California Rail 2020 Conference
October 15, 2005
Report by Carl Morrison, Carl@TrainWeb.com
Pat Montague, Board of Directors, NARP Region 12, Building a
Dynamic Rail Passenger Movement
Pat (far left in photo) had an excellent
available which was titled: Summary of Passenger Rail Investment
and Improvement Act
This bill was to come up 10/17/05. Quotes from that memo follow:
The Passenger Rail Investment and
Improvement Act (PRIIA) is a six year reauthorization bill (FY
2006-2011) -- the same time frame as the Amtrak Board's strategic
plan. The bill authorizes funding for Amtrak's capital and
operating needs to maintain current operations, upgrade equipment, and
return the Northeast Corridor (NEC) to a state of good repair.
Over the life of the bill, Amtrak's operating subsidy is reduced by 40%
through cost cutting, restructuring, and reform while capital
funding is increased. The bill creates an intercity passenger
rail capital grant program for the States.
6 Year Funding Totals Average Amtrak
Operating Subsidy $3.3 billion $556 million Amtrak Capital Grants $4.9
billion $818 million State Grants $1.4 billion $340 million Existing
Amtrak Debt $1.7 billion $287 million Total $11.4 billion $1.9 billion
The bill requires a financial
accounting system for Amtrak Operations and a five year financial plan.
Restructuring of Amtrak's debt within
Add the Amtrak President to the
Amtrak Board, making a total of nine, with rail, transportation, or a
Measuring of performance and service
quality of intercity train operations including cost-recovery, on-time
performance, ridership per train mile, on-board and station services,
and the connectivity of routes.
Route and service decisions shall
give consideration to cost recovery and on-time performance of existing
routes, connections with other routes, transportation needs of
communities not served by other public transportation.
States wishing to use operators other
than Amtrak for the provision of state-supported services shall have
access to Amtrak facilities for the purpose of operating that
Development of a capital spending
plan by Amtrak to return the Northeast Corridor to a state of good
repair by the end of 2011 at a 100 percent Federal share.
Evaluation of Long Distance
Trains' financial and on-time performance, and customer
satisfaction of each train. Establishment of performance
improvement plans for 5 long distance routers (1/3 of the 15 intercity
passenger trains) with the worst performance. Consider
restructuring the route, improving on-board services, changing
amenities such as sleeper car service and food service, and changing
the frequency of trains by 2008 with all long distance routes will
undergo the same restructuring process.
A Competitive bid program will allow
freight railroads to bid for long distance trains. Employees will
either be located to other positions within Amtrak or paid termination
payments guaranteed under existing collective bargaining agreements.
If a train's on-time performance
record falls below 80% for two consecutive quarters, the STB must
investigate the cause and recommend how to fix the problems. If
the delays to passenger trains are the result of freight railroads not
providing priority access to Amtrak, as required under law, the Board
may take appropriate action to enforce priority access.
Grants will be made to states to pay
for capital costs of facilities and equipment necessary to provide new
and improved intercity passenger rail. The federal match is 80
Patrick Montague can be reached at: email@example.com