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Content of Shared-Use Access and Operating Agreements 57 4.3 Amtrak Intercity Service 4.3.1 Introduction This section describes the principal items that should be included in agreements for an intercity passenger rail service operated by Amtrak. As described elsewhere in this Guidebook, Amtrak inter- city services are those for which Amtrak can exercise its right of access to the U.S. railroad network at incremental cost. Appendix B discusses the definitions of commuter and intercity service, which in essence state that intercity services operate over routes exceeding 100 miles in length and are used primarily by intercity travelers rather than regular commuters. The following factors also influence the content of agreements for Amtrak intercity service: Amtrak's rights to access and incremental costing are of major advantage in implementing intercity passenger service on freight railroad corridors. No passenger rail agency to date has attempted to initiate this type of service without working through Amtrak and having the ser- vice operated by Amtrak. Note that Amtrak sometimes acts as a contract operator for com- muter rail agencies but in this situation cannot exercise its access rights. Amtrak maintains liability agreements with freight railroads (the Amtrak umbrella) that relieves the passenger authority of the need to negotiate liability issues with the freight rail- road for each individual service. However, separate liability agreements may be needed for station activities. Either Amtrak or the passenger rail agency may supply rolling stock for the proposed service, depending on car and locomotive availability in Amtrak's fleet and service requirements. For example, California purchased bi-level passenger cars and low-emission locomotives for cor- ridor services and North Carolina purchased rebuilt Heritage (pre-Amtrak) cars for state- supported services. In principal, Amtrak has broad rights of access at incremental cost to any rail corridor in the United States, including railroad owned by state agencies and commuter systems as well as freight railroads. In practice, the service requirements of new state-supported services (which usually increase service frequency and seek to reduce journey times) have involved investment in railroad infrastructure and sometimes ongoing additional expenditure to maintain passenger- level track quality and signal system performance. Passenger rail agencies implementing a new or expanded intercity service have often found such investments to be essential to achieving high-quality services. The involvement of Amtrak means that a three-way set of consistent agreements between the passenger rail agency, the host railroad, and Amtrak are required, as illustrated in Figure 4-2. Host Capital Funding for Route Railroad Access to Route at Improvements, Service Incremental Cost for Parameters No. of Trips, Proposed Service Journey Time, on-time performance Passenger Amtrak Rail Agency Agreement Specifying Service Parameters, Provision of Rolling Stock and other Services. Figure 4-2. Primary contract relationships for Amtrak intercity service.