U.S. congressional actions on Amtrak

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The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, also known as Amtrak, is a governmental agency created on May 1, 1971 as the United States' intercity passenger train system.

Amtrak is a quasi-governmental agency; all of its preferred stock is owned by the federal government. The members of its board of directors are appointed by the president, and are subject to confirmation by the Senate. Some common stock is held by the private railroads that transferred their passenger service to Amtrak in 1971. Though Amtrak stock does not pay dividends and is not routinely traded, a small number of private investors have purchased Amtrak stock from its original owners. This article covers legislative action taken by Congress relating to Amtrak.

Contents

110th Congress

House

Senate

Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2007 (S.294)

Sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) on January 16, 2007, the bill (S.294) contained both the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2007 and the Surface Transportation and Rail Security Act of 2007.


Lautenberg's bill collected the following cosponsors (as of June 11, 2007)[1]:

[2]
Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2007

This act authorizes appropriations for Amtrak between 2007 and 2012, and also restructures Amtrak's debt and requires that Amtrak implement a new financial accounting and reporting system.[3]

It also authorizes states to prepare and maintain rail plans, and provides grants to states for the costs of facilities and equipment to provide or improve inter-city passenger rail transportation. The bill provides avenues for Amtrak to work closely with states and the federal government by establishing the Next Generation Corridor Equipment Pool Committee.[4]

This bill also provides for:

  • Minimum standards for measuring performance and service.
  • Investigations of substandard performance.
  • Annual evaluations of the financial and operating performance of each long distance passenger rail route.
  • Passenger rail service to be provided by alternate carriers on certain Amtrak routes.
  • A northeast corridor state-of-good-repair plan.
  • An independent auditor to develop and recommend objective methodologies for determining intercity passenger routes and services.
  • Eight safety offices for eight geographical regions, in order to carry out all railroad safety laws.[5]
Surface Transportation and Rail Security Act of 2007

This act provides funding to Amtrak through grants for a wide variety of safety and security improvements on the railways, including fire and life-safety improvements, rail work security training, whisleblower protection, high-hazard material security improvements. In addition, it provides plans to address the needs of the families of passengers involved in rail accidents.[6]

Articles and resources

See also

References

  1. "OpenCongress page on S.294" OpenCongress, June 11, 2007.
  2. "OpenCongress page on S.294" OpenCongress, June 11, 2007.
  3. "OpenCongress page on S.294" OpenCongress, June 11, 2007.
  4. "OpenCongress page on S.294" OpenCongress, June 11, 2007.
  5. "OpenCongress page on S.294" OpenCongress, June 11, 2007.
  6. "OpenCongress page on S.294" OpenCongress, June 11, 2007.

External resources

  • OpenCongress
  • Wikipedia also has an article on Amtrak. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

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