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Content of Shared-Use Access and Operating Agreements 73 Smaller operations, such as the Downeaster service, may require only minor revisions over time. On that service, either the host or tenant can request a change at any time, which is then negotiated to reach a mutually acceptable resolution within the scope of the long-term access agreement. 4.5.3 Day-to-Day Service Variations This service level variation falls at the borderline between hosttenant routine contact to maintain service quality and actual planned service changes. Many situations can arise that call for service variations: · Planning for special trains for a one-time event. Most passenger rail agencies prefer to avoid special trains except in the most compelling circumstances. The time and efforts needed to com- plete arrangements and the potential for disrupting regular service outweigh any benefit. However, the agreement should provide for a right on the part of the passenger rail agency to operate such trains, subject to a test of undue interference with the host's freight operations. There have been instances of a host railroad refusing to consider special trains because the orig- inal agreement did not reserve this right. · Planning for "regular" special trains, such as for fans traveling to home games at a sports venue. Several agencies report success with this kind of service. Once the routine is established, the trains are easy to arrange, and schedules are generally known well in advance. · Accommodating planned maintenance. Major maintenance efforts, such as rail, tie, or ballast replacement or a bridge replacement, will necessarily disrupt service. Some maintenance work can be done under traffic, by scheduling the work at night or by scheduling work "windows" between trains, but such scheduling can be inefficient and costly. A preferred approach increas- ingly used by railroads in the United States and overseas is to close a length of a route completely for several days and conduct a maintenance "blitz" to complete all work in the shortest time pos- sible. For a passenger line, blitzes are typically scheduled at a low-traffic season to minimize ser- vice disruption and require careful planning by the agency, host railroad, and operator. Customary practice is to add these events to the agenda of routine liaison meetings between host, tenant, and contract operators, with additional planning and monitoring meetings as required. 4.5.4 Managing Change with a Passenger Railroad Host and Freight Tenant Many commuter rail agencies and a few intercity passenger rail agencies have acquired rights- of-way, giving the previous owner long-term or perpetual rights to operate local or through freight service over the line. The trackage rights agreement may restrict freight operations by time of day (to avoid peak commute hours) and cap the total volume of freight traffic. There have been few problems with these arrangements in the past, and only minor revisions have been necessary over time. However, with growth in freight traffic, freight railroads may seek to expand previously agreed- upon rights and to negotiate for a higher share of capacity in new agreements. In the future, oper- ating agreements may have to allow for the likelihood of increased freight use and set up mechanisms for agreement revisions and investment in capacity expansion. These mechanisms will likely follow the same pattern of periodic major and minor revisions as described previously in the context of a forward-looking long-term plan. State agencies responsible for rail freight matters could be involved.