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4 Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors formulas for cost sharing. The focus of the participants was to preserve existing commuter ser- vices, not to lay the groundwork for future expansion of commuter rail service. After the Staggers Act, NERSA, and the privatization of Conrail, there was no major legislation affecting the railroad industry until late 2008. Now clearly separated into intercity, commuter, and freight railroads, each industry segment was able to focus activities on its own markets. In the years following the Staggers Act, the freight railroads aggressively downsized, merged with each other, closed or sold underutilized lines, dramatically cut costs, and greatly improved their productivity and financial performance. From 1980 to the mid-1990s, there was some growth in rail traffic, mostly because of the growth of massive low-sulfur coal mines in the Pow- der River Basin in Wyoming. Otherwise, railroads focused on squeezing more profit from a roughly static volume of traffic. From the mid-1990s, freight railroads began seeing real traffic growth driven by further increases in coal traffic from the Powder River Basin; rapid growth in intermodal traffic, especially international container traffic entering rail networks at West Coast ports; and a robust economy. Commuter rail services also entered a period of expansion. The long-established systems expe- rienced traffic growth, and several cities and regions were able to implement entirely new com- muter services, aided by New Starts funding from the FTA. Most notably, the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) was established in the Los Angeles area and now operates seven commuter rail routes over 388 route miles. New commuter services were also introduced in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C; Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Seattle, Washington; Albuquerque, New Mexico; San Diego and San Jose, California; Nashville, Tennessee; and Dallas, Texas. Several other services are in the planning stages. Development of Amtrak intercity services between the early 1990s and 2008 was uneven. In the Northeast, a major project to extend electrification from New Haven, Connecticut, to Boston, Massachusetts, was completed in 1999, followed by the introduction of Acela high-speed train sets in 2000. California has made substantial investments in corridor services, which with the provision of operating support to Amtrak, has resulted in large gains in ridership. Smaller- scale initiatives by state agencies in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Maine, and elsewhere have allowed additional trips and service improvements on a smaller scale than that in California. How- ever, outside the state-supported corridors and the NEC, the lack of funding has meant that there has been little service development. More detail about these developments are provided in the appendices, including the legal and institutional structures applicable to the railroad industry and specific case studies of passenger rail developments and development processes. 1.2.2 The Present Situation Multiple commuter and intercity passenger rail initiatives are under development, almost all of which anticipate using existing freight rail corridors and/or tracks. Even proposals for a true high-speed rail network in California envision using existing rail corridors for portions of the route and track-sharing with an existing commuter rail line between San Jose and San Francisco. Beyond the incremental expansion of conventional intercity passenger rail services, many states have banded together to propose improved regional rail passenger service over existing railroad rights-of-way, in many cases including higher-speed operation up to 110 mph. The most exten- sive plans have been developed by a consortium of Midwestern states, and similar efforts are under way in Virginia and the Carolinas, Florida, and California. Concurrent with this passenger rail activity, improved freight rail service quality, expanded international trade, increased costs and congestion in competing modes, and robust demand for