title, are repealed.

    (f) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 24312(a)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘, 24701(a),’.

SEC. 202. MAIL, EXPRESS, AND AUTO-FERRY TRANSPORTATION.

    (a) REPEAL- Section 24306 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 243 of such title, are repealed.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 24301 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(o) NONAPPLICATION OF CERTAIN OTHER LAWS- State and local laws and regulations that impair the provision of mail, express, and auto-ferry transportation do not apply to Amtrak or a rail carrier providing mail, express, or auto-ferry transportation.’.

SEC. 203. ROUTE AND SERVICE CRITERIA.

    Section 24703 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 247 of such title, are repealed.

SEC. 204. ADDITIONAL QUALIFYING ROUTES.

    Section 24705 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 247 of such title, are repealed.

SEC. 205. TRANSPORTATION REQUESTED BY STATES, AUTHORITIES, AND OTHER PERSONS.

    (a) REPEAL- Section 24704 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 247 of such title, are repealed.

    (b) EXISTING AGREEMENTS- Amtrak shall not, after the date of the enactment of this Act, be required to provide transportation services pursuant to an agreement entered into before such date of enactment under the section repealed by subsection (a) of this section.

    (c) STATE, REGIONAL, AND LOCAL COOPERATION- Section 24101(c)(2) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting ‘, separately or in combination,’ after ‘and the private sector’.

    (d) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 24312(a)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘or 24704(b)(2)’.

SEC. 206. AMTRAK COMMUTER.

    (a) REPEAL OF CHAPTER 245- Chapter 245 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of chapters of subtitle V of such title, are repealed.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS- (1) Section 24301(f) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(f) TAX EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN COMMUTER AUTHORITIES- A commuter authority that was eligible to make a contract with Amtrak Commuter to provide commuter rail passenger transportation but which decided to provide its own rail passenger transportation beginning January 1, 1983, is exempt, effective October 1, 1981, from paying a tax or fee to the same extent Amtrak is exempt.’.

    (2) Subsection (a) of this section shall not affect any trackage rights held by Amtrak or the Consolidated Rail Corporation.

SEC. 207. COMMUTER COST SHARING ON THE NORTHEAST CORRIDOR.

    (a) DETERMINATION OF COMPENSATION- Section 24904 of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking subsection (b);

      (2) by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (b);

      (3) in subsection (b), as so redesignated by paragraph (2) of this subsection--

        (A) by striking ‘TRANSPORTATION OVER CERTAIN RIGHTS OF WAY AND FACILITIES’ in the subsection head and inserting in lieu thereof ‘FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION’;

        (B) by inserting ‘relating to rail freight transportation’ after ‘subsection (a)(6) of this section’ in paragraph (1); and

        (C) by inserting ‘to an agreement described in paragraph (1)’ after ‘If the parties’ in paragraph (2); and

      (4) by inserting after subsection (b), as so redesignated by paragraph (2) of this subsection, the following new subsection:

    ‘(c) BINDING ARBITRATION FOR COMMUTER DISPUTES- (1) If the parties to an agreement described in subsection (a)(6) relating to commuter rail passenger transportation cannot agree to the terms of such agreement, such parties shall submit the issues in dispute to binding arbitration.

    ‘(2) The parties to a dispute described in paragraph (1) may agree to use the Surface Transportation Board to arbitrate such dispute, and if requested the Surface Transportation Board shall perform such function.’.

    (b) PRIVATIZATION- Section 24101(d) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(d) MINIMIZING GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES- To carry out this part, Amtrak is encouraged to make agreements with the private sector and undertake initiatives that are consistent with good business judgment, that produce income to minimize Government subsidies, and that promote the potential privatization of Amtrak’s operations.’.

SEC. 208. ACCESS TO RECORDS AND ACCOUNTS.

    Section 24315 of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in subsection (e), by inserting ‘financial or’ after ‘Comptroller General may conduct’; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(h) ACCESS TO RECORDS AND ACCOUNTS- A State shall have access to Amtrak’s records, accounts, and other necessary documents used to determine the amount of any payment to Amtrak required of the State.’.

TITLE III--COLLECTIVE BARGAINING REFORMS

SEC. 301. RAILWAY LABOR ACT PROCEDURES.

    (a) NOTICES- (1) Notwithstanding any arrangement in effect before the date of the enactment of this Act, notices under section 6 of the Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. 156) with respect to all issues relating to--

      (A) employee protective arrangements and severance benefits, including all provisions of Appendix C-2 to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation Agreement, signed July 5, 1973; and

      (B) contracting out by Amtrak of work normally performed by an employee in a bargaining unit covered by a contract between Amtrak and a labor organization representing Amtrak employees,

    applicable to employees of Amtrak shall be deemed served and effective on the date which is 90 days after the date

of the enactment of this Act. Amtrak, and each affected labor organization representing Amtrak employees, shall promptly supply specific information and proposals with respect to each such notice. This subsection shall not apply to issues relating to provisions defining the scope or classification of work performed by an Amtrak employee.

    (2) In the case of provisions of a collective bargaining agreement with respect to which a moratorium is in effect 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, paragraph (1) shall take effect on the expiration of such moratorium. For purposes of the application of paragraph (1) to such provisions, notices shall be deemed served and effective on the date of such expiration.

    (b) NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD EFFORTS- Except as provided in subsection (c), the National Mediation Board shall complete all efforts, with respect to each dispute described in subsection (a), under section 5 of the Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. 155) not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (c) RAILWAY LABOR ACT ARBITRATION- The parties to any dispute described in subsection (a) may agree to submit the dispute to arbitration under section 7 of the Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. 157), and any award resulting therefrom shall be retroactive to the date which is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (d) DISPUTE RESOLUTION- (1) With respect to any dispute described in subsection (a) which--

      (A) is unresolved as of the date which is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

      (B) is not submitted to arbitration as described in subsection (c),

    Amtrak and the labor organization parties to such dispute shall, within 187 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, each select an individual from the entire roster of arbitrators maintained by the National Mediation Board. Within 194 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the individuals selected under the preceding sentence shall jointly select an individual from such roster to make recommendations with respect to such dispute under this subsection.

    (2) No individual shall be selected under paragraph (1) who is pecuniarily or otherwise interested in any organization of employees or any railroad. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude an individual from being selected for more than 1 dispute described in subsection (a).

    (3) The compensation of individuals selected under paragraph (1) shall be fixed by the National Mediation Board. The second paragraph of section 10 of the Railway Labor Act shall apply to the expenses of such individuals as if such individuals were members of a board created under such section 10.

    (4) If the parties to a dispute described in subsection (a) fail to reach agreement within 224 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the individual selected under paragraph (1) with respect to such dispute shall make recommendations to the parties proposing contract terms to resolve the dispute.

    (5) If the parties to a dispute described in subsection (a) fail to reach agreement, no change shall be made by either of the parties in the conditions out of which the dispute arose for 30 days after recommendations are made under paragraph (4).

    (6) Section 10 of the Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. 160) shall not apply to a dispute described in subsection (a).

SEC. 302. SERVICE DISCONTINUANCE.

    (a) REPEAL- (1) Section 24706(c) of title 49, United States Code, is repealed.

    (2) Any provision of a contract, entered into before the date of the enactment of this Act between Amtrak and a labor organization representing Amtrak employees, relating to--

      (A) employee protective arrangements and severance benefits, including all provisions of Appendix C-2 to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation Agreement, signed July 5, 1973; or

      (B) contracting out by Amtrak of work normally performed by an employee in a bargaining unit covered by a contract between Amtrak and a labor organization representing Amtrak employees,

    applicable to employees of Amtrak is extinguished. This paragraph shall not apply to provisions defining the scope or classification of work performed by an Amtrak employee.

    (3) Section 1172(c) of title 11, United States Code, shall not apply to Amtrak and its employees.

    (4) Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall take effect 254 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (b) INTERCITY PASSENGER SERVICE EMPLOYEES- Section 1165(a) of the Northeast Rail Service Act of 1981 (45 U.S.C. 1113(a)) is amended--

      (1) by inserting ‘(1)’ before ‘After January 1, 1983’;

      (2) by striking ‘Amtrak, Amtrak Commuter, and Conrail’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Amtrak and Conrail’;

      (3) by striking ‘Such agreement shall ensure’ and all that follows through ‘submitted to binding arbitration.’; and

      (4) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ‘(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, agreement, or arrangement, with respect to employees in any class or craft in train or engine service, Conrail shall have the right to furlough one such employee for each employee in train or engine service who moves from Amtrak to Conrail in excess of the cumulative number of such employees who move from Conrail to Amtrak. Conrail shall not be obligated to fill any position governed by an agreement concerning crew consist, attrition arrangements, reserve boards, or reserve engine service positions, where an increase in positions is the result of the return of an Amtrak employee pursuant to an agreement entered into under paragraph (1). Conrail’s collective bargaining agreements with organizations representing its train and engine service employees shall be deemed to have been amended to conform to this paragraph. Any dispute or controversy with respect to the interpretation, application, or enforcement of this paragraph which has not been resolved within 90 days after the date of the enactment of this paragraph may be submitted by either party to an adjustment board for a final and binding decision under section 3 of the Railway Labor Act.’.

TITLE IV--USE OF RAILROAD FACILITIES

SEC. 401. LIABILITY LIMITATION.

    (a) AMENDMENT- Chapter 281 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘Sec. 28103. Limitations on rail passenger transportation liability

    ‘(a) LIMITATIONS- (1) Notwithstanding any other statutory or common law or public policy, or the nature of the conduct giving rise to damages or liability, in a claim for personal injury, death, or damage to property arising from or in connection with the provision of rail passenger transportation, or from or in connection with any rail passenger transportation operations over or rail passenger transportation use of right-of-way or facilities owned, leased, or maintained by any high-speed railroad authority or operator, any commuter authority or operator, any rail carrier, or any State--

      ‘(A) punitive damages shall not exceed the greater of--

        ‘(i) $250,000; or

        ‘(ii) three times the amount of economic loss; and

      ‘(B) noneconomic damages awarded to any claimant for each accident or incident shall not exceed the claimant’s economic loss, if any, by more than $250,000.

    ‘(2) If, in any case wherein death was caused, the law of the place where the act or omission complained of occurred provides, or has been construed to provide, for damages only punitive in nature, the claimant may recover in a claim limited by this subsection for economic and noneconomic damages and punitive damages, subject to paragraph (1)(A) and (B).

    ‘(3) For purposes of this subsection--

      ‘(A) the term ‘actual damages’ means damages awarded to pay for economic loss;

      ‘(B) the term ‘claim’ means a claim made, directly or indirectly--

        ‘(i) against Amtrak, any high-speed railroad authority or operator, any commuter authority or operator, any rail carrier, or any State; or

        ‘(ii) against an officer, employee, affiliate engaged in railroad operations, or agent, of Amtrak, any high-speed railroad authority or operator, any commuter authority or operator, any rail carrier, or any State;

      ‘(C) the term ‘economic loss’ means any pecuniary loss resulting from harm, including the loss of earnings, medical expense loss, replacement services loss, loss due to death, burial costs, loss of business or employment opportunities, and any other form of pecuniary loss allowed under applicable State law or under paragraph (2) of this subsection;

      ‘(D) the term ‘noneconomic damages’ means damages other than punitive damages or actual damages; and

      ‘(E) the term ‘punitive damages’ means damages awarded against any person or entity to punish or deter such person or entity, or others, from engaging in similar behavior in the future.

    ‘(b) INDEMNIFICATION OBLIGATIONS- Obligations of any party, however arising, including obligations arising under leases or contracts or pursuant to orders of an administrative agency, to indemnify against damages or liability for personal injury, death, or damage to property described in subsection (a), incurred after the date of the enactment of the Amtrak Reform and Privatization Act of 1997, shall be enforceable, notwithstanding any other statutory or common law or public policy, or the nature of the conduct giving rise to the damages or liability.

    ‘(c) EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS- This section shall not affect the damages that may be recovered under the Act of April 27, 1908 (45 U.S.C. 51 et seq.; popularly known as the ‘Federal Employers’ Liability Act’) or under any workers compensation Act.

    ‘(d) DEFINITION- For purposes of this section, the term ‘rail carrier’ includes a person providing excursion, scenic, or museum train service, and an owner or operator of a privately owned rail passenger car.’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- The table of sections of chapter 281 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

      ‘28103. Limitations on rail passenger transportation liability.’.

TITLE V--FINANCIAL REFORMS

SEC. 501. FINANCIAL POWERS.

    (a) CAPITALIZATION- (1) Section 24304 of title 49, United States Code, 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 of title 49, United States Code, in the table of sections of chapter 243 of such title is amended to read as follows:

      ‘24304. Employee stock ownership plans.’.

    (b) REDEMPTION OF COMMON STOCK- (1) Amtrak shall, within 2 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, redeem all common stock previously issued, for the fair market value of such stock.

    (2) Section 28103 of title 49, United States Code, shall not apply to any rail carrier holding common stock of Amtrak after the expiration of 2 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (3) Amtrak shall redeem any such common stock held after the expiration of the 2-month period described in paragraph (1), using procedures set forth in section 24311(a) and (b).

    (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) NOTE AND MORTGAGE- (1) Section 24907 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 249 of such title, are repealed.

    (2) The United States hereby relinquishes all rights held in connection with any note obtained or mortgage made under such section 24907, or in connection with the note, security agreement, and terms and conditions related thereto entered into with Amtrak dated October 5, 1983.

    (e) STATUS AND APPLICABLE LAWS- (1) Section 24301(a)(3) of title 49, United States Code, 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.

SEC. 502. DISBURSEMENT OF FEDERAL FUNDS.

    Section 24104(d) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(d) ADMINISTRATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- Federal operating assistance funds appropriated to Amtrak shall be provided to Amtrak upon appropriation when requested by Amtrak.’.

SEC. 503. BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

    (a) AMENDMENT- Section 24302 of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

‘Sec. 24302. Board of Directors

    ‘(a) EMERGENCY REFORM BOARD-

      ‘(1) ESTABLISHMENT AND DUTIES- The Emergency Reform Board described in paragraph (2) shall assume the responsibilities of the Board of Directors of Amtrak 60 days after the date of the enactment of the Amtrak Reform and Privatization Act of 1997, or as soon thereafter as such Board is sufficiently constituted to function as a board of directors under applicable corporate law. Such Board shall adopt new bylaws, including procedures for the selection of members of the Board of Directors under subsection (c) which provide for employee representation.

      ‘(2) MEMBERSHIP- (A) The Emergency Reform Board shall consist of 7 members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

      ‘(B) In selecting individuals for nominations for appointments to the Emergency Reform Board, the President should consult with--

        ‘(i) the Speaker of the House of Representatives concerning the appointment of two members;

        ‘(ii) the minority leader of the House of Representatives concerning the appointment of one member;

        ‘(iii) the majority leader of the Senate concerning the appointment of two members; and

        ‘(iv) the minority leader of the Senate concerning the appointment of one member.

      ‘(C) Appointments under subparagraph (A) shall be made from among individuals who--

        ‘(i) have technical qualification, professional standing, and demonstrated expertise in the fields of intercity common carrier transportation and corporate management; and

        ‘(ii) are not employees of Amtrak, employees of the United States, or representatives of rail labor or rail management.

    ‘(b) DIRECTOR GENERAL- If the Emergency Reform Board described in subsection (a)(2) is not sufficiently constituted to function as a board of directors under applicable corporate law before the expiration of 60 days after the date of the enactment of the Amtrak Reform and Privatization Act of 1997, the Chief Justice of the United States shall appoint a Director General, who shall exercise all powers of the Board of Directors of Amtrak until the Emergency Reform Board assumes such powers.

    ‘(c) BOARD OF DIRECTORS- Four years after the establishment of the Emergency Reform Board under subsection (a), a Board of Directors shall be selected pursuant to bylaws adopted by the Emergency Reform Board, and the Emergency Reform Board shall be dissolved.

    ‘(d) AUTHORITY TO RECOMMEND PLAN- The Emergency 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.’.

    (b) EFFECT ON AUTHORIZATIONS- If the Emergency Reform Board has not assumed the responsibilities of the Board of Directors of Amtrak before March 15, 1998, all provisions authorizing appropriations under the amendments made by section 701 of this Act for a fiscal year after fiscal year 1998 shall cease to be effective.

SEC. 504. REPORTS AND AUDITS.

    Section 24315 of title 49, United States Code, as amended by section 208 of this Act, is further amended--

      (1) by striking subsections (a) and (c);

      (2) by redesignating subsections (b), (d), (e), (f), (g), and (h) as subsections (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f), respectively; and

      (3) in subsection (d), as so redesignated by paragraph (2) of this section, by striking ‘(d) or (e)’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘(b) or (c)’.

SEC. 505. OFFICERS’ PAY.

    Section 24303(b) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting ‘The preceding sentence shall cease to be effective on the expiration of a fiscal year during which no Federal operating assistance is provided to Amtrak.’ after ‘with comparable responsibility.’.

SEC. 506. EXEMPTION FROM TAXES.

    Section 24301(l)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by inserting ‘, and any passenger or other customer of Amtrak or such subsidiary,’ after ‘subsidiary of Amtrak’;

      (2) by striking ‘or fee imposed’ and all that follows through ‘levied on it’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘, fee, head charge, or other charge, imposed or levied by a State, political subdivision, or local taxing authority, directly or indirectly on Amtrak or on persons traveling in intercity rail passenger transportation or on mail or express transportation provided by Amtrak or a rail carrier subsidiary of Amtrak, or on the carriage of such persons, mail, or express, or on the sale of any such transportation, or on the gross receipts derived therefrom’; and

      (3) by amending the last sentence thereof to read as follows: ‘In the case of a tax or fee that Amtrak was required to pay as of September 10, 1982, Amtrak is not exempt from such tax or fee if it was assessed before April 1, 1997.’.

TITLE VI--MISCELLANEOUS

SEC. 601. TEMPORARY RAIL ADVISORY COUNCIL.

    (a) APPOINTMENT- Within 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, a Temporary Rail Advisory Council (in this section referred to as the ‘Council’) shall be appointed under this section.

    (b) DUTIES- The Council shall--

      (1) evaluate Amtrak’s performance;

      (2) prepare an analysis and critique of Amtrak’s business plan;

      (3) suggest strategies for further cost containment and productivity improvements, including strategies with the potential for further reduction in Federal operating subsidies and the eventual partial or complete privatization of Amtrak’s operations; and

      (4) recommend appropriate methods for adoption of uniform cost and accounting procedures throughout the Amtrak system, based on generally accepted accounting principles.

    (c) MEMBERSHIP- (1) The Council shall consist of 7 members appointed as follows:

      (A) Two individuals to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

      (B) One individual to be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

      (C) Two individuals to be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate.

      (D) One individual to be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

      (E) One individual to be appointed by the President.

    (2) Appointments under paragraph (1) shall be made from among individuals who--

      (A) have technical qualification, professional standing, and demonstrated expertise in the fields of transportation and corporate management; and

      (B) are not employees of Amtrak, employees of the United States, or representatives of rail labor or rail management.

    (3) Within 40 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, a majority of the members of the Council shall elect a chairman from among such members.

    (d) TRAVEL EXPENSES- Each member of the Council shall serve without pay, but shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.

    (e) ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT- The Secretary of Transportation shall provide to the Council such administrative support as the Council requires to carry out this section.

    (f) ACCESS TO INFORMATION- Amtrak shall make available to the Council all information the Council requires to carry out this section. The Council shall establish appropriate procedures to ensure against the public disclosure of any information obtained under this subsection which is a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.

    (g) REPORTS- (1) Within 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Council shall transmit to the Amtrak board of directors and the Congress an interim report on its findings and recommendations.

    (2) Within 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Council shall transmit to the Amtrak board of directors and the Congress a final report on its findings and recommendations.

    (h) STATUS- The Council shall not be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) or section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act).

SEC. 602. PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS.

    Section 24301(b) of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking the first sentence;

      (2) by striking ‘of the District of Columbia’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘of the State in which its principal place of business is located’; and

      (3) by inserting ‘For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘State’ includes the District of Columbia. Notwithstanding section 3 of the District of Columbia Business Corporation Act, Amtrak, if its principal place of business is located in the District of Columbia, shall be considered organized under the provisions of such Act.’ after ‘in a civil action.’.

SEC. 603. STATUS AND APPLICABLE LAWS.

    Section 24301 of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in subsection (a)(1), by striking ‘rail carrier under section 10102’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘railroad carrier under section 20102(2) and chapters 261 and 281’; and

      (2) by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:

    ‘(c) APPLICATION OF SUBTITLE IV- Subtitle IV of this title shall not apply to Amtrak, except for sections 11301, 11322(a), 11502, and 11706. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, Amtrak shall continue to be considered an employer under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974, the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, and the Railroad Retirement Tax Act.’.

SEC. 604. WASTE DISPOSAL.

    Section 24301(m)(1)(A) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘1996’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘2000’.

SEC. 605. ASSISTANCE FOR UPGRADING FACILITIES.

    Section 24310 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 243 of such title, are repealed.

SEC. 606. RAIL SAFETY SYSTEM PROGRAM.

    Section 24313 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 243 of such title, are repealed.

SEC. 607. DEMONSTRATION OF NEW TECHNOLOGY.

    Section 24314 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 243 of such title, are repealed.

SEC. 608. PROGRAM MASTER PLAN FOR BOSTON-NEW YORK MAIN LINE.

    (a) REPEAL- Section 24903 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 249 of such title, are repealed.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 24902(a)(1)(A) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘and 40 minutes’.

SEC. 609. BOSTON-NEW HAVEN ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT.

    Section 24902(f) of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by inserting ‘(1)’ before ‘Improvements under’; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ‘(2) Amtrak shall design and construct the electrification system between Boston, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut, to accommodate the installation of a third mainline track between Davisville and Central Falls, Rhode Island, to be used for double-stack freight service to and from the Port of Davisville. Amtrak shall also make clearance improvements on the existing main line tracks to permit double stack service on this line, if funds to defray the costs of clearance improvements beyond Amtrak’s own requirements for electrified passenger service are provided by public or private entities other than Amtrak. Wherever practicable, Amtrak shall use portal structures and realign existing tracks on undergrade and overgrade bridges to minimize the width of the right-of-way required to add the third track. Amtrak shall take such other steps as may be required to coordinate and facilitate design and construction work. The Secretary of Transportation may provide appropriate support to Amtrak for carrying out this paragraph.’.

SEC. 610. AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990.

    (a) APPLICATION TO AMTRAK- Amtrak, and with respect only to the facilities it jointly uses with Amtrak, a commuter authority, shall not be subject to any requirement under section 242(a)(1) and (3) and (e)(2) of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12162(a)(1) and (3) and (e)(2)) until January 1, 1998. For stations jointly used by Amtrak and a commuter authority, this subsection shall not affect the allocation of costs between Amtrak and the commuter authority relating to accessibility improvements.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 24307 of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking subsection (b); and

      (2) by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (b).

SEC. 611. DEFINITIONS.

    Section 24102 of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) by striking paragraphs (2), (3), and (11);

      (2) by redesignating paragraphs (4) through (8) as paragraphs (2) through (6), respectively;

      (3) by inserting after paragraph (6), as so redesignated by paragraph (2) of this section, the following new paragraph:

      ‘(7) ‘rail passenger transportation’ means the interstate, intrastate, or international transportation of passengers by rail;’;

      (4) in paragraph (6), as so redesignated by paragraph (2) of this section, by inserting ‘, including a unit of State or local government,’ after ‘means a person’; and

      (5) by redesignating paragraphs (9) and (10) as paragraphs (8) and (9), respectively.

SEC. 612. NORTHEAST CORRIDOR COST DISPUTE.

    Section 1163 of the Northeast Rail Service Act of 1981 (45 U.S.C. 1111) is repealed.

SEC. 613. INSPECTOR GENERAL ACT OF 1978 AMENDMENT.

    (a) AMENDMENT- Section 8G(a)(2) of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended by striking ‘Amtrak,’.

    (b) AMTRAK NOT FEDERAL ENTITY- Amtrak shall not be considered a Federal entity for purposes of the Inspector General Act of 1978.

SEC. 614. CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION.

    Section 4023 of the Conrail Privatization Act (45 U.S.C. 1323), and the item relating thereto in the table of contents of such Act, are repealed.

SEC. 615. INTERSTATE RAIL COMPACTS.

    (a) CONSENT TO COMPACTS- Congress grants consent to States with an interest in a specific form, route, or corridor of intercity passenger rail service (including high speed rail service) to enter into interstate compacts to promote the provision of the service, including--

      (1) retaining an existing service or commencing a new service;

      (2) assembling rights-of-way; and

      (3) performing capital improvements, including--

        (A) the construction and rehabilitation of maintenance facilities and intermodal passenger facilities;

        (B) the purchase of locomotives; and

        (C) operational improvements, including communications, signals, and other systems.

    (b) FINANCING- An interstate compact established by States under subsection (a) may provide that, in order to carry out the compact, the States may--

      (1) accept contributions from a unit of State or local government or a person;

      (2) use any Federal or State funds made available for intercity passenger rail service (except funds made available for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation);

      (3) on such terms and conditions as the States consider advisable--

        (A) borrow money on a short-term basis and issue notes for the borrowing; and

        (B) issue bonds; and

      (4) obtain financing by other means permitted under Federal or State law.

SEC. 616. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.

    Part C of subtitle V of title 49, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in section 24307(b)(3), as so redesignated by section 610(b)(2) of this Act, by striking ‘Interstate Commerce Commission’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Surface Transportation Board’;

      (2) in section 24308--

        (A) by striking ‘Interstate Commerce Commission’ in subsection (a)(2)(A) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Surface Transportation Board’; and

        (B) by striking ‘Commission’ each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Board’;

      (3) in section 24311(c)--

        (A) by striking ‘Interstate Commerce Commission’ in paragraph (1) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Surface Transportation Board’;

        (B) by striking ‘Commission’ each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Board’; and

        (C) by striking ‘Commission’s’ in paragraph (2) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Board’s’;

      (4) in section 24902(j)--

        (A) by striking ‘Interstate Commerce Commission’ each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Surface Transportation Board’; and

        (B) by striking ‘Commission’ each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Board’; and

      (5) in section 24904(b), as so redesignated by section 207(a)(2) of this Act--

        (A) by striking ‘Interstate Commerce Commission’ in paragraph (2) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Surface Transportation Board’; and

        (B) by striking ‘Commission’ each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Board’.

SEC. 617. MAGNETIC LEVITATION TRACK MATERIALS.

The Secretary of Transportation shall transfer to the State of Florida, pursuant to a grant or cooperative agreement, title to aluminum reaction rail, power rail base, and other related materials (originally used in connection with the Prototype Air Cushion Vehicle Program between 1973 and 1976) located at the Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colorado, for use by the State of Florida to construct a magnetic levitation track in connection with a project or projects being undertaken by American Maglev Technology, Inc., to demonstrate magnetic levitation technology in the United States. If the materials are not used for such construction within 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, title to such materials shall revert to the United States.

SEC. 618. RAILROAD LOAN GUARANTEES.

    (a) DECLARATION OF POLICY- Section 101(a)(4) of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 801(a)(4)) is amended to read as follows:

      ‘(4) Continuation of service on, or preservation of, light density lines that are necessary to continued employment and community well-being throughout the United States.’.

    (b) MAXIMUM RATE OF INTEREST- Section 511(f) of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 831(f)) is amended by striking ‘shall not exceed an annual percentage rate which the Secretary determines to be reasonable, taking into consideration the prevailing interest rates for similar obligations in the private market.’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘shall not exceed the annual percentage rate which is equivalent to the cost of money to the United States.’.

    (c) MINIMUM REPAYMENT PERIOD AND PREPAYMENT PENALTIES- Section 511(g)(2) of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 831(g)(2)) is amended to read as follows:

      ‘(2) payment of the obligation is required by its terms to be made not less than 15 years but not more than 25 years from the date of its execution, with no penalty imposed for prepayment after 5 years;’.

    (d) DETERMINATION OF REPAYABILITY- Section 511(g)(5) of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 831(g)(5)) is amended to read as follows:

      ‘(5) either the loan can reasonably be repaid by the applicant or the loan is collateralized at no more than the current value of assets being financed under this section to provide protection to the United States;’.

TITLE VII--AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

SEC. 701. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) CAPITAL EXPENDITURES- Section 24104(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(a) CAPITAL EXPENDITURES- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation--

      ‘(1) $230,000,000 for fiscal year 1995;

      ‘(2) $230,000,000 for fiscal year 1996;

      ‘(3) $224,000,000 for fiscal year 1997;

      ‘(4) $501,000,000 for fiscal year 1998;

      ‘(5) $516,000,000 for fiscal year 1999; and

      ‘(6) $531,000,000 for fiscal year 2000,

    for the benefit of Amtrak for capital expenditures under chapters 243 and 247 of this title.’.

    (b) OPERATING EXPENSES- Section 24104(b) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(b) OPERATING EXPENSES- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation--

      ‘(1) $542,000,000 for fiscal year 1995;

      ‘(2) $405,000,000 for fiscal year 1996;

      ‘(3) $365,000,000 for fiscal year 1997;

      ‘(4) $387,000,000 for fiscal year 1998;

      ‘(5) $292,000,000 for fiscal year 1999; and

      ‘(6) $242,000,000 for fiscal year 2000,

    for the benefit of Amtrak for operating expenses.’.

    (c) ADDITIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS- Section 24104(c) of title 49, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(c) ADDITIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS- In addition to amounts appropriated under subsection (a), there are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation--

      ‘(1) $200,000,000 for fiscal year 1995;

      ‘(2) $115,000,000 for fiscal year 1996;

      ‘(3) $255,000,000 for fiscal year 1997;

      ‘(4) $250,000,000 for fiscal year 1998;

      ‘(5) $250,000,000 for fiscal year 1999; and

      ‘(6) $250,000,000 for fiscal year 2000,

    for the benefit of Amtrak to make capital expenditures under chapter 249 of this title.’.

    (d) REDUCTION OF AMOUNTS- Section 24104 of title 49, United States Code, is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(g) REDUCTION OF AMOUNTS- For each fiscal year, the total amount authorized to be appropriated under subsections (a) and (c) combined shall be reduced by any amount made available to Amtrak pursuant to the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 for that fiscal year.’.

    (e) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS- Section 24909 of title 49, United States Code, and the item relating thereto in the table of sections of chapter 249 of such title, are repealed.

    (f) GUARANTEE OF OBLIGATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation--

      (1) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 1998;

      (2) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 1999; and

      (3) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2000,

    for guaranteeing obligations of Amtrak under section 511 of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 831).

    (g) CONDITIONS FOR GUARANTEE OF OBLIGATIONS- Section 511(i) of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (45 U.S.C. 831(i)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ‘(4) The Secretary shall not require, as a condition for guarantee of an obligation under this section, that all preexisting secured obligations of an obligor be subordinated to the rights of the Secretary in the event of a default.’.