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62 Guidebook for Implementing Passenger Rail Service on Shared Passenger and Freight Corridors that support Amtrak services. If the parties cannot reach agreement, the STB may be asked to help resolve the issue. The agreement should also cover any penalties or bonuses for service performance. In part, these will reference and be consistent with agreements between Amtrak, the host railroad, and the passenger rail agency. The agreement must set expectations for performance metrics in Amtrak's control, specifically Amtrak-caused delays and provision of the planned seating and on-board services on each trip. There are few opportunities to obtain federal grants to cover all or part of intercity O&M costs. Amtrak's regular annual funding covers the O&M cost of core services and the difference between state support and actual total O&M costs on state-supported services. However, some services located in air quality non-attainment areas (such as the Downeaster) have been able to obtain sup- port from Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program funds. FRA grants are available for capital projects, as discussed in the following subsection. Provision of Equipment (Cars and Locomotives) Historically, Amtrak had enough spare equipment to support new services and would provide this equipment without charging for capital expenses or major overhauls. In recent years, how- ever, all Amtrak's useable equipment was fully committed to existing services, and Amtrak lacked funds to overhaul unserviceable cars or purchase new ones. State passenger rail agencies were expected to provide new or secondhand equipment or to fund rehabilitation of unserviceable cars or locomotives. More recently, the situation has eased. Equipment rehabilitation is an eligible use of intercity passenger rail funding authorized in PRIIA and ARRA, and Amtrak has initiated a rehabilitation program for suitable out-of-service cars. Plans to purchase new cars and locomo- tives are also being developed, with support from PRIIA and ARRA funds, to provide a near-term boost to the available fleet and replace life-expired equipment. Given this background, passenger rail agencies must develop an agreement with Amtrak regarding the source of equipment and arrangements for equipment maintenance. One choice is to agree to operate the planned service with equipment provided by Amtrak, out of the expanded fleet of cars and locomotives that will become available from Amtrak's developing equipment pro- gram. The alternative is to acquire equipment independently from a manufacturer. Agencies choosing this route must provide themselves with adequate technical resources to manage such a procurement, especially if the cars or locomotives are of a novel design (such as the updated Talgo trains under consideration by some agencies) or the cars or a proposed operation are not fully compliant with FRA safety regulations. The FRA will want to review the train design and proposed operation to ensure it is safe, and Amtrak will want to ensure the trains are suitable for the pro- posed service and are safe and reliable. Amtrak and the agency will also need to ensure that inspec- tion and maintenance arrangements for the new cars are put in place, including any staff training, special maintenance equipment that may be required, and a spare parts supply. An alternative (used for Talgo trains operating the Cascades service in the Pacific Northwest) is to contract with the manufacturer for maintenance and servicing. 4.3.5 Agreement between the Passenger Rail Agency and the Host Railroad(s) Agreement with the Host (Usually Freight) Railroad for Capital Improvements Experience in recent years has shown that introduction of a new or expanded quality passen- ger rail service is rarely possible without capital investments in the corridor. Investments are typ- ically needed to increase capacity and to upgrade track and signals to passenger service standards

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Content of Shared-Use Access and Operating Agreements 63 so that the desired service performance can be achieved. Amtrak has limited funds for capital investments outside of the NEC, so the state passenger rail agency must assemble the funding. Typical sources are state transportation bonds, a variety of state and local grant programs, and occasionally federal funds from the FTA or the Federal Highway Administration (for grade cross- ing improvements). Recently, substantial funding has become available through the FRA from PRIIA and ARRA. In some cases, a state will link passenger and freight funding programs in one improvement package. Note that the funding source has no influence on whether the service is classified as commuter or Amtrak intercity. The agreement with the freight railroad for capital improvements will reiterate the service spec- ification, including staged development, where planned. Then, the passenger rail agency and the railroad will agree on the specific improvements required to support a specified service-- number of trips, journey times, and OTP. For a staged development, the agreement will define each stage by the service specification and the corresponding infrastructure improvements. It is essential to link specific improvement projects (1) to specific train frequencies, journey times, and punctuality metrics, properly supported by analysis results and accepted by the host freight railroad, Amtrak, and the passenger rail agency, and (2) with defined actions to be taken by the host railroad in the event of non-compliance. Table 4-3 shows illustrative service perfor- mance metrics that experience has shown to be successful in achieving good service quality. Absent an enforceable agreement, there is a serious risk that infrastructure investments will fail to yield the expected benefits. The state or regional passenger rail agency should execute a master agreement with the freight railroad covering the basic linkage between improvement projects and passenger train trips, jour- ney time, and service performance, plus a "task order" mechanism for executing individual proj- ects. The passenger rail agency normally contracts with the freight railroad to carry out the project. The railroad will carry out the project with its own maintenance forces or using contractors at its discretion. Usually, freight railroad labor agreements contain provisions for use of contractors, and the railroad will have to abide by these agreements. Experience has shown that a fixed-price contract Table 4-3. Illustrative service performance metrics1 and agreement for an Amtrak intercity service. Delay Ceiling2 Round Scheduled (Maximum Host- Phase Description Trips per Trip Time Responsible Delay No. (Upon Completion of Listed Projects) Day (A to B) Minutes3 per Trip) 1 Baseline Current Service 2 3h 30m 17 2 Specified Operating Improvements 2 3h 30m 14 3 Specified Maintenance Improvements 2 3h 30m 12 4 Projects 1 and 2 3 3h 30m 11 5 Projects 3 and 4 3 3h 15m 9 6 Projects 5, 6, 7, and 8 4 3h 15m 8 7 Projects 9 and 10 4 3h 0m 7 1 The performance metrics should be negotiated and accepted as feasible by all parties before being put into effect, supported as necessary by operations simulation analysis as described in Chapter 3. 2 Delay Ceiling: Average host-responsible delay for all trips over a 1-month period (total delay minutes in 1 month divided by the number of trips operated). Temporary adjustments to the delay ceiling may be agreed upon for major track or structures maintenance projects. 3 Host-Responsible Delay Minutes: Obtained from Amtrak's Conductor Delay Reports for delays due to interference from other trains (freight, commuter, other intercity passenger trains), routing delays, slow orders, signals, maintenance-of-way work, and detours from the normal route. Note: If in any calendar month, actual average host-responsible delay minutes between points A and B exceeds the delay ceiling, the host railroad will make, at its sole expense, operational, maintenance, or capital improvements necessary to reduce average delay minutes to below the delay ceiling within 2 calendar months after the initial failure to comply with delay requirements.