Cover Image

Not for Sale

View/Hide Left Panel
Click for next page ( 61

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement

Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 60
60 Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors adjustments where necessary. Several parties commented that shorter intervals tended to pro- duce an inefficient and frustrating state of continuous negotiation. Some contract elements, such as access and maintenance costs, may be subject to annual adjustment based on an agreed cost index. For Amtrak-operated services, disputes between a host and tenant railroads can be taken to the STB or the NAP for resolution. The NAP was created by Amtrak and host railroads to resolve dis- putes and most Amtrak operating agreements require disputes to be submitted to NAP in the first instance. Reference to the STB would be used in the absence of an agreement to use the NAP. There is a significant case history of past decisions and other legal proceedings related to Amtrak service, and the likely outcome of referring a dispute to the NAP or the STB is somewhat predictable. This predictability tends to simplify negotiations, and disputes often can be resolved relatively easily. Appendix B, Section B.2.2, describes in detail how a number of disputes between Amtrak and GuilfordGuilford Rail System that arose during implementation of the then-new Downeaster serv- ice were resolved by the STB. These disputes were resolved before implementation of PRIIA, but the process and outcomes would have been little changed by that legislation, except that the pow- ers to require a host railroad to accommodate increased speeds and the number of trips on an exist- ing Amtrak corridor were transferred from the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to the STB (see Appendix B, Section B.2.8). 4.3.3 Agreements between Amtrak and the Freight Railroad The agreement between Amtrak and the host freight railroad covers the access to the host railroad's tracks for the proposed service; the required performance of the service, such as OTP; and payments by Amtrak to the host for the incremental costs incurred by the host rail- road in operating the specified Amtrak service. In many cases, the specific agreement for an individual service is based on an existing Amtrak operating agreement with the same railroad, with amendments as required for the specific features of the proposed service. The specific content may include: The specification for the service--number of daily trips, departure times, journey time, and OTP requirements. These details may be defined by reference to the agreement between the host railroad and the passenger rail agency, where the railroad agrees that a specific set of investments in the track and signal system will support the required corridor capacity and train performance. Payments by Amtrak to the railroad for operating the proposed service. These payments are typically expressed as a payment per train-mile or sometimes per car and locomotive-mile for track maintenance and payments for administrative coordination costs incurred directly on behalf of the passenger service. Agreed-upon unit costs will reflect the need to maintain passenger-quality track and the costs of maintaining signal and train control investments where these are triggered by passenger service requirements, less an allowance for capital investments by the passenger rail agency. An agreement for incentives and penalties for OTP. In the past, these agreements have typically specified performance payments based on system-wide OTP for a specific rail- road. Such an agreement means a single poorly performing service can result in a system- wide performance below the bonus threshold, removing any incentive for a freight railroad to maintain good OTP on other routes. More recently, Amtrak has been implementing alternative corridor-by-corridor OTP measures, such as limits on total monthly delay min- utes, which provide a more effective framework for achieving adequate OTP. These enforceable metrics may be linked to infrastructure investments and financial support for track maintenance funded by the responsible passenger rail agency. This approach is dis- cussed in more detail in Section 4.3.5.