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56 Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors 4.2.1 Introduction to Amtrak Intercity Service Intercity service must be operated by Amtrak to benefit from Amtrak's right of access to the national railroad network; dispatching priority; and incremental cost pricing for access, infrastruc- ture maintenance, and dispatching. After completing a thorough feasibility study in cooperation with Amtrak, as described in Chapter 2, using analysis and modeling as described in Chapter 3, the passenger rail agency must conclude an agreement with Amtrak to operate the service. Amtrak will negotiate with the host railroad to implement the proposed service under its operating agreement with that railroad. If there is no existing agreement, Amtrak will negotiate a new agreement. The passenger rail agency may agree with the host railroad (usually freight) to fund all or part of capi- tal improvements to increase capacity and/or reduce journey time as well as to ensure adequate OTP. In addition, the passenger rail agency may agree to provide ongoing funding to the host rail- road for track maintenance and dispatching resources, to assure high service quality and reliabil- ity. These expenditures supplement normal Amtrak payments for access and OTP. Although the host railroad is usually a freight railroad, similar access agreements must be established where a commuter railroad is the host. These arrangements with Amtrak and the host railroad take care of track access and train oper- ations. The final area in which agreement is required concerns provision of equipment (passenger cars and locomotives). Amtrak may or may not be able to provide suitable cars and locomotives for a proposed new service. The passenger rail agency must explore equipment options with Amtrak and reach agreement as to responsibility for equipment supply. If the passenger rail agency is purchasing cars and/or locomotives, Amtrak must agree that the cars are suitable for the pro- posed operation and that maintenance and servicing arrangements are practical. In most cases, the parties involved in implementing and operating an intercity passenger rail service are the state, local, or regional passenger rail agency; Amtrak; and the host railroad. Other parties may be involved in minor roles, such as providing services at stations (sometimes devel- oped and owned by the host community) and providing on-board food service. 4.2.2 Introduction to Commuter Service Amtrak's access rights cannot be exercised for commuter service, and a commuter rail agency must negotiate at arm's length with the individual host freight railroads. The agency must also negotiate access with Amtrak if Amtrak lines are used. Amtrak owns little main-line track outside the NEC but operates and maintains several big-city passenger terminals used by commuter ser- vices (such as Washington Union Station, Los Angeles Union Station, New York City Penn Station, and Chicago Union Station). If the commuter rail agency owns or leases the ROW, then there is no access issue for commuter service, but a former freight railroad owner may require access as a condition of the sale or lease to provide ongoing local or through freight service. The agency may also have to accommodate exist- ing or new Amtrak service, under Amtrak's access rights. In rare cases, two commuter agencies may agree to share infrastructure. An example is where NICTD trains from Indiana locations access downtown Chicago over tracks owned by METRA and used by METRA trains. As well as basic access, a commuter rail agency, whether host or tenant, will have to work out agreements among all users to share infrastructure inspection and maintenance costs, dispatching costs, and the cost of capital investment for capacity and service performance. In most cases, the agency will also have to arrange contracts for O&M services with qualified suppliers and for the acquisition of rolling stock. If the service is generally operated over track owned by a host freight railroad or Amtrak, then the host will likely have to approve the proposed contractor and equip- ment as acceptable for the proposed service.